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March 22, 1999

Ms. Lan P. Nguyen
Assistant City Attorney
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, Texas 77251-1562

OR99-0787

Dear Ms. Nguyen:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 122979.

The City of Houston (the "city") received a request for documents related to Projects 551, 551A, and 530/A-0318/3-48-01111-XX. You state that you will make most of the responsive information available to the requestor. However, you seek to withhold certain documents which you contend are excepted from public disclosure by section 552.107 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.

Section 552.107(1) excepts information from disclosure if it is information that the attorney general or an attorney of a political subdivision is prohibited from disclosing because of a duty to the client under the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence, the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence, or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. This exception does not apply to all client information held by a governmental body's attorney; rather, it excepts from public disclosure only "privileged information," i.e. communications made to the attorney in confidence and in furtherance of rendering professional services or that reveal the attorney's legal opinion or advice. Open Records Decision Nos. 589 at 1 (1991), 574 at 3 (1990), 462 at 9-11(1987). Information gathered by an attorney as a fact-finder, purely factual information, and the factual recounting of events including the documentation of calls made, meetings attended, and memos sent, are not excepted from disclosure by section 552.107(1). Open Records Decision No. 574 (1990). Section 552.107 may except from disclosure notes in an attorney's client file if they contain confidences of the client or reveal the opinions, advice, or recommendations that have been made or will be made to the client or associated attorneys. Id. at 6. We have marked the submitted documents to indicate the responsive information that may be withheld pursuant to section 552.107(1) of the Government Code.

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Michael Jay Burns
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MJB/ch

Ref: ID# 122979

Enclosures: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. William R. Pakalka
Fulbright & Jaworski
1301 McKinney, Suite 5100
Houston, Texas 77010-3095
(w/o enclosures)


 

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