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How to navigate FAC’s Resources

Welcome to FAC’s Resources page. Here you’ll be able to navigate to FAC’s Newsgathering resources of interest to professional reporters and editors as well as citizen journalists; research California Attorney Generals opinions on open- government issues; review FAC’s legal case files and friends -of-court briefs, and access FAC’s   Spanish and Chinese language resources.


News GatheringNews Gathering

News Gathering, a FAC Access Law Primer, by Karl Olson, a lawyer specializing in open government and first amendment law.

 Newsgathering:  A summary of legal topics of interest to journalists in the course of news-gathering, ranging from the use of confidential sources to taping interviews to gathering news on public school campuses.

Newsgathering (video)

“News gathering” — also known as reporting — is what journalists do to research information for a news article. The terms apply traditionally to mainstream journalists working for a newspaper, broadcast station or wire service, but the conventions and legal rules are equally applicable to bloggers or other journalists whose work is published primarily in an online environment. Presented by Karl Olson, a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Ram, Olson Cereghino & Kopczynski, LLPand a member of the FAC board. (27:00 minutes)

AG Opinions on open government issuesAg Opinions on Open Government issues (updated 2012)

Opinions published by California’s Attorney General about open-government issues.

Prop. 59: The Sunshine LawCA Proposition 59– The Sunshine Act

Text and analysis of Proposition 59, an open-government ballot initiative approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2004 election.

  Prop 59 does not explicitly create new access rights. Any substantive enhancement of access rights under Prop 59 will have to come about through litigation — and as of 2009 there had been no significant judicial interpretations at the appellate level.

First Amendment CoalitionFAC Litigation – Index of Coalition cases

The Coalition conducts a program of strategic litigation. Instead of waiting for cases to come to us, we initiate “test case” lawsuits to resolve key legal issues in a way that maximizes chances for a favorable outcome, with potentially far-reaching effects. Go to index

First Amendment CoalitionFAC Friend of the Court Briefs — Index

FAC weighs in on issues in already-filed cases through the submission of amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs. Depending on time constraints, we also enlist other organizations and interested parties to join FAC in amicus briefs.  Go to Index

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