Coalition News

Settlement in Database Access Suit Announced

BERKELEY, CA, June 16 —The California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) and MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that shows the connection between money and politics, announced today that they have settled their freedom of information lawsuit against the Office of Legislative Counsel of California, having gained the object of their suit: a machine-readable database of how state lawmakers vote. “It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for the government to realize its data belongs to the people,”

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China/World Trade Organization

CFAC Taking on the Great Firewall of China CFAC has initiated a proceeding that will attempt to use international trade laws to force the government of China to end its censorship of the internet. In a submission and presentation to the Office of the US Trade Representative, CFAC has petitioned for the filing of a complaint with the World Trade Organization, of which China became a member in 2001. Our (concededly novel) theory: that China’s

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Las Vegas Sun series on construction deaths wins CFAC Sunlight award

By Donal Brown The California First Amendment Coalition today announced that the 2009 Sunlight Award has been given to reporter Alexandra Berzon and the Las Vegas Sun for an investigative series of 50 articles on the high rate of accidental deaths among construction workers at a huge casino construction site on the Las Vegas strip. The Sunlight Award, given jointly by CFAC and the Associated Press, recognizes journalistic excellence in news coverage that uses government

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Nonprofits to downsizing law firms: Loan us your laid off junior lawyers; we'll return them when the economy recovers

By Peter Scheer A mind is a terrible thing to waste. So is a highly skilled and expensively trained junior lawyer at a large law firm. That is what law firms across the country must be thinking as they hand out pink slips to very talented, but now underutilized, young lawyers (aka “associates”): over 1,200 in just January and February of 2009 (according to the running tally on lawshucks.com), including 190 associates let go by

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CFAC files brief to lift gag in BART homicide case

The California First Amendment Coalition has asked a Superior Court judge in Oakland to rescind his gag order in the highly publicized prosecution of a former BART police officer who is charged with murder for the shooting death–captured on numerous cellphone videos uploaded to Youtube–of Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day. The Coalition’s brief, written by Keker & Van Nest lawyers Paven Malhotra and Cody Harris, argues that the judge’s gag order “denies the

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