From the Bellingham Herald:

A recent increase in large payouts from public records disputes has some in state government considering new ways to avoid costly and drawn-out court battles.

One idea being considered by Attorney General Rob McKenna is a proposal put together by two well-known public records attorneys to “co-mediate.” While single-person mediation already exists and is used in some state cases, the idea of co-mediation allows for two mediators, both well-steeped in public records laws – one who represents the requester and another to represent the agency or local government....

“The problem has been the difficulty of finding a single mediator who is trusted by both sides,” he said. “The other problem is finding a mediator who knows the public records act and the nuts and bolts of how the public records process works in real life.”

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It's important (I think at least!) to point out this part of the article, which is nicely tucked away in the middle of the story:

Under state law, agencies and local governments can face fines of up to $100 a day for failing to turn over records. But the biggest cost driver, Overstreet said, is attorney’s fees.


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