FOIA Litigation
Sidley won a major victory in our ongoing representation of journalist Assia Boundaoui in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. Ms. Boundaoui’s FOIA lawsuit centers on gaining access to the FBI’s surveillance activities targeting Muslim-American families in her Chicago suburb, where her father is a college professor and also a leader of the local mosque. The investigation, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal,” was conducted in the United States before 9/11. Ms. Boundaoui examined the investigation in her award-winning documentary, “The Feeling of Being Watched.”  On behalf of Ms. Boundaoui, throughout 2019, Sidley led the effort to repeatedly push the FBI to provide information about whether additional FBI investigative files exist. The FBI steadfastly refused to cooperate, until Sidley was able to convince the U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois to order the FBI to make two prominent FBI agents available for deposition.
“As the head of my law firm’s Pro Bono Committee, I’m uniquely positioned to recognize extraordinary efforts by pro bono counsel – and I see it here. Not only has Sidley accomplished a remarkable procedural feat for a FOIA matter, they have done so with impressive grace.”
– Thomas R. Burke, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Partner & Chair,
Pro Bono & Social Impact Committee