December 17, 2015 | New York Law Journal

Legislature Considers Change to FOIL to Mandate Attorney Fees

1 min

Matt McLaughlin and Ben Argyle authored "Legislature Considers Change to FOIL to Mandate Attorney Fees" in New York Law Journal on December 17, 2015. The article discusses a bill that was passed in June – and subsequently vetoed by Governor Cuomo - that would increase the ability of New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) petitioners to recoup attorney fees from state and local agencies and municipalities that improperly refuse to respond to a FOIL request. As the authors note in the article, "[w]hile the governor did not direct any specific action regarding A.1438B, the Executive Order stressed that his administration is demanding more 'comprehensive FOIL reform' that will 'immediately advance transparency in government.' Executive Order No. 149. It is only a matter of time before this bill resurfaces. The governor did not critique the attorney fees component, and FOIL practitioners should be confident that the next version of the statute will sweepingly push courts toward awarding attorney fees. When the new law passes, courts will be considerably more inclined to award fees to the FOIL requester under certain circumstances."