• 17 minutes

Content or Location of Electronic Records


State statute determines if it’s the location of the record or the content of the record that most controls whether a document is a public record.

Neither possession of a document or expenditure of public funds in creating the document necessarily renders a record a public document. This video discusses the issue of government emails on private computers, public emails on private computers, and private emails on government computers. 

Runtime: 17 minutes



Dan Zimmerman

Dan Zimmerman


  • Staff attorney in the New Orleans office of Phelps Dunbar LLP
  • Has litigated numerous public records and government access cases on behalf of news media clients
  • Representing a New Orleans television station, he obtained a ruling that required the city of New Orleans to produce the electronic calendar and emails of then Mayor C. Ray Nagin; prosecutors recently used entries in the calendar as evidence to convict Mr. Nagin on multiple charges of public bribery and corruption
  • J.D. degree, cum laude, Tulane University Law School
  • Can be contacted at 504-584-9365 or [email protected]
Mary Ellen Roy

Mary Ellen Roy


  • Partner in the New Orleans office of Phelps Dunbar LLP
  • Represents book, newspaper, and magazine publishers, television stations and networks, record labels, movie studios, and TV and film production companies throughout the Gulf South in copyright, trademark, misappropriation of likeness, and First Amendment litigation
  • Listed in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and IP Stars
  • On behalf of a national hip hop duo, won dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a local musician and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees
  • On behalf of the motion picture studio, won the appellate decision and substantial attorneys’ fees award, holding no inheritable right of publicity in the state
  • On behalf of a national film production company, won dismissal of misappropriation of likeness claims brought by heirs of the subject of motion picture docudrama
  • On behalf of television producers, defeated motion for preliminary injunction to enjoin broadcast of reality series for alleged trademark infringement
  • J.D. degree, cum laude, Harvard Law School
  • Can be contacted at 504-584-9254 or [email protected]

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