FOIA Advisor

Court opinion issued July 9, 2018

FOIA News (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Morley v. CIA (D.C. Cir.) -- In a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling that plaintiff was not entitled to attorney's fees in connection with a 15-year-old case involving JFK assassination records.  The majority -- which included U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh -- found that the CIA did not act unreasonably by referring plaintiff to the National Archives and Records Administration, which possessed the requested records.  The dissenting judge asserted that the majority gave the lower court too much deference, misapplied the relevant test for determining fee awards, and permitted the CIA to evade its FOIA responsibilities. 

Project on Predatory Lending of the Legal Servs. v. DOJ (W.D. Pa.) -- ruling that: (1) certain information contained on hard drive and obtained by DOJ during qui tam False Claims Act action did not qualify as "agency record" because DOJ never reviewed or relied upon it; (2) even if documents on hard drive were agency records, DOJ demonstrated that processing approximately 140 million pages would be unduly burdensome; (3) agency performed adequate search, but improperly relied on attorney-client privilege to withhold certain records; and (4) various protective orders entered in False Claims litigation did not prohibit DOJ from releasing records at issue.

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