Carolina Academic Press has released a FOIA textbook, the Law of Access to Government. The book is authored by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law Professor Richard J. Peltz-Steele.
The publishers have issued the following comment about the book: This is the only casebook geared entirely to the study of access to government, or freedom of information law. The book employs the law-school case method, but is suitable as well for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in journalism and mass communication. Cases aim to stimulate student interest, treating, for example, access to sexual-offense allegations against pro athletes, in addition to doctrinal essentials, such as Press-Enterprise and RCFP. Extensive notes raise legal and policy questions. The book includes graphic elements and a statutory appendix and is updated with developments in the war on terror, including embedding, war photos, and state secrets. The forthcoming Teacher's Manual will provide course guidance, content summaries, and references to audiovisual materials.
Alex Heard has written The Eyes of Willie Mcgee, A Tragedy of Race, Sex and Secrets in the Jim Crow South. The Book will be released on May 11, 2010.
Briefly, Willie McGee, a young African-American man from Laurel, Mississippi, was sentenced to death for allegedly raping Willette Hawkins, a white housewife in 1945. By the time the case ended in 1951 with McGee's public execution in Mississippi's infamous traveling electric chair, "Free Willie McGee" had become a rallying cry among civil rights activists, progressives, leftists, and Communist Party members.
The significance of this book for FOIA purposes is that Heard made extensive use of the FOIA in research for the book, especially FBI files. It is yet another example of the significance of the FOIA in America.
Two journalism professors, Charles Davis from the University of Missouri and David Cuillier from the University of Arizona have released a book and launched a blog entitled the Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records" (a Sage publication, $21.95 paperback, 236 pages. The book, according to the authors is a nuts and bolts guide to obtaining public records.
More information on the book can be found here, the blog can be found here.
The Book entitled "Access to the Government in the Computer Age" is now available through the ABA.
According to the ABA's ad for the book, experienced lawyers from a variety of practice areas explore the impact of technology on access to public records laws, including:
The application of public records laws to electronic data
Implications of electronic documents within the context of discovery
The interplay between access to public records and litigants' right of discovery
The delicate balance between right of public access to electronic records and the right to personal privacy
E-mail and the determination of when this form of communication becomes a public record and the extent to which it is subject to public disclosure
Public records issues and the pitfalls that confront private entities doing business with state and local agencies
The relationship between traditional attorney work, client communication privileges, and public records laws
The book is supplemented by a CD-ROM that contains links to the principal public records statute for each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia and a variety of other materials relating to state public records laws, such as government-published guides, specific state public records laws, reports by state governments on public records and technology, and links to websites relating to state open government laws.
If anyone has read it or uses it, please feel free to comment about it here.
The Federal Information Manual: How the Government Collects, Manages, and Discloses Information under FOIA and Other Statutes has been published by the American Bar Association Press. It can be ordered here.
The 2008 version of Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws has just been released. The book was started in 1982 by the ACLU, and has been published by EPIC for the last decade. This is the fourth version of the book published by EPIC. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.Vt.) wrote the Foreword. More information on the book can be located here.
I'm not involved in this publication, however the cover has an FBI document released in a case in which I represented the FBI back in a past life.