The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, 8th Edition
The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act

Since its first edition, published in 1988, a 582-page expertly and comprehensively written treatise, THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, has become the standard reference for judges, attorneys and journalists for guidance and interpretation of the State’s open records and sunshine law.  It has also served as the FOIA “Bible” for countless county, school and city officials as they have sought to better understand the intent and mandates of that important law dealing with openness and transparency which was adopted by the Arkansas Legislature in 1967.

The eighth edition, published in 2022--fifty-five years after the passage of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act under the governorship of Winthrop Rockefeller--builds upon it predecessors.  The treatise incorporates later legislative enactments, judicial decisions and Attorney General’s opinions to present a practical and easy to comprehend interpretation of citizen rights to access public records and to attend public meetings maintained and/or conducted within the State of Arkansas. View Table of Contents. Purchase at Lexis Nexis store.

Authored by Professor Robert Steinbuch, the eighth edition is a “must possess and must read” publication for any individual desiring to learn about the mandates of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and the true meaning of an open and transparent government. 

THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT is a well researched, well written and easy to understand treatise concerning a topic which relates to, and impacts upon, each and every citizen of the State of Arkansas.  The ten chapters of the document provide an in-depth look into the background and tradition of Arkansas law concerning citizen rights to inspect governmental records and to attend meetings of governmental bodies.  The author discusses the threshold question in any Freedom Information of Act case--whether or not a particular entity is covered by the Act.  One chapter of the treatise is devoted to a look at “open records” while another chapter provides a thorough discussion of “open meetings”.  The treatise author also writes about “enforcement” of the State statute asserting that the 1967 Act, as amended, specifically provides a mechanism by which an Arkansas citizen, denied his or her rights under the Act, may challenge that denial in an appropriate circuit court.

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967, as amended, can be utilized as an alternative to the discovery of facts in both civil cases and in administrative proceedings, and the author of the treatise provides much information concerning this important topic.  The author also realizes the importance and complexity of citizen interest which arises in connection with access to public records in electronic form which are maintained by governmental and/or nonpublic entities.

Residents of Arkansas--be they regular citizens, members of a governmental body or participants in a community nonprofit group--will readily discover that a thorough review of THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT treatise will pay dividends as they seek to better understand all facets of the law that serve to open and make more transparent the working of those agencies operating within the State which utilize taxpayer dollars.

Robert Steinbuch is a Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, William H. Bowen School of Law. Professor Steinbuch joined the Bowen School of Law faculty in 2005 after several years in government and private practice. Professor Steinbuch’s government service includes clerking on the United States Court of Appeals and working for the United States Department of Justice. Most recently, he worked for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. He is well-published in law reviews, legal periodicals and medical journals, and he has been interviewed by various news sources for his legal expertise. Professor Steinbuch’s publications include articles in the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal (renamed the Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice), the Texas Review of Law and Politics, the Houston Law Review, the Maryland Law Review, the Loyola of L.A. Law Review, the Kentucky Law Review, the Health Matrix, the National Law Journal, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the Journal of the National Medical Association. His article “Mere Thieves” was republished in the Securities Law Review as one of the year’s ten best securities-law articles. Professor Steinbuch has served as an expert witness on complex economic matters and is singular at Bowen to have testified before the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. He has also testified many times before the Arkansas Legislature. Professor Steinbuch was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching in Poland, in 2015 and continues his affiliation as a Peer Reviewer for the program. Professor Steinbuch is the Chair of the Arkansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He held the position of medical-legal editor for the Journal of the National Medical Association, was a Commissioner on the Arkansas Commission for Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank Initiative, and served on the boards of the Society of Chest Pain Centers and the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium. Professor Steinbuch is the recipient of the law school’s Faculty Excellence Awards in both Scholarship and Service. Professor Steinbuch earned his BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and his JD from Columbia University.