Thursday, June 09, 2011

Prudential v. HUD (9th Cir. - June 7, 2011)

Next time you feel like anonymously blowing the whistle on someone who's doing something illegal, read this case first.  Because your identity may well be disclosed.

You're essentially at the whim of the government (and the Ninth Circuit), and they'll decide whether the target of your ire -- the entity that's (allegedly) engaging in a crime -- gets to find out who you are under the FOIA.  If the target's someone like Prudential Real Estate, as it is here, they're going to go after you.  Even if -- as is the case here -- Prudential was indeed doing something illegal.  They're going to want to find out who ratted them out, or who continues to rat them out.

Think about that next time you feel like disclosing a crime.  Or when you're selecting a real estate broker.