Expiration date of execution drugs may arrive before suit over them concludes, attorneys say

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

A federal lawsuit filed by the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona and others over which drugs should be used to execute death-row inmates in Arizona will continue onward, a federal judge ruled Jan. 12, The Arizona Republic reported. But attorneys who brought the action say the litigation may not be over by the state Department of Correction’s existing supply of lethal drugs’ expiration date in May, according to the reporter...

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Bill calls for fines for taking video too close to an Arizona police officer

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Those who stand less than 20 feet away while taking videos of police officers performing duties in public could be fined if a bill becomes law, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services reported in the Arizona Capitol Times Jan. 7. Under Senate Bill 1054, introduced by state Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, taking video any closer would be allowed only if the officer first gave his or her approval, according to Fischer’s...

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South Tucson denies Arizona Daily Star’s request for emails, newspaper reports

Posted on Dec 18, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Saying the subject matter of city staff members’ emails about a zoning matter is “too sensitive” and besides, there aren’t enough municipal employees to search for them, South Tucson officials turned down the Arizona Daily Star‘s request for copies of the emails, the newspaper reports in a Dec. 18 story. The story quotes First Amendment Coalition of Arizona counsel Dan Barr, partner of the Phoenix law firm of...

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Judge to examine corporation commissioner’s text messages

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

The public may at last be able to know what’s in text messages Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump has been getting and sending during the 2012 election, according to a Nov. 25 story by Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer. Fischer, whose story appears in the Arizona Capitol Times, reported that “In a formal order, [Maricopa County Superior Court] Judge Randall Warner named former judge David Cole to review what was...

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Coalition lawyer: Public officials’ text messages about public business are public records

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

In a Sept. 30 Q&A with editors of the Opinion section of The Arizona Republic, First Amendment Coalition of Arizona counsel Dan Barr explains why public officials’ text messages about public business on mobile phones are public records, citing several recent court decisions declaring them so. Barr, a Phoenix attorney with the firm of Perkins Coie, P.A., has been representing the Washington, D.C.-based Checks and Balances Project in its...

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Journalists would get email notice of court filings under First Amendment Coalition proposal

Posted on Aug 24, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

As an alternative to gaining access to filings in the U.S. District Court of Arizona via the more expensive and time-consuming PACER program, the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona is requesting the court amend Local Rule of Civil Procedure 5.5. This would allow the news media to have access to the automatic email notices of electronic filings (known as NEFs) in cases in the District Court. Currently, only attorneys for parties in the cases...

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Corporation commissioner seeks to restrict public access to government records

Posted on Aug 14, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns says state government employees undertake large amounts of “time and effort” to fulfill the  requests to view public records and consideration should be given to restrict public access to such documents, according to a column by Laurie Roberts of The Arizona Republic. Not only that, but that consideration should include “maybe even requiring reporters and other members of the...

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Court rules public has right to know name of pharmacy that provides Missouri execution drugs

Posted on Jul 17, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

A Missouri state court judge ruled the Missouri Department of Corrections broke that state’s Sunshine Law when it would not release the name of the pharmacy that provided the drugs used to execute inmates sentenced to death, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported July 16. Read Dispatch reporter Valerie Schremp Hahn’s story...

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Pima County Attorney’s Office overcharged for private investigator’s public-records request, appeals court rules

Posted on Jul 11, 2015 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

“Private investigator extraordinaire Rich Robertson won a significant public records case earlier today in the Arizona Court of Appeals against the Pima County Attorney’s Office, ” coalition counsel Dan Barr, who represented Robinson in the appeal, posted on the coalition’s Facebook page July 2. “The Court rejected the County Attorney’s attempt to charge R3 Investigations with higher fees for what she wrongly...

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