Massey & Gail represents businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals seeking information from the government under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records laws. Our lawyers help clients prepare FOIA requests, engage with federal agencies concerning those requests, and litigate against the government to compel the production of records.
We also represent businesses seeking to safeguard confidential information provided to the government. FOIA’s “Exemption 4” protects commercial or financial information provided to the government under certain circumstances. We advise businesses that submit information to the government to ensure that their sensitive confidential business information is not released. With our extensive experience dealing with government agencies and government litigators, we are adept at working to ensure that the agency understands the confidential nature of a client’s commercial information before releasing any documents. We also are able to intervene in FOIA litigation to protect the interests of our business clients and to bring “reverse FOIA” actions to prevent agencies from releasing confidential business information.
Our FOIA team is led by Matthew M. Collette, the former Deputy Director of the Civil Division, Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Collette litigated many of the government’s most important FOIA cases, including those involving the use of “drones” in targeted killing, classified records concerning anti-terrorist operations, confidential business information, personal privacy protections, and law enforcement information. He has written and lectured extensively on FOIA issues, including recent articles on the disclosure of the identity of recipients of Paycheck Protection Act loans, the classification of information regarding COVID-19, and the standards governing the protection of commercial and financial information.