How "Open" is the Open Meetings Law?
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Save yourself and your organization from disciplinary action. Gain a complete understanding of open meeting laws.Open meetings laws are designed to ensure that the actions and deliberations made in the operation of public business are conducted openly. Yet there are times when the government best protects the interests of the public and personal information of individuals by meeting outside of the public eye. Although the principle of open meetings is beyond question, open meetings laws can be difficult in application. This topic helps practitioners and government employees to identify when open meetings laws are applicable, and where open meetings may lawfully take place, and to review common reasons for holding closed meetings. Without an understanding of the nuances of open meeting laws, government employees and legal practitioners risk bad media publicity or possibly could face penalties or disciplinary action. This topic is critical for government employees and practitioners of state and local government law in order for them to implement open meetings laws effectively.
AuthorsMaryam Judar, Citizen Advocacy Center
Who Is Subject to Open Meetings Laws (OML)?
• Governmental Bodies
• Private Bodies and Increasing Privatization of Government Functions
What Is a Meeting?
• Types of Meetings
• Number Needed to Convene a Meeting
• Purpose of Convening the Meeting
• Technology and Meetings
Meeting Place: Notice, Location, Size, Recordings
• Location and Size
• Recordings or Broadcasts
Exceptions to OML: Closed Meetings
• Mandatory or Discretionary Nature?
• Purpose and Notice
• Action Allowed?
• Minutes for Closed Meetings
Public's Right to Speak
• Mandatory, Permissive, or Silent
• Government-Sponsored Forum and the First Amendment
Violations of OML
• Disciplinary Actions
• Attorney Fees
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