Law Seminars International Presents:

Sixth Annual Seminar on

Public Records and Open Government Litigation

An update on major changes with tips for addressing sophisticated issues with practical solutions

August 20, 2019

Seattle, WA

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Program Overview

Who Should Attend

Public and private attorneys who litigate cases involving public agencies; public officials responsible for conducting meetings and managing public records

Why You Should Attend

We have a lot to talk about at this year's rendition of the public records seminar, with major litigation in a number of areas and resulting activity in the legislature. Our opening panel will bring you up to speed on the range of bills introduced, the political dynamics, and the implications for your day-to-day PRA work.

Issues at the intersection of public access to information and personal privacy remain very active. Our second panel will address those issues from requestor and responder perspectives.

Government agencies collect a lot of commercially sensitive information as part of their regulatory functions. Recent developments in this area include the Lyft ruling, decisional trends for injunction suits, and the Sunshine Committee's proposal decision-making framework. Our panelists will explore ways to address current practical problems requestor, resistor, and government-agency-caught-in-the-middle perspectives.

This year we have some key developments beyond the strict confines of the Public Records Act. As a result, we're expanding this year's coverage to include the Open Public Meetings Act and the Public Disclosure Commission Standards for Permissible Political Activity.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be an information-packed day with practical tips for addressing the open government issues that you run into in your everyday work. Register now to reserve your seat!

~ Katherine A. George, Esq. of Johnston George and Adrian Urquhart Winder, Esq. of Foster Pepper, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • 2019 legislative bills introduced and results
  • Access to and protection of personal information in public records
  • Access to and protection of commercially sensitive information
  • Recent Open Public Meetings Act developments
  • Public Disclosure Commission Standards for Permissible Political Activity

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • -A great seminar, great moderators, and very useful information!
  • -All excellent!
  • -Thank you! Our agency is already better and so is a sister agency thanks to your input.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

8:30 am

Registrations Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Katherine A. George, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Johnston George / Seattle, WA

Adrian Urquhart Winder, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Pepper / Seattle, WA

9:15 am

Public Records in the 2019 Legislative Session

Perspectives on the range of bills introduced, the political dynamics and end results, and practical implications for day to day PRA requests and response obligations

Katherine A. George, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Johnston George / Seattle, WA

Kathleen J. Haggard, Esq.
Porter Foster Rorick / Seattle, WA

10:45 am


11:00 am

Access to and Protection of Personal Information in Public Records

Personal information: Changes in the realm of bodycams, criminal records, constitutional privacy issues with employee birthdates, and public employee privacy; other recent and pending issues

Ramsey E. Ramerman, Esq. , Assistant City Attorney
City of Everett / Everett, WA

Eric M. Stahl, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine / Seattle, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Protection of Commercially Sensitive Information

Practical problems with protecting business information (the Lyft ruling, the injunction suit trend, and the Sunshine Committee proposal)

James E. Lobsenz, Esq.
Carney Badley Spellman / Seattle, WA

Jonathan R. Rappaport, Esq.
Law Office of Jonathan R. Rappaport / Seattle, WA

Brendan T. Mangan, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine / Seattle, WA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Open Public Meetings Act

Understanding the OPMA: When committees are covered; when emails constitute meetings; when closures are allowed

Sarah Doar, Esq. , Legal Consultant
Municipal Research and Services Center / Seattle, WA

4:15 pm

Public Disclosure Commission Standards for Permissible Political Activity

Update on recent revisions; relationship to open government issues; special issues for government attorneys

Lee R. Marachisio, Esq.
Foster Pepper / Seattle, WA

Thomas F. Ahearne, Esq.
Foster Pepper / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Katherine A. George, Katherine A. George, Program Co-Chair, is a named partner at Johnston George. She has substantial experience helping news organizations and citizens exercise their right to know what government agencies are doing, including handling numerous cases under state and federal sunshine laws.

Adrian Urquhart Winder, Adrian Urquhart Winder, Program Co-Chair, is a member of Foster Pepper. She represents public clients in matters involving municipal governance, the Public Records Act, and the Open Public Meetings Act.

Thomas F. Ahearne Thomas F. Ahearne is a member of Foster Pepper. His trial and appelate court level litigation practice includes public records and election issues, including permissible political activity.

Sarah Doar Sarah Doar is a Legal Consultant for the Municipal Research and Services Center. She provides general legal guidance and training to local government entities on many areas of public business, including public records and open public meeting laws.

Kathleen J. Haggard, Kathleen J. Haggard, Porter Foster Rorick, advises cities, school districts, port districts, and other municipalities on a broad range of legal issues, including public records.

James E. Lobsenz, James E. Lobsenz, is a Principal at Carney Badley Spellman. His substantive areas of experience are constitutional law, freedom of speech, police misconduct, civil rights, criminal defense law, employment law and evidence.

Brendan T. Mangan Brendan T. Mangan is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine. He has served as lead counsel in multiple matters to block trade secrets from release under the Public Records Act.

Lee R. Marachisio, Foster Pepper, focuses on general municipal law and provides general representation on public law issues, including elections and open government. He has represented local governments in Public Disclosure Commission proceedings and open government lawsuits.

Ramsey E. Ramerman is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Everett. He works on open government issues and advises the police department on records laws. He also defends other municipalities in PRA litigation through his firm, Ramerman Law Office PLLC.

Jonathan R. Rappaport Jonathan R. Rappaport helps injured people as a personal injury attorney. He is a sole-practitioner, available at and (206) LAWYERJon. He is also a registered patent attorney.

Eric M. Stahl Eric M. Stahl is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine. He helps media and entertainment companies, advertisers, and other content providers and communications companies in intellectual property, First Amendment, and commercial matters.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.0 Washington MCLE credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


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1111 3rd Avenue Building

1111 3rd Ave Ste 3400 in Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 447-4400

The seminar will be held at the 1111 3rd Avenue Building in Seattle. Our thanks to Foster Pepper for graciously hosting this event.
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