Information is the currency of our time, and access to the information you need is more important than ever. Whether you are attempting to obtain public records through local, state, or federal agencies, the process to get that information can be cumbersome and frustrating. It’s not always clear what information is available through right-to-know laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA). With numerous exemptions, exclusions, and miseducation, even public officials and government staff can be confused as to what they can and cannot disclose under FOIA/FOAA.

The Power of Transparency

Preti Flaherty Media Law attorneys have decades of experience and close familiarity on both sides of FOIA and FOAA transactions, and the proven knowledge and experience to advise on freedom of information compliance and disputes. Our team regularly assists clients with sophisticated counsel on all aspects of information exchange, including:

  • Public records requests, including responses to and denials of records requests
  • FOIA appeals, litigation, and dispute resolution
  • Compliance violations
  • Drafting and reviewing FOIA-related documents
  • Training public officials
  • Determination of fees
  • HIPAA—healthcare confidentiality
  • Data security and privacy

Our articles on access to government records have been published in the Maine Bar Journal and the Open Government Guide and our team co-authored the Open Courts Compendium: Maine and the Reporters’ Privilege Compendium, published by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. We are frequently invited to present on the subject of access to public information, including “Access to Public Records in the Electronic Age" and "What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings in Maine."

Advocates for Good Government

We have served as counsel in many precedent-setting public access cases in Maine, including access to transcripts of 911 calls, the right to attend jury selection in criminal cases in Maine State Court, access to “draft” settlement agreements with the State, access to dash cam police cruiser video, and access to records of closed law enforcement investigations. We also advise on access to federal records and information and litigate federal freedom of information claims, including appearing in more than a dozen freedom of information appeals decided by the Maine Supreme Court:

  • Bond v. Town of Windham, 2019 Mem-19-11
  • Pinkham v. Department of Transp., 2016 ME 74, 139 A. 3d 904
  • Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, LLP v. State Tax Assessor, 2014 ME 6, 86 A.3d 30
  • MaineToday Media, Inc. v. State of Maine, 2013 ME 100, 41 Media L. Rep. 2673
  • State of Maine v. Strong (In re. MaineToday Media, Inc.), 2013 ME 12, 59 A.3d 499, 41 Media L.Rep. 1237
  • MacImage of Me., LLC v. Androscoggin Cty., 2012 ME 44, 40 A.3d 975
  • Anastos v. Town of Brunswick, 2011 ME 41, 15 A.3d 1279
  • Moore v. Abbott, 2008 ME 100, 952 A.2d 980
  • Blethen Maine Newspapers v. Portland School Cmte, 2008 ME 69, 947 A.2d 479, 36 Media.L.Rep. 1652
  • Citizens Communications Co. v. Attorney General, 2007 ME 114, 931 A.2d 503
  • Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc. v. State of Maine, 2005 ME 56, 871 A.2d 523, 33 Media L.Rep 1616
  • Doe v. Department of Mental Health, 1997 ME 105, 699 A. 2d 422
  • Guy Gannett Pub v. University of Maine, 555 A. 2d 470 (1989)
  • Guy Gannett Pub v. Dept. of Public Safety, 555 A. 2d 474 (1989)
  • Moffett v. City of Portland, 400 A. 2d 340 (1979)

Our team provides effective and timely counsel. Our reputation as the premiere media law firm in Maine extends far beyond the borders of the state, bolstering our national presence, and making Preti Flaherty where people turn to no matter how they are engaging with public information.

Firm Highlights

Press Coverage

Courts Could Throw State Marijuana Markets into Disarray

Over the past two decades, 37 states have legalized the production and/or sale of marijuana in some form. However, due to a lack of federal action, interstate commerce is still considered illegal and barred...

Publication

Another Reminder to Update Policies and Procedures to Reflect Latest COVID-19 Guidance

We  last updated you in early August  regarding the latest COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”).  Cold and flu season is now upon us, and experts are...

Publication

New EEOC Poster Requirement and Guidance on Notice-Posting in Hybrid Workplaces

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently updated the “EEO is the Law” poster and replaced it with a new one: “ Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal .” The new poster was...

Publication

Portland Referenda and Legislative Leadership Update

In addition to all the state and national legislative races that were (mostly) decided by Wednesday morning, there were also 13 referendum questions on the Portland municipal ballot and one in Bar Harbor of...

Publication

November 2022 Election Update

Maine State House Most of us who are obsessed with electoral politics expected a tight Gubernatorial race and, if not changes in control of the House or Senate, much closer margins between the majority...

News

Preti Flaherty Continues Year of Remarkable Growth with Addition of Five New Attorneys

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of five new Associates to the firm: Scott A. DeLong, Christopher S. Knight, Kijana Plenderleith, Harper A. Weissburg, and Joshua D. Williams. In our Portland, Maine, office...

Press Coverage

Preti Flaherty Supports Nationally Recognized Investigative Reporting

Preti Flaherty has been recognized for supporting an award-winning investigative Journalism in Maine.  The non-profit  Maine Monitor  published a nationally recognized series titled “Eavesdropping in Maine Jails” revealing widespread recording of  phone calls between jail...

News

Attorney Colin Barrett Recognized with 2022 KINDness Matters Award

Preti Flaherty attorney Colin Barrett has been recognized by child advocacy organization Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) with the 2022 KINDness Matters Award as part of the organization's Pro Bono Month campaign. KIND...

News

U.S. News – Best Lawyers Ranks Preti Flaherty Among 2023 Best Law Firms

Preti Flaherty has been named among the 2023 Best Law Firms by the U.S. News – Best Lawyers rankings. To be eligible for ranking, a law firm must have at least one attorney named...

News

Attorney Shana Solomon Recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly "Top Women of Law" 2022

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorney Shana Solomon has been recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as part of the publication’s “Top Women of Law” list for 2022. Shana is a trial lawyer...