Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic - What We Have Done

In its short life, MFIA has garnered an impressive string of victories for journalists and on behalf of the public interest at both the state and federal levels. Among its several successes:

  • MFIA clinic works with Attorney/Gawker writer John Cook with FOIA requests in a suit against National Archives and Records Administration. (More here)
  • In Mosallem v. Berenson, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Department, unanimously upheld the position of an independent blogger represented by the Clinic, and ruled that documents submitted to a trial court had been improperly sealed. The case is now the leading appellate decision in New York State courts on scope of the First Amendment right of access to court records. (More information available here.)
  • Working with The New York Times, MFIA helped to overcome a claim by the federal Office of Foreign Asset Control that the names of individuals authorized by the U.S. government to do business in countries that were otherwise subject to trade restrictions could be kept secret under FOIA.
  • MFIA won a unanimous decision from the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission requiring the release of police mug shots and declaring void a police policy restricting access to such material.
  • The Clinic has also filed several amicus briefs on hotly contested access issues. These have included arguments supporting the right of public access to administrative hearings, the importance of public access to information related to the operation of state prisons, and in support of anonymous speech online.