Legal Hotline

Welcome to FAC’s free Legal Hotline service

Legal HotlineThe 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; your right to attend government meetings; access to court documents and proceedings; 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 access law. And it does not provide legal services or legal representation, like preparing documents or appearing in court.

This Hotline  service is free. Really. But the Hotline can remain free only if users, to the extent they can, support  FAC. After you receive your legal consultation, we will ask you to join us or to make a contribution. If you can afford to help, we hope and expect that you will. (Note that FAC’s supporters are also given priority in access to the Hotline’s lawyers).

To use the Hotline, just fill out the form below. Be sure to answer ALL questions and to describe your legal question or problem. When you’re done, click on “submit.” You will receive a confirming email immediately. A Hotline  attorney will get back to you by phone or email (most likely by email) within a matter of days.

One last thing: It’s very possible the Hotline’s lawyers have already answered your question. To save time (yours and our lawyers’), please visit our Asked & Answered page and search the database of past HOTLINE questions and answers. If you can’t find what you need, then come back here.

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Thank you for using the Legal Hotline!

The Legal Hotline is a free for users, but not for FAC, which is why we hope you’ll make a contribution if you are able. Any amount is welcome, but why not become a member at the First Amendment Advocate level for $50 — show your support for the Hotline and help sustain the work we do.

Alert to users who have email addresses.

Due to’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.