January 10, 2013

Mike Giudicessi Speaks to the Press-Citizen About Iowa's Open Records Law

On January 9, 2013, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Iowa (UI), in accordance with the state's Open Records Law, is required to release its departure agreement with a medical school employee who resigned from his position. The lawsuit dates back to 2011 when an Associated Press correspondent requested copies of settlement agreements UI had reached with employees of the medical school. A former employee then filed the lawsuit to keep his agreement and identity private.

Michael Giudicessi of Faegre Baker Daniels represented the Associated Press in the case. He said the ruling ensures that when any public entity enters into a settlement, the document must be made public. "The overwhelming characteristic of a settlement agreement is that it's using public resources, and therefore, the taxpayers ought to know how they're being used," Giudicessi told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. He added that the court's decision would only impact agreements that include a release of claims or a waiver of rights.

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