Court Should Reject Consultant Corollary To Preserve Records Access
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Husch Blackwell v. WMATA. This case concerns the “consultant corollary” and Exemption 5 of FOIA and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Public Access to Records Policy (“PARP”). Husch Blackwell LLP sought access to a third-party consultant’s report but WMATA denied the request under PARP Exemption 6.1.5 (the equivalent of FOIA Exemption 5). Husch Blackwell filed suit, and the district court granted summary judgment for WMATA. The district court looked to FOIA Exemption 5 and held that the records were “intra-agency” under the consultant corollary. The amicus brief argues that the Fourth Circuit should reverse that ruling and reject the consultant corollary.