Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides a means of public access to many government documents, subject to an often lengthy administrative process, numerous statutory exemptions, and diverse agency practices relating to compliance with FOIA's obligations. We represent both clients seeking information from the government and clients who have submitted privileged or confidential information to the government that seek to prevent its public release. In practice areas as varied as government contracts, national security, healthcare, environmental regulation, nonprofit and federally chartered entities, financial institutions, and litigation, our experience and capabilities with FOIA practice and litigation helps clients protect their interests and achieve their business, litigation, and regulatory objectives.

Representative Experience—FOIA

  • Multiple government contractors and other institutions in responding to the government regarding its intent to release commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
  • Numerous manufacturers and marketers of FDA-regulated products in obtaining information regarding competitor and Agency activities, and protecting their proprietary or enforcement-related information from public release.
  • A utility in filing comments with EPA regarding federal implementation plan for the state of Montana. Also representing company in PSD/NSR enforcement actions, groundwater, and FOIA litigation.
  • Global restaurant chain in various reverse FOIA matters related to commodity marketing boards and the US Department of Agriculture.
  • The National Endowment for Democracy in connection with a FOIA request.
  • A Congressionally chartered entity in a FOIA matter.
  • A federal government corporation concerning FOIA requirements and responses to FOIA requests.
  • A Washington, DC-based nonprofit corporation's in assessing e-discovery preparedness and records management and retention policies so that it can more efficiently respond to FOIA and discovery requests in litigation.
  • Multiple Government Contractors in analyzing and drafting responses to FOIA requests seeking proprietary financial and technical details of ongoing contracts for multiple government contractor clients.
  • A Big-4 accounting firm in connection with a NY State FOIA request.

Representative Experience—FOIA Litigation

  • Magellan Aerospace in a precedent-setting case regarding standards for a government agency's release of company proprietary information under the Freedom of Information Act. Successfully protected the company's proprietary information in "reverse-FOIA" US District Court litigation and DC Circuit appeal.
  • A Kuwaiti law firm in seeking documents relating to Kuwaiti Detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in both administrative FOIA proceedings and in litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • An international commodities firm in seeking to withhold company's financial information from release to competitor seeking to supplement traditional discovery for criminal defense through FOIA request.
  • A major government contractor in short-fuse "reverse-FOIA" injunction litigation at US District Court.
  • A major government contractor in seminal Federal Circuit "reverse-FOIA" case upholding Exemption 4 protection of unit prices in government contracts.
  • A major consumer product manufacturer in ongoing litigation to prevent the government from releasing the company's trade secret and confidential commercial information regarding the manufacture of its products in response to a FOIA request.
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