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Connecticut Supreme Court lets UConn keep its donor information private

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The Judicial Update

February 15, 2012

Connecticut: The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Feb. 14 that the University of Connecticut's donor information amounted to a trade-secret and was exempt from open-records laws. In 2008, former state Representative Jonathan Pelto had requested the information.

All government information in Connecticut is public, with certain exemptions. This ruling is the first time the courts decided whether the trade secret exemption applies to public entities and not just business. The university argued that disclosing such information would disadvantage them by allowing other institutions to lure away their donors. The justices stated, "It cannot reasonably be questioned that the university expends considerable resources of the state, on its own or in partnership with others for the research and development of intellectual property."[1]

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