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.”
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.