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Legal Hotline

Welcome to FAC's Free Legal Hotline!

The Legal Hotline gives users quick, free access to FAC’s lawyers—all First Amendment and government access specialists at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP, an international law firm with offices in San Francisco—for questions about access to public records and your right to attend government meetings in California; access to court documents and proceedings in California and federal courts; and First Amendment protections for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Please note what the Hotline is not. It is not for legal questions outside these areas of law. And it does not provide legal services or legal representation, like preparing documents or appearing in court.

FAC makes this service free, thanks to support from people like you. If you are able to help keep FAC programs free, we hope and expect that you will consider making a contribution of any size. All of FAC’s supporters and members are also given priority in access to the Hotline’s lawyers.

We’d also like to invite you to join FAC. Membership is free. 

Start here...

Be sure to answer all questions and to describe your legal question or problem. When you’re done, click on “send.” 

 A Hotline attorney will get back to you by phone or email (most likely by email) within a matter of days. Reporters on deadline should note that and expect a rapid response.

One last thing: It’s very possible the Hotline’s lawyers have already answered your question. To save time, please visit our Asked & Answered page and search the database of past hotline questions and answers. 

Alert to users who have @Yahoo.com email addresses.

Due to Yahoo.com’s email forwarding restrictions, emails with that address often get trapped in the Legal Hotline database, sometimes causing lengthy delays in response time. If you have another email address, please consider using it when submitting your question to the Hotline.

By submitting this form, you’re also agreeing to receive email updates from FAC. You have the option to opt-out at any time. We respect your email privacy. 

Your question has been successfully submitted to our Legal Hotline attorneys. You will receive your answer via email usually within two weeks from the submission date.