The Supreme Court Announces that a Requester Must Address a Records Request to the Agency Open Records Officer to Trigger the Requirements of the Right-to-Know Law

On November 10, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Gaming Control Board v. Office of Open Records. The decision increases the burden on requesters to make certain that a request for records be addressed to the Open Records Officer of the agency involved and received by him/her in order to trigger the protections of and the deadlines required under the RTKL… Read On

Managing Partner Craig J. Staudenmaier Has Been Selected for Inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

For the third consecutive year, Managing Partner Craig J. Staudenmaier has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Commercial Litigation. Craig concentrates his practice in the areas of state and federal litigation and Right-to-Know/media law. He routinely represents clients in all phases of the litigation process including mediation and arbitration… Read On

The OOR is Still Required to Consider a Requester’s Appeal on the Merits Prior to Appellate Review

The Commonwealth Court held in Kokinda v. County of Lehigh, No. 1146 C.D. 2014 (Pa. Cmwlth. Jan. 8, 2014) that the Pennsylvania appellate courts’ broad scope of review in RTKL cases does not eliminate the OOR’s obligation to carry out fact finding and consider a requester’s appeal on the merits.  The holding reaffirms the OOR’s importance within the RTKL hierarchy… Read On

Agency-Issued Phone Numbers and Email Addresses of DPW Caseworkers are Exempt from Public Disclosure Under the Right-to-Know Law

The Commonwealth Court has reaffirmed that individually assigned phone numbers and email addresses issued by government agencies to government employees are not public records.  Dep’t of Public Welfare v. Clofine, 706 C.D. 2013 (Pa.Cmwlth. 11/27/13)(unpublished memorandum opinion).  In Clofine, the requester submitted a request to DPW for the names and direct phone numbers of the income maintenance caseworkers in the Adams County Assistance Office and for the direct phone number and email address for one identified caseworker. … Read On

Managing Partner Craig J. Staudenmaier Has Been Selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer

For the fifth consecutive year, Managing Partner Craig J. Staudenmaier has been selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer®.  Super Lawyers® is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations… Read On

Commonwealth Court Reestablishes Waiver in RTKL Cases

The Commonwealth Court has held that an agency waives any challenges to public disclosure that the agency fails to raise in the initial fact-finding proceedings.  Levy v. Senate of Pennsylvania (Levy II), — A.3d —-, 2222 C.D. 2010 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1/15/2014).  The Court rejected an argument frequently raised by agencies, that a record containing some privileged or exempt information is entirely exempt from public disclosure. … Read On

Right-to-Know Law Does Not Reach Records of Privately Managed Economic Development and Tourism Agency

The requester submitted a request for records concerning the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism (“Alliance”), an entity established to promote economic development, recreation and tourism in two counties in northwestern Pennsylvania.  The Alliance denied the request, asserting that it was not an “agency” required to comply with the Right-to-Know Law.  The Office of Open Records… Read On

Pennsylvania State Police Can Withhold Names of MPOETC Accredited Officers

The Commonwealth Court has held that the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) do not have to release the names and departments of police officers accredited by the Municipal Police Officer’s Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) because PSP does not have the ability to determine whether such officers are engaged in undercover or covert law enforcement activities. Andrew McGill… Read On

Supreme Court Holds Agency Gatherings Convened Solely for the Purpose of Collecting Information Do Not Violate Sunshine Act

In Smith v. Township of Richmond, — A.3d –, No. 34 MAP 2013 (Dec. 17, 2013), the Supreme Court held that the Sunshine Act does not prohibit agencies from convening with litigation parties behind closed doors if the purpose of the gathering is information collection and agency member education and no “deliberation” or “official action” occurs… Read On

Nauman Smith Named Best Law Firm

Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, LLP has received a Tier 1 ranking in the 2014 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”  Firms included in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.  Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law prac­tice and breadth of legal expertise… Read On

Subscribe to our Newsletter