The Northern Virginia reporter for the Washington Post discusses the current state of the ATI FOIA case here.
Lat fall, Mann decided that the University of Virginia was not protecting his interests vigorously enough and moved to be added as a party to the case. Subsequently, the university sent the dossier to Mann, who is no longer an employee.
ATI has applied for the documents provided to Mann, arguing that they can’t give the documents out selectively, citing a 1983 precedent. Several leading Virginia FOIA experts told the Washington Post that ATI has a good argument.
UVA lawyers defended the selective disclosure saying that Mann was “not an adverse party essentially” and, using a not entirely apt phrase, explained that they were “sharing information with a teammate as opposed to the other side”. Ironically, Mann originally asked to be a separate party to the litigation because he felt that “his interest is not currently being adequately protected” – a position that seems inconsistent with UVA’s present position that they are “teammates”.
In addition, ATI has applied to depose Mann on his affidavit, a pretty standard aspect to civil cases. Mann has argued that he should not have to be deposed, with his main argument being (more or less) that ATI are bad people, a perspective frequently held by parties in civil litigation, but not relevant to mundane procedures like depositions.
Mann called ATI’s argument “disingenous”. Mann contradicted the FOIA experts interviewed by the Washington Post:
I’m a bit surprised that anyone professing to be familiar with the law would believe that [ATI’s] argument has any merit at all,”