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CJ Griffin Quoted in Law360 Article


CJ Griffin, partner and director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was quoted in a Law360 article titled, “NJ Justices Consider Whether Prosecutors Org. is ‘Public’.” The article discusses how N.J. Supreme Court Justices pondered the ACLU’s stance that the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey is a "public" group required to make certain records accessible to citizens, questioning whether the organization's definition aligned with the semantics of the state's transparency law.

CJ Griffin, who represents Libertarians for Transparent Government and the Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers as amicus curiae, argued from a different point of view: What would happen if CPANJ were not a public entity?

That would make all communications between the prosecutors organization and the attorney general open to the public, because they wouldn't fall under the OPRA exception for intra- or interagency communications, Griffin said. A private organization, like the ACLU, knows that when it sends a letter to the attorney general, that communication is a public record.

Griffin argued that the county prosecutors fall under the executive branch of the state government and that CPANJ is an instrumentality of the attorney general and the governor.

"That's because CPANJ's membership is appointed 100 percent by the government," Griffin said. And if the attorney general did not find the organization useful, he could order prosecutors not to participate.

To read the full article, click here.

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