News & Resources

New Immigration Reform Proposal Could Affect Every Part of Current Policy

Author: Edward L. Birk

Court Rules 50-Mile Drive Not an ‘Unreasonable Delay’

Florida is well-known throughout the country for its Sunshine Law, which is intended to ensure public access without unreasonable delay to public records received or created by our government. A recent Florida case looked at whether having to drive 50 miles was an unreasonable delay in obtaining some public records. It was an appeal of a 2011 case that looked at one of Florida’s 20 state attorneys’ policy of making people travel to his Live […]

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Open Government and the Importance of Lobbyists’ Transparency

Open government is the best government, and we are fortunate that Florida has some of the strongest open records laws and policies in the country. Though not perfect, they do a good job of promoting a more transparent and accountable government. One such policy began in 2016 when Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, implemented new House rules. The new rules require lobbyists to register and publicly disclose who they’re lobbying for and what […]

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Marks Gray Attorney Ed Birk’s TV Interview with News4Jax

On January 31, 2018, Marks Gray news media and First Amendment attorney Edward Birk was interviewed outside the Duval County courthouse by New4Jax. Birk represents Graham Media Group/News4Jax in a dispute about what evidence will be made public in the high-profile case involving the 1998 kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley as a newborn. News4Jax and a coalition of news organizations filed a public records request to the State Attorney’s Office about the case, but defendant Gloria Williams’ […]

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Public Record or Trade Secret?

Down at the crossroads where innovative private enterprise meets good accountable government, there can be collisions between public records and trade secrets. Under Florida’s strong public records laws, which protects the commercially valuable secrets of those who do business with the state, not every piece of data obtained from a company is a trade secret. A recent case in Broward County nicely illustrates the point. In a public records request, Yellow Cab asked Broward County […]

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A Challenge for Readers: Who Qualifies as ‘the News Media’?

A perennial question in this internet age is, “Who exactly does qualify as the news media?” In the days when Gutenberg invented movable type, the number of printing presses could be counted on fingers and toes. Today, with the internet as every man or woman’s printing press, the number is infinite. For access to normally public records, forums, and events, such as public meetings and court hearings, the news media and the public have about […]

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Attorney David Boies’s Career-Killing Ethical Breach for Weinstein

Many have wondered how Harvey Weinstein’s story went unreported for so long. Part of the reason may have come to light in a recent New Yorker article. According to the New Yorker article, and other news coverage, Weinstein hired attorneys and private intelligence agencies to collect damaging information on journalists working on stories about him as well as their sources. The explicit goal of these investigations was to prevent the publication of the abuse allegations […]

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