This Comment begins by addressing the history and policies behind FOIA, which are mirrored in the open records laws of all fifty states. This portion of the Comment concludes that FOIA’s policies are openness and transparency in the government, specifically to create an informed electorate. The Comment next analyzes the scope and history of confidential settlement agreements in the context of the #MeToo movement. This Comment concludes that confidential settlements in workplace sexual misconduct cases can benefit both the accuser and the accused, but ultimately are aimed to protect the accused from additional claims by other potential victims. Then, this Comment attempts to reconcile the two laws—is there a way to adhere to the polices of openness and confidentiality in one, mutually-agreeable solution? The Comment analyzes the purpose behind the laws in accordance with a government interest analysis format. Ultimately, the Comment determines that in this framework, the confidentiality provisions must necessarily give way to a valid FOIA request.
A Conflict of Two Freedoms: The Freedom of Information Act Disclosure of Confidential Settlements in the #METOO Era,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol58/iss1/5