Two professors writing in the Rutgers Law Record recently cited Engstrom's research on freedom information laws in the North Carolina Law Review and the Elon Law Review. In their October 2020 article, Professors Richard Peltz-Steele and Robert Steinbuch used Engstrom's research as an example of state-level freedom of information scholarship. This was in response to a recent criticism that not enough scholarship has been done concerning state freedom of information laws.

Peltz-Steele and Steinbuch write:

As far as we can tell, state-FOIA scholars do not invest in state-transparency research for accolades, nor for the approval of those who believe state law is unworthy of analysis. We certainly don’t. Indeed, if either of us were ill content to serve in the ways we do, we know how to walk away. We have no such desire. But we cannot stomach the express declaration that the large cohort to which we happily belong does not exist.

On behalf of the many scholars toiling across the country in state-FOIA research, we

proudly declare: We’re here. We’ve been here all long.

The full article at the Rutgers Law Record available at this link. Engstrom remains one of the few attorneys in North Carolina who has published research on, filed lawsuits under, and helped governments comply with the state's public records act.

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On Friday, October 23, Principal Attorney Elliot Engstrom will join the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for a webinar to discuss litigation involving pandemic-related lockdowns around the country. Engstrom will be on a panel with Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and James Hochberg, a Hawaii-based attorney. The hour-long webinar will feature a discussion of COVID-related civil liberties litigation, framed in the context of Hawaii's own stay-at-home and quarantine orders.

Engstrom will be joining the panel in his capacity as Legal Director for American Juris Link, a nationwide nonprofit organization that supports and links together public interest litigators.

Registration is available through the Grassroot Institute at this link. The webinar will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Updated: Aug 10, 2020

In a recent editorial, the board of The Wilson Times discussed Elliot's research on North Carolina's public records laws:

As open government advocates, there are many changes to the public records law we’d like to make that would draw opposition from the city, county and state government lobbies. Making police body camera videos public and disclosing more information about employee disciplinary actions, for starters.

Engstrom’s rewrites, though, are largely technical corrections. They’re uncontroversial. And they would benefit the keepers of public records along with the seekers.“

Time and money are precious resources for governments. And if they’re spending time and money litigating cases on things like who substantially prevails, who is the custodian, et cetera, that’s a waste,” said Engstrom. “ Why can’t we just say the custodian is this person, name them by statute?”

State lawmakers should address these issues when they reconvene in Raleigh on Wednesday.

Read the whole piece here.

#PublicRecords #TheWilsonTimes #Research

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