Eric David Quoted on First Amendment Issues

June 3, 2016

Eric David, a partner in the Raleigh office, was recently quoted on First Amendment issues and public documents in an article on StateScoop, a leading website covering governments and their use of technology.

The article explores a case in Seattle in which a company that provides smart technology for reading electrical meters is suing website and Seattle City Light.  The suit alleges that documents given to by Seattle City Light as part of a public records request contain sensitive information about the company and its business practices.  A judge has issued a temporary restraining order, compelling to remove the documents in question from its website.

David said he thinks MuckRock has a compelling case for posting the documents, telling StateScoop, "Companies regularly, in my experience, think their stuff is a trade secret, when it’s really not. It might be confidential, it might be uncomfortable that it comes out, it might put them at a competitive disadvantage, but that doesn’t make it a trade secret under most state laws. ... There’s always a risk when you bid for government contracts that some aspects of your business model could become public, and these companies know that.”

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