Under the Freedom of Information Act, one need not be a lawyer to file a lawsuit. A clever, committed advocate can sometimes defeat a team of government lawyers and win disclosure of denied documents. On the other hand, an inept, overzealous or unlucky litigant can leave a trail of legal wreckage that will make the lives of other FOIA requesters more difficult.
A newly updated guidebook will help any would-be litigant, whether a lawyer or not, to avoid many of the pitfalls of FOIA litigation and to realistically assess the chances of success. Don’t file suit without it.
“Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws 2008” was edited by Harry A. Hammitt, Marc Rotenberg, John A. Verdi, and Mark S. Zaid. It can be purchased from Harry Hammitt’s web site or from the Electronic Privacy Information Center.