Florida has one of the broadest public records law in the country. Floridians amended the state constitution to provide access to public records. The Legislature has enacted requirements that state and local government employees, elected officials, state officers, and those who sit on governmental boards and councils must receive annual training in public records, open meetings, and ethics.
Marks Gray attorneys have years of experience in representing, advising, and defending cities and counties in public records training, compliance, and litigation. There are more exemptions than ever for records custodians to apply and there is more litigation than ever from citizens, open government advocates, and public records gadflies. Each records custodian’s duties in receiving, acknowledging, responding to, and tracking requests for public records have become more complex and more essential than ever. Even the most basic records requests can be overwhelming and seem insurmountable. Our attorneys can provide an efficient, effective plan for your specific needs in each situation.
- Document retention
- Exemption review
- On-call advice and consultation
- Tracking records requests
- Fees for providing record
- How and when to acknowledge a request
- How to deal with hostile records trolls
Section 112.3142, Florida Statutes, requires constitutional offices to complete four (4) hours of ethics training each year covering state ethics code, Florida public record, and open meetings laws. Attorney Edward L. Birk offers training to satisfy this requirement. Attorney Birk has advised both records custodians and news media when seeking access to records. He has been in court many times regarding public records. He brings a deep experience and understanding of best practices for records requestors and custodians charged with compliance.
The best defense to public records lawsuits is to implement a comprehensive public records policy. Our attorneys can provide a review of your current policies, identify potential risks, and recommend best practices for receiving, processing, and responding to records requests that will simplify the process for your organization and minimize risks of lawsuits.
- Department-specifics training on application of exemptions
- Review document retention policies
- Department-specifics issues: HR, police, council, public works and planning
- Common mistakes and how to avoid them