The Virginian’s Guide to FOIA – Andrew T. Bodoh, Esq.
Andrew T. Bodoh, an associate attorney of Thomas H. Roberts and Associates, P.C. in Richmond Virginia, has literally written the book when it comes to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In October 2015, he published The Virginian’s Guide to FOIA, now available online in print and electronic versions.
“In my practice, I meet many people who want to know what their government is doing at the state, regional and local level,” Mr. Bodoh says. “They often do not realize the tools at their disposal under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. I also encounter attorneys for the government who do not know the basics of FOIA or the difference between the federal Freedom of Information Act and Virginia FOIA.”
In The Virginian’s Guide to FOIA, Bodoh provides secrets to using the FOIA effectively. Written in an easy-to-read Q&A format, the Guide discusses everything from accessing public records, to attending public meetings, to enforcing your FOIA rights in the courts.
Mr. Bodoh is an experienced litigator under FOIA, representing clients trying to secure access to government records and government meetings. He was the lead counsel for the citizen in Harmon v. Ewing, 285 Va. 335 (2013), a Virginia Supreme Court case reviewing citizens’ access to law enforcement arrest records and personnel records.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Va. Code § 2.2-3700 et seq., is a law authorizing citizens of Virginia broad access to public records and public meetings. The law specifically provides, “The affairs of government are not intended to be conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy since at all times the public is to be the beneficiary of any action taken at any level of government. Unless a public body or its officers or employees specifically elect to exercise an exemption provided by this chapter or any other statute, every meeting shall be open to the public and all public records shall be available for inspection and copying upon request.”
To purchase a print copy of The Virginian’s Guide to FOIA, click here.
To purchase an electronic copy of The Virginia’s Guide to FOIA for Kindle, click here.
To read a recent Letter to the Editor about Virginia FOIA by Mr. Bodoh in the Washington Post, click here.