Coalition News

Brown signs SB 1300, but calls on Legislature to fix public access issues

Governor Brown has signed SB 1300, the refinery regulation bill that FAC and others opposed because of last-minute amendments that would weaken rights of access under the Public Records Act. However, the Governor, in a signing message, made clear he wants the Legislature to pass a new bill to fix those amendments. The Governor said […]

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Peter Scheer & Santa Rosa PD's Paul Gullixson

FAC joins with Santa Rosa Press Democrat to host Open Government candidates’ forum

FAC headed north this week to co-host an Open Government Candidates’ Forum with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The event provided a unique opportunity for members of the community, which a year earlier was rocked by the tragic shooting death of Andy Lopez, 13, by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy, to hear candidates for city council answer tough questions on government openness […]

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Send in your nominations!

FAC Seeks Nominations for 2014 Free Speech & Open Government Award

The First Amendment Coalition is soliciting nominees for the FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award, given each year for performance of exemplary work in the arena of open government. Qualifications for the award are outstanding accomplishment, service or other contributions to “the people’s right to know” about government. The winner could be a journalist, […]

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Tom Burke and Quentin Kopp join FAC Board

The First Amendment Coalition is delighted to announce the appointment of two new members of its Board of Directors: Thomas Burke, a prominent lawyer specializing in first amendment, intellectual property and media litigation; and Quentin Kopp, former Superior Court judge, State Senator and San Francisco Supervisor. Burke is a partner in the San Francisco office […]

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FAC sues Palm Springs water agencies for data on water use by corporate customers

The First Amendment Coalition has filed a CPRA suit against two government water agencies in the Palm Springs area to compel them to make public water usage data, by customer name, for each of their biggest corporate customers. The agencies, Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency, have published this information in past […]

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Federal Judge rules in FAC case: US can keep secret a legal memo on drone strikes targeting US citizen

In a national security case brought by the First Amendment Coalition, a federal judge has ruled that the Obama administration does not have to disclose a Justice Department legal memo explaining the legal rationale for drone strikes and, in particular, drone strikes abroad against suspected terrorists who are also US citizens. FAC’s suit, based on […]

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Attorneys Jean-Paul Jassy, Scott Lindlaw elected to FAC board of directors

FAC is pleased to announce the recent election of two first amendment attorneys to its board of directors. Jean-Paul Jassy, a partner in the law firm Jassy Vick Carolan, has often worked with FAC on First Amendment cases. Most recently he represented FAC in a case against the LA County Sheriff for access to visitor […]

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In settlement with FAC, LA County Jail releases inmate visitor log, agrees to relax secrecy rule

SCHEER–As part of a legal settlement with the First Amendment Coalition, the Los Angeles County Jail has agreed to pull back its veil of secrecy on the identities of persons who visit incarcerated public officials. The jail’s prior policy had been to withhold—on grounds of privacy-protection–the names of visitors to all jail inmates. Going forward, […]

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FAC leads Amicus brief urging CA Supreme Ct to require public access in commitment hearings

When a county tries to commit a person, against his will, to a psychiatric facility, may that judicial proceeding–which involves lawyers, a judge and a jury trial—be held behind closed doors, with no access at all for the press and public? A California appellate court recently held that such proceedings not only may be secret, […]

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Supreme Court to hold oral argument in FAC case this Wednesday at Boalt Hall. Be there!

Have a few hours to spare this Wednesday, Oct. 9? The California Supreme Court will hear arguments in FAC’s lawsuit against the State Bar (Case No. S194951), starting at 10am. The hearing is being held, not at the Court’s courtroom, but at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Room 215, Boalt Hall. FAC Board member […]

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