Appeals Court sets guidelines for attorney fees in FOIA cases

From The Blog of Legal Times:

For the first time since the District of Columbia adopted its Freedom of Information Act statute in 1976, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has spelled out when prevailing parties in FOIA cases can recover attorney fees and how judges should weigh those requests.

In an opinion (PDF) issued [August 23], a three-judge panel explained that while the city's FOIA law is different from the federal FOIA statute, local trial judges should use the four-factor test that federal judges rely on to decide whether to award attorney fees.
The four-factor test asks judges to consider any public benefit from the FOIA case, commercial benefit for the plaintiffs, the plaintiff's interest in the case and the government agency's reasonableness in withholding the information requested.