Freedom Fighter in the Information Age
Paging through fragile, yellowed copies of documents in a far-away library is a matter of course for Bowen School of Law Professor Richard Peltz. He has made his lifeâ€™s work researching, defending, and teaching about open access to governmental information â€“ for both the press and everyday citizens.
â€śThe First Amendment and Freedom of Information Act are the principle methods by which people know what the communityâ€™s needs are and how they hold their government accountable to meet those needs,â€ť Peltz said. â€śAs citizens, we are able to speak freely, criticize, and get information on what our government is doing. The First Amendment is evolving in the law all the time, and my research has practical implications for bringing important information home and using it to a positive effect in the community.â€ť
As an interpreter and defender of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Peltz has made perhaps his greatest impact. By creating how-to manuals, he enables others to pursue their freedoms and keep a watchful eye on our representatives. In the past year, Peltz has published three law review articles and served as a consultant and speaker for groups as varied as the Arkansas legislature, law professors in Japan, and the Society for Professional Journalists. His sound theoretical bases and innovative pragmatism appeal to those who make the laws, those who study them, and those whose work is impacted by legislation.
After earning his bachelorâ€™s degree from Washington and Lee University, Peltz earned his juris doctor from Duke University. He is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and has been admitted to the bar associations in Maryland and the District of Columbia.