$250 – $280

Texas Public Information Act

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Double Tree Hotel

6505 North IH 35

Austin, TX 78752

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August 28 - 29, 2018

Double Tree Hotel

Cost: TPA Member-$250.00 / Non-Member $280.00

Includes Lunch on Wednesday and coffee breaks

TCOLE hours: 10 MCLE Hours: 10 pending approval from the State Bar

Dear Colleague:

The Texas Police Association will sponsor a 10-hour seminar on the "Public Information Act" at the Double Tree Hotel in Austin on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 28 – 29, 2018.

This course, which is designed for law enforcement personnel, government attorneys and government staff responsible for receiving and processing Open Records/Public Information Requests. The course will include legislation enacted by the 85th Texas Legislature and most current Case Law, Attorney General decisions and their application.

The seminar will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28th and conclude at noon on Wednesday, August 29th. Registration will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday August 28th. Lunch will be provided for all seminar attendees at the hotel on Tuesday, August 28th. Coffee and soft drinks will be provided during the breaks.

As “Transparency in Government” continues to be a political issue, the number of requests for information from government agencies continue to increase. The timely responses to these requests are often complicated by changes in the law through court opinions. These challenges can easily lead to frustration on the part of the public and/or mistakes in releasing protected information by the government agency. The increasing number of opinions on what and how information is released under the Act from the Attorney General's office add to the potential for confusion in determining what information is subject to release and what information falls within the exceptions to the Act.

This training is designed to provide you and your staff with definitive answers to your questions on open records and how you and your staff fulfill your responsibilities to open government. This training is designed to give a practical guide to those officials who have the responsibility to respond to open records/public information requests. While the legal aspects of the Act will be covered, they will be taught in a manner which provides guidance in interpreting the Act along with instruction in drafting requests for opinions from the Attorney General's office.

The training is organized in such a manner that it covers all the statutory material and case law in a logical, self-paced presentation which is designed to facilitate questions and class participation.

Counsel: The course will be taught by Mr. John C. West, Jr., J.D.

Mr. West is currently on the General Council for the Office of the Inspector General of the Texas the Dept. of Criminal Justice and formerly the Chief of Legal Services for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Prior to his appointment as Chief, Mr. West served as General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel for DPS. Mr. West has been involved with Public Information Act since it was passed in 1973. Mr. West has been licensed to practice law since 1969.

Topics to be covered in this seminar are:

Updated Changes to the Public Information Act affected by the 85th Legislative Session

History and Development of the Concept of Open Records in Texas

Provisions Covered by the Texas Public Information Act

Requesting Opinions under the Public Information Act

What to ask, When to ask, How to ask

Pitfalls of the request process

Knowing when to be reasonable

Protecting your interests

Status of the act with respect to:

Body Cameras

Birth Dates

Litigation exception

Open criminal case exception

Copyright problems

Opinions, evaluations and recommendations

Land transactions

Purchasing documents

Personnel records

Peace officer pictures and addresses

Special Right of Access for Individuals

Federal Freedom of Information and Federal Privacy Acts

Sanctions under the Act and Impact of Failure to Comply

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)

And New Cases

The Double Tree Hotel, located at 6505 IH 35 North in Austin, has reserved a block of rooms for seminar attendees at a prevailing Government Rate. Please refer to the group name of “Texas Police Association Public Information Act Seminar” when making reservations. The hotel's telephone number is (800) 866-3126 or (512) 454-3737. Please be sure to make your reservations by July 28, 2018, as this room rate will expire at that time.

Parking is also available for this Seminar at the discounted rate of $5.00 per vehicle per day.

Enclosed is a registration form for you and the members of your party desiring to attend. You are reminded that in order for the registration to be accepted, the fee for must accompany each registration.

TCOLE training credit will be given to peace officers attending this program. MCLE credit through the State Bar of Texas is still under review by the MCLE committee.

If you need any additional information, or if we may assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to call our office at (512) 458-3140.

Please share this with anyone else you feel will benefit from this training.

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Double Tree Hotel

6505 North IH 35

Austin, TX 78752

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