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scott hodes
I'm a Washington D.C. based FOIA attorney
Recent Activity
The Hill has this on the Interior Department's naming of a political appointee to be the Chief FOIA Officer. The article also discusses Interior's belief that the uptick on FOIA requests and litigation is caused by its FOIA processes not... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The FOIA blog
Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered discovery in a FOIA case against the State Department concerning its search for emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The most interesting part of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at The FOIA blog
Last Summer, I posted this on the blog about problems with FOIAOnline, which is the first of two FOIA portals used by multiple agencies of the Federal Government. At the time, the portal had been redesigned but the site was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The Scotus Blog reports on an Exemption 4 case that has wound its way through the 8th Circuit and may end up being the next FOIA case to be heard by the Supreme Court. The case concerns a request by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at The FOIA blog
E&E News has this on the EPA's statements about its attempts to speed up releases of certain FOIA requests in which the agency has decided to involve high level senior, (often political appointed) officials. This procedure has been criticized as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at The FOIA blog
I'm at twitter @thefoiablog. Please follow me, thanks! Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2018 at The FOIA blog
In October, I wrote about the DOJ's FOIA Guide and the fact that it hadn't been updated since 2015. As of today, it still hasn't been updated. The failure to provide substantive guidance on various FOIA matters, which have been... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The Boston Herald reports that the FBI is delaying the release of the late Whitey Bulger. The article doesn't give much detail as to the the request itself, only that the Herald is appealing the delays and the FBI's proposed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2018 at The FOIA blog
An Inspector General's Report on the Intelligence Communities overall management of its FOIA Operations found a number of ways in which the Intelligence Community could improve its overall management of FOIA Operations. The report does not blame the issues entirely... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The FOIA Project has released a report on FOIA Litigation for FY 2018. It finds that a record number of FOIA lawsuits were both filed and were pending at year end. The report details the defendants, the subject matter and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The midterms are over, and Democrats will be in charge of the House of Representatives while Republicans remain in charge of the Senate. How does this effect the FOIA? First, remember that the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at The FOIA blog
My friend and former co-worker, Alina Semo, was recently interviewed on Federal News Radio on the topic of FOIA Workforce Shortages. The article is spot on - and as readers of this blog know, FOIA work should not ever be... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at The FOIA blog
John Davis of ClearanceJobs.com has this explanation of what a Vaughn index is - its an interesting take on explaining the FOIA world to those who aren't conversant in the special language of the FOIA. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The Hill has this on the D.C. Attorney General's FOIA lawsuit against ICE for information on immigration actions in the District in July of 2018. Rather than follow what should be normal law enforcement protocol and provide information to the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The Hill has this on the D.C. Attorney General's FOIA lawsuit against ICE for information on immigration actions in the District in July of 2018. Rather than follow what should be normal law enforcement protocol and provide information to the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The FOIA Project has this very interesting report on FOIA lawsuits filed by non profits - it breaks the information down by administration and from 2001 on. The number of lawsuits filed during the current administration has doubled since January... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at The FOIA blog
Cause of Action has filed a lawsuit over the Department of Justice's (DOJ) definition of a record in the processing of FOIA requests. The D.C. Circuit ruled on the issue in 2016, and basically disagreed with the way the government... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2018 at The FOIA blog
The U.S. District Court recently ruled (in a case I brought) against disclosure of certain information in the private collection contracts the IRS has made with four companies. Peter Reilly has written about the case and the underlying issues in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2018 at The FOIA blog
Politico has this on NPR's victory over FEMA on certain information pertaining to FEMA's flood program. FEMA was trying to argue that the information was protected pursuant to FOIA exemption 6 as its release would violate the privacy of private... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Politico has this on the FBI's request to stay processing for 17 years; the Court gave them 3 years to finish processing. What the FBI seems to be doing is saying on all large requests they will process 500 pages... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Government Executive reports that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has issued a report on the IRS's retention of emails that are responsive to FOIA requests. The report states that the IRS should improve its retention policy for these... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at The FOIA blog
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently heard an appeal of a decision that wanted to get it to distinguish between types of wells when it comes to Exemption 9. However, the Court found that it makes... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Attorney fees have been awarded in a case brought by STS Energy Partners against the FERC. What is interesting in the case, is that the court found the documents had a public interest but that they also commercially benefited the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at The FOIA blog
Its a rather slow time of year for FOIA news (outside of the splashy items of a partisan nature). Here's a roundup of some smaller FOIA items. FOIA Hall of Fame Nominees sought: The Newseum Institute is seeking nominations for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2015 at The FOIA blog
Acting Department of Justice Chief FOIA Officer Stuart Delery has touted the importance of FOIA training according to the Department of Justice. While the post points readers to the DOJ's FOIA training, other excellent sources of training are available. For... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2015 at The FOIA blog