For readers interested in learning more about the nuances and substantive aspects of the PA Right-To-Know-Law (RTKL), the Office of Open Records (OOR) is hosting a seminar featuring several luminaries in the world of the PA RTKL. Details are below.
Among the titans in this field who will be presenting at this event, are Terry Mutchler, the founding Executive Director of the OOR; and The Honorable Dominic F. Pileggi, whom the OOR seminar materials below describe as the author of the RTKL (when he was the Majority Leader of the PA Senate). His Honor is now a state court judge (and still the brother of one of the co-editors of this blog.)
RTKL Roundtable – Sept. 5
The OOR is hosting the Right-to-Know Law Roundtable, a half-day of speakers and panels, on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Harrisburg.
The Roundtable, designed especially for requesters, will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be held at the office of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, 3899 N. Front St., Harrisburg.
We’ve put together a tremendous array of speakers, moderators and panelists, including Judge Dominic F. Pileggi, who authored the RTKL, along with attorneys who regularly work with the Right-to-Know Law, journalists, college professors, and more.
The RTKL Roundtable has been approved for 3 substantive CLE credits.
The Right-to-Know Law Roundtable is the first event of its kind, a half-day session of panels and speakers filled with topics of interest to people who use the RTKL as requesters. The schedule includes:
Opening Speaker: The Honorable Dominic F. Pileggi
Author of the Right-to-Know Law
Discussion: Practical Tips for Writing an Effective RTKL Request
Moderated by Angela Couloumbis (Philadelphia Inquirer) with panelists Melissa Melewsky, Esq. (Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association), Jan Murphy (Pennlive), and Megan Shannon (Offit Kurman)
Writing a request under the RTKL can be more art than science. This discussion will help requesters avoid pitfalls and make their requests as effective and efficient as possible with examples from case law and real-world experience.
Discussion: Enforcing OOR Final Determinations
Moderated by Cate Barron (Pennlive) with panelists Adrienne Langer, Esq. (Cusick, DeCaro & Langer), Terry Mutchler, Esq. (Mutchler Lyons), and Thea Paolini, Esq., MBA (Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall)
Agencies don’t get to choose whether or not to comply with a final determination issued by the OOR. Sometimes, however, agencies don’t comply. Does a requester have to go to court to enforce the OOR’s determination? What consequences could the agency face?
Discussion: Law Enforcement Records and the RTKL
Moderated by Cindy Simmons (Pennsylvania State University), with panelists Paula Knudsen, Esq. (The Caucus), William Rozier (Pennsylvania State Police), and Liz Evans Scolforo (York Dispatch)
The RTKL doesn’t apply to police recordings like bodycams and dashcams, but it does apply to many records held by law enforcement agencies. What records are – and are not – available to requesters? This discussion will cover the State Police, local police departments, and more.
Speed Round: Presentations by State and Local Agencies.
Moderated by Jaime Fettrow-Alderfer (Lebanon Valley College)
Presenters will highlight how they’re using technology to make records more available and to reduce the impact of RTKL requests on their agencies.
The RTKL Roundtable is free and open to everyone. Although seating is necessarily limited, we plan to record the event and make it available online at a future date.