Law Seminars International Presents:

The Fifth Annual Seminar on Washington's

Public Records Act: Moving into the Future

An ivaluable update on major changes; delving into sophisticated issues with practical solutions

March 16, 2018

Seattle, WA
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Public and private attorneys who litigate cases involving public agencies; public officials responsible for conducting meetings and managing public records

Why You Should Order

2017 brought significant changes to the Public Records Act ("PRA") for the first time in years because the Legislature has heeded pleas from agencies and requesters to "do something" to modernize this critical Act. HR 1594 will assist local agencies on PRA compliance through a new Attorney General consultation program and competitive grant program to fund new PRA technologies. It also orders a study of actual PRA compliance costs and the feasibility of a state open records portal. HR 1595 modernizes the means for producing and charging for electronic records and prohibits "bot" requests and those for "all records." As a result of this new legislation, new Model Attorney General Rules will roll out in the near future. In addition to covering these changes, this seminar will explore new ways to respond to PRA requests through technology. It will also address increasingly complex issues about public records that contain personal and commercially sensitive information. FOIA presents another area for discussion because changes have occurred at the federal level as well. The seminar will wrap up with a discussion of PRA ethical issues, not the least of which involves sensitive investigations into sexual harassment claims within the government. For practitioners in this area this seminar provides an invaluable update, practical solutions and an opportunity to delve into more sophisticated issues that merit thoughtful discussion.

~ P. Stephen DiJulio, Esq. of Foster Pepper PLLC and Judith A. Endejan, Esq. of Garvey Schubert Barer, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~ State legislative changes: HB 1595 and HB 1594
  • ~ Collecting documents, what to ask for, strategies and processes, specific tools
  • ~ Document management tools to protect confidential information
  • ~ Recent cases addressing exemption of proprietary information from the PRA
  • ~ Recent Freedom Foundation decision on PRA disclosure vs. public employee privacy rights
  • ~ Criteria and procedures for protecting trade secrets
  • ~ FOIA: New developments at the federal level

What Attendees Said

  • "A great seminar, great moderators, and very useful information!"
  • -Thank you! Our agency is already better and so is a sister agency thanks to your input.
  • -Thank you! Great, informative, & helpful!
  • -All excellent!
  • -Very informative & good speakers

Friday, March 16, 2018

8:30 am

Registrations Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Judith A. Endejan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Garvey Schubert Barer / Seattle, WA

P. Stephen DiJulio, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

9:15 am

Legislative Update: Major Changes on Cost Recovery and Movement toward Modernization and Efficiencies Intended to Address Abuses

HB 1595 requiring requests to be for an identifiable record and allowing agencies to deny multiple bot requests; HB 1594 to assist agencies in efficient management of documents and public records requests; concerns addressed and work left to be done

The Hon. Joan McBride , (D) District 48
Washington State House of Representatives / Olympia, WA

Rowland Thompson , Executive Director
Allied Daily Newspaper of Washington / Olympia, WA

Sheri Sawyer , Sr. Policy Advisor, General Government
The Office of the Governor / Olympia, WA

Jennifer Ziegler, Esq.
Jennifer Ziegler Public Affairs / Olympia, WA

Local government perspective on the practical impact of the statutory and resulting model rule changes; tips for restructuring operations to focus resources on improving responsiveness to legitimate requests

Kathleen J. Haggard, Esq.
Porter Foster Rorick LLP / Seattle, WA

10:45 am


11:00 am

How Electronic Records Management can Make PRA Responses Easier

Collecting documents: What to ask of records managers and IT personnel; electronic storage locations to search; strategies and processes; specific tools and how they work: tips for addressing shortcomings of legacy systems

David P. Stenhouse , President
DS Forensics, Inc / Sammamish, WA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Protection of Confidential Information in Public Records: Personal and Commercial Contexts

Criteria and procedures for providing trade secrets and other financial information to agencies; recent cases dealing with public employee privacy rights

Ramsey E. Ramerman, Esq. , Assistant City Attorney
City of Everett / Everett, WA

Case study of the Protective Order process used by the Utilities and Transportation Commission: The three levels of designation and how to apply them

Gregory J. Kopta, Esq. , Director, Administrative Law
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission / Olympia, WA

Lessons from Uber/Lyft and other recent cases addressing proprietary information businesses provide to agencies: how to protect and why agencies should do so

Judith A. Endejan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Garvey Schubert Barer / Seattle, WA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

FOIA: New Developments at the Federal Level

The 50 year history of FOIA from LBJ to Trump; how FOIA differs from Washington state law; practical implications for requestors requesting federal records versus those held by state and local governments

Katherine A. George, Esq.
Johnston George LLP / Seattle, WA

4:00 pm

Ethical Issues for Lawyers in a Public Records Setting

Ethics of managing an agency's deliberative process privilege; issues when there are common interests or joint defense; communications between a public entity and a private entity and whether you can claim that they are privileged

Thomas F. Ahearne, Esq.
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

Special ethical issues in cases involving investigation of sexual harassment claims against government officials or employees

Judith A. Endejan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Garvey Schubert Barer / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

P. Stephen DiJulio, P. Stephen DiJulio, Program Co-Chair, is Managing Partner of Foster Pepper PLLC. He focuses on litigation involving state and local governments; civil service and public employment; and land use and environmental law. His particular experience includes representation of jurisdictions on eminent domain, utilities, local improvement districts, facility siting and contractor litigation.

Judith A. Endejan, Judith A. Endejan, Program Co-Chair, Principal at Garvey Schubert Barer, focuses on media, communications, First Amendment law and public records laws. She has provided transactional, litigation and regulatory representation for a wide range of clients. They include established, and new telecommunications providers as well as content providers such as broadcasters, publishers, newspapers, web-site owners, bloggers, entertainers, artists and musicians.

Thomas F. Ahearne of Foster Pepper PLLC has over 30 years of trial court and appellate experience.

Katherine A. George, Katherine A. George, Founder, Johnston George LLP, is a public interest attorney. She helps citizens obtain public records from local, state and federal governments through litigation and appeals. Before practicing law, she was a reporter and assistant city editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune.

Kathleen J. Haggard, Kathleen J. Haggard, Porter Foster Rorick LLP, advises cities, school districts, port districts, and other municipalities on all topics including public works and construction, land use, employee discipline and discharge, and public records. She has significant trial and appellate court experience in public records cases, and draws on that experience to provide training and day-to-day advice on PRA compliance.

Gregory J. Kopta Gregory J. Kopta is Director of the Administrative Law Division at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission where he provides leadership and coordination for high stakes, multi-party litigation relating to regulation of UTC companies. He also oversees the UTC's Records Center and Tariff Section. Previously he practiced law for almost 20 years as a partner with the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle.

The Hon. Joan McBride represents the 48th Legislative District. She formerly served as the Mayor of Kirkland and on the City Council. She is a longtime Eastside leader serving on numerous boards. As a legislator, she received the Washington Coalition for Open Government's Ballard-Thompson Award.

Ramsey E. Ramerman, Assistant City Attorney, the City of Everett, focuses on PRA education and reform. He is founding president of the Washington Assoc. of Public Records Officers and is the local government representative on the State Sunshine Committee reviewing exemptions to the PRA.

Sheri Sawyer is Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Governor Jay Inslee.

David P. Stenhouse David P. Stenhouse is the President of DS Forensics, Inc. He provides electronic discovery and computer forensics services to attorneys involved in Federal Law Enforcement computer crimes investigation and civil litigation. He is a former Special Agent in the US Secret Service assigned to the Electronic Crimes Special Agent program.

Rowland Thompson Rowland Thompson is Executive Director of Allied Daily Newspaper of Washington, a role he has held since 1990. Previously, he was a staffer with the Washington State House and then the Senate working for the Democratic Caucuses.

Jennifer Ziegler Jennifer Ziegler of Jennifer Ziegler Public Affairs has 23 years of legislative and government relations experience. She served as staff counsel to the Senate and House Transportation Committees, the Government Relations Director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Governor Christine Gregoire's Legislative Director. She is the owner of Jennifer Ziegler Public Affairs. Current clients include HNTB Corporation, the Woodland Park Zoo, Kaiser Aluminum, the Washington State Association of Counties, and the Small and Mid-Size Transit Alliance.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.0 Washington MCLE credits (including 1 ethics). Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Replay Options

Video Replays allow you to time-shift your content. The Vodcast has navigation tools and search capabilities that allow you to quickly find the portions most important to you. It allows you to plug a flashdrive into your laptop and make effective use of in-flight plane time.

Audio Podcasts are perfect for making more effective use of the time you spend commuting.


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