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BERNADETTE FOWLER LAMSON v. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND

Civil litigation — Maryland Public Information Act — Attorneys’ fees

This Maryland Public Information Act (“MPIA”) case returns, this time for us to address whether Bernadette Fowler Lamson was entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs after she won disclosure of documents her employer, Montgomery County, had withheld.
Ms. Lamson, an employee of the Office of County Attorney, filed a broad MPIA request that included requests for her supervisor’s records about her. The County produced documents in response but withheld four pages of handwritten notes. The notes were
produced after Ms. Lamson litigated the issue all the way to the Court of Appeals, and she filed a petition seeking attorney fees and costs, which the circuit court denied on the grounds that there was no public benefit from the disclosure and that the original denials
had a reasonable basis in law.

Read the opinion