Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Free Expression Sparks Intrusive Request for Emails
Open records laws have a salutary purpose. But there’s also a downside. From a posting by Andi Curcio at Best Practices for Legal Education (Jan.15):
Along with 1,400 other law professors, I signed a letter opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States. As a law professor, I signed this letter because of my concerns about maintaining the integrity of the legal system.
Shortly after the law professors’ letter was published, my university counsel’s office got an Open Records Act request seeking my emails.
The request, from a reporter working for a conservative political publication, sought: “a copy of each email (inbound, outbound, deleted, or double deleted) for the university email accounts of Andrea A. Curcio and [a colleague who also signed the letter] from the dates of December 15, 2016, to and including January 3, 2017, which includes any of the keywords “Sessions,” or “Jeff Sessions” or “Attorney General.””
A similar request was sent to university counsel for law professor signatories working at other public institutions.
Ugh. You can read more here.