Public Record Appeals: Learn How to Fight Back When Your Records Request is Denied

NEFAC’s Introductory Classes on Public Records Continue with FOI Lessons from Local Experts

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its introductory series on public record laws with new classes on the appeal process for individual states and the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The classes will feature a local attorney or open government expert who will explain how to appeal a public records request denial and provide tips on how to obtain records when an agency claims they are exempt from disclosure.

This latest round of classes will be provided by NEFAC with support from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, SPJ New England, MuckRock and the New England Society of News Editors.

Previous lessons can be viewed on NEFAC’s YouTube channel or through its new multimedia FOI Guide. It is recommended that these lessons are viewed prior to attending the new classes.

Registration is free and open to all members of the public.

Public Record Appeals: Learn How to Fight Back When Your Records Request is Denied

The latest in a series of introductory lessons — taught by leading open government experts, attorneys and journalists — on the federal Freedom of Information Act and state public record laws.

Each class will be moderated by Emily Sweeney, a journalist at The Boston Globe and author of the books “Boston Organized Crime” and “Gangland Boston.” Sweeney currently writes the Blotter Tales column which appears in the Globe every Sunday. In addition to serving on the NEFAC Board of Directors, she’s also president of the New England Society of News Editors.

MAINE | Jan. 26 | 6 p.m.

Sigmund Schutz is a partner at Preti Flaherty in Portland. He has been newsroom counsel to Maine’s largest news organization for more than 20 years. Schutz frequently defends broadcast and print media.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to Maine Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

VERMONT | Feb. 2 | 6 p.m.

Lia Ernst is legal director at the ACLU of Vermont, where she litigates civil liberties, civil rights and open government cases. Ernst also advocates before state and municipal governmental bodies.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to Vermont Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

CONNECTICUT | Feb. 9 | 6 p.m.

Dan Barrett is the ACLU of Connecticut’s legal director. His interests include mass surveillance, anonymous speech and maximizing democratic control of government through transparency.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to Connecticut Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

RHODE ISLAND | Feb. 16 | 6 p.m.

Raymond A. Marcaccio is the co-founder of Oliverio & Marcaccio LLP. He represents local news media organizations and brings claims for access to public records and court and government proceedings.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to Rhode Island Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

MASSACHUSETTS | March 2 | 6 p.m.

Jon Albano is a partner at Morgan Lewis. His practice is focused on commercial, media, and appellate litigation, as well as representing newspapers, entertainment and news broadcasters, and publishers.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to Massachusetts Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

FEDERAL FOIA | March 9 | 6 p.m.

Michael Morisy is co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock. Morisy was previously an editor at The Boston Globe, where he launched the paper’s technology vertical BetaBoston.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to the Federal Freedom of Information Act (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

NEW HAMPSHIRE | March 16 | 6 p.m.

Gregory V. Sullivan serves as general counsel for the Union Leader Corporation. He teaches First Amendment Media Law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston and at the Nackey Loeb School in Manchester.


Recommended Viewing: (1) Introduction to New Hampshire Public Records Law (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Leadership Circle donors include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett and Linda Pizzuti Henry.