James Hoyer law firm investigator Jim Ross was featured on a panel at the Investigative Reporters and Editors regional conference in Jacksonville, this weekend. Jim shared his expertise on negotiating for public records with journalists from around the world.
Journalists play a unique and valuable role in helping to expose fraud against the government. False Claims Act litigation is a helpful source of stories for all journalists. The FCA gives private citizens who become aware of fraud against the government the right to sue on behalf of taxpayers to return that money to the public coffers. These cases can become important stories to hold corporations accountable when they receive taxpayer money, whether it’s in healthcare, defense contracting, for-profit colleges, or Big Pharma.
Public Records Expertise
Jim is the law firm’s go-to person for all things related to public records. His background as the former head of the Tampa Tribune’s investigative unit and a certified fraud examiner for the Florida Attorney General’s office make him uniquely qualified to share tips and techniques to negotiate for public records. Jim offered valuable advice on the most effective ways to get records from reluctant public officials and how to make sure journalists target the right records to get the most valuable information.
Joining Jim on the IRE Open Records panel were Maggie Mulvihill, an Associate Professor of Computational Journalism at Boston University and the founder of BU’s Storytelling with Data Workshop and John Bones, Managing Director at SKUP, the Norwegian Foundation for Investigating Reporting.
Jim also participated in a legal Question and Answer session with journalists, along with Professor Mulvihill and attorney Jennifer Mansfield, to offer advice on topics ranging from open records to investigative techniques.