AGU-CSLDF Legal Symposium

14 December 2016, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

San Francisco Marriott Marquis - Salon 2

Event Type:


Ticketing Type:

Ticket Required

Event For:


Section/Focus Group or Subject Matter:

Societal Impacts and Policy Sciences (SIPS)

To RSVP, email Elizabeth Landau at 

AGU and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) have partnered for five years as part of an ongoing Legal Education for Scientists program to help educate the scientific community on legal issues.

For 2016, we are bringing together scientists and lawyers to discuss open records laws and how they may be used to request information from scientists.  In recent years, an increasing number of scientists have found themselves on the receiving end of open records requests about their work, their correspondence, and their public statements.

All scientists who receive public funding – whether by being employed by a public university, working at a government agency, or even by receiving federal grants – should be aware that open records laws may apply to them and their work, and may be used to request e-mails, letters, raw data, and other information.

This symposium will feature talks by three attorneys on the front lines in handling open records requests for scientific information:

  • 8:00 AM: Breakfast and coffee.
  • 8:30 AM: Dr. Michael Mann will discuss his experiences defending an open records suit for 12,000 of his emails from when he was employed by the University of Virginia.
  • 9:00 AM: Peter Fontaine, Esq., will talk about his work successfully representing Dr. Mann in the Virginia open records suit over Dr. Mann’s emails.
  • 10:15 AM: Michael Mandig, Esq., will talk about the ongoing open records litigation over two climate scientists’ emails at the University of Arizona.
  • 11:30 AM: Brian Thompson, Esq., will discuss the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how the EPA responds to FOIA requests.

This event is open to all AGU member scientists attending Fall Meeting.  If you are interested in attending this event, you must RSVP by contacting AGU staff Elizabeth Landau at