Public Records Act Compliance

A public records request comes in asking for voluminous documents which will require numerous redactions.  Your governmental entity is overwhelmed; you simply cannot handle this type of request at this time.  What can you do?  At KBM, our Public Records Litigation Team has over thirty years’ experience representing, advising, and defending a wide range of governmental entities in all manner of public records act training, planning, and litigation.

Response To Public Records Requests

Even the most basic of requests under the Public Records Act is rife with landmines, and government entities’ legislated obligations seem to be increasing.  In light of recent decisions – Zink v. City of Mesa, Neighborhood Alliance of Spokane County v. County of Spokane, and others – governmental agencies are increasingly put under the microscope our Courts.  Government entities both large and small can easily be overwhelmed both by the sheer volume of documents requested and the often lack of clarity in the requests themselves.

In light of these concerns, our Public Records Team can assist in all phases of responses under the Act, working with you to tailor an efficient, effective plan for your specific needs in each situation, and shepherding you through the process from start to finish

  • Full Project Planning and Coordination
  • 5-Day letter
  • Document Assembly
  • Privilege Analysis and Privilege Log
  • Redactions
  • Collation and Organization
  • On-call Advice and Consultation

Public Records Act Litigation

Given the large penalties that have recently been assessed by our courts, even the most conscientious responses to records requests can often result in litigation.  When such a lawsuit arises, the highly-respected attorneys of our Public Records Litigation Team will bring their wealth of experience to bear, aggressively defending these claims from the initial claim through trial, and any subsequent appeals.

Training / Policy Development / Risk Management

The smartest and most effective way to avoid the onerous burden of Public Records Act litigation is through the development and implementation of an organized and comprehensive public records response policy.  Our Public Records Litigation Team has provided analysis, development, and implementation of such plans for government agencies across the state.  We can review and assess your current policies, identify potential pitfalls, and recommend efficient, effective policies for receiving, processing, and responding to records requests that will both simplify the process for your employees, and minimize your exposure to onerous penalties under the Act.

Similarly, we offer full-service, customized training sessions for all levels and departments of government entities.  Some of our most commonly-requested topics include:

  • Department-specific training on what is/is not privileged
  • Overview of document retention policies for specific levels of operations
  • Department-specific issues:  HR, police, council, public works, planning
  • Common mistakes and traps under the Act
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“KBM was great. They were incredibly driven, smart, and aggresive in handling our case. If you want to win, hire Keating, Bucklin and McCormack.”

JOHN SMITH,HARBORVIEW MEDICAL CENTER