CAFe Speaker Series: Secrets of the Freedom of Information Act
Event Start Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 4:00 pm
Event End Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 5:00 pm
Secrets of the Freedom of Information Act: Everything you need to know about the FOIA process (including finding out where the Roswell documents are)
Speaker: Jason R. Baron, Professor of the Practice, the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies
Bio of Speaker:
During his years in government, Mr. Baron served as a trial lawyer and senior counsel at the Justice Department and was the first appointed Director of Litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration. He acted as lead counsel in landmark cases involving the preservation of White House email records, and at both DOJ and NARA worked on numerous FOIA lawsuits. Mr. Baron is a recipient of the Justice Tom C. Clark Outstanding Government Attorney Award from the Federal Bar Association. In connection with recordkeeping controversies, he has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC’s Last Word with Laurence O’Donnell, NPR’s All Things Considered, and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications.
FOIA is far from a perfect access vehicle to obtain government records, but there are ways to improve one’s chances of successfully overcoming bureaucratic inertia to obtain valuable documents. This presentation will review the mechanics of filing FOIA requests and appeals and will provide insights gleaned from the presenter’s 33 years in government service. Also to be discussed is recent iSchool research concerning the application of machine learning to sensitivities in government records involving FOIA exemptions.