The Right-to-Know Law and Governmental Records and Public Meetings Hybrid Workshop

Broadcast Date: 
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Legal Services Counsel Stephen Buckley and Municipal Services Counsel Jonathan Cowal will discuss the requirements for holding a proper public meeting, as well the exceptions to the meeting requirement (the so-called "non-meeting"). The attorneys also address managing virtual public access and allowing public body members to participate remotely when their physical attendance is not reasonably practical. Consideration will also be directed at preparing meeting minutes and facilitating public comment through meeting rules of procedure.

The attorneys address statutory changes regarding keeping an inventory of non-public session minutes, exemptions for attorney-client communications, deliberating in non-public session to discuss unsealing minutes, and limiting the nondisclosure of minutes related to the sale or acquisition of real or personal property.

The attorneys provide guidance on handling governmental record matters arising under the Right-to-Know Law. Handling governmental records requests requires an understanding of all aspects of request processing including: the requirements for availability, storage, electronic records, redaction, cost estimates, mandated access for certain records and appointments for review of records.  This virtual workshop addresses what records are exempt from disclosure, along with whether a record request that would require a search for multiple documents must be fulfilled or whether a request impermissibly seeks to create a record that does not exist. In addition, guidance will be provided on the retention of governmental records and how claims under the Right-to-Know Law are enforced.