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Court Requires University to Cover Journalists' Legal Fees

August 16, 2019

New Jersey Institute of Technology must pay the lawyers' fees accumulated by two journalists who sued to force the institution to release documents under a state open records law, a federal appeals court ruled this week. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that had rejected arguments by Daniel Golden and Tracy Locke that the New Jersey institution should cover their legal fees after their lawsuit prompted NJIT to reconsider an earlier decision to withhold thousands of pages of records related to their book about foreign intelligence and higher education.

The appeals court directed the lower federal court to determine the amount of lawyers' fees NJIT should pay.

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Doug Lederman

Doug Lederman is editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife, Kate Scharff, in Bethesda, Md.

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