Open Records and Freedom of Information Expert Terry Mutchler Launches New Law Firm

HARRISBURG (JUNE 8, 2017) — Terry Mutchler, a national expert in the growing area of Transparency Law who served as the first Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records, today announced the launch of a new law firm, Mutchler Lyons.

Joining Mutchler in the woman-owned firm is Charlie Lyons, an attorney, seasoned public affairs professional, and former government official who served as a senior aide to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Mutchler Lyons will manage client challenges at the intersection of Media, Law and Government, with a focus on helping agencies, corporations and the media navigate open records, freedom of information, and right to know laws.

“Charlie and I are excited at the opportunity to work together in a growing and critically important area of the law and public policy,” Mutchler said. “I’ve been privileged to help a wide array of clients navigate Open Records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) challenges, and many of these clients will benefit from Charlie’s legal and public policy experience.”

Mutchler has represented media companies, defense contractors, pharmaceuticals, colleges and universities, healthcare providers, hedge funds, and government agencies. Mutchler Lyons will continue its focus in these industries.

“Terry and I bring different backgrounds and experience to the table, which put us in a unique position to help clients address difficult, multi-pronged challenges at the state and federal levels,” Lyons said.

Mutchler was an award-winning journalist for the Associated Press, having worked in Harrisburg, PA and Springfield, IL, where she was the first woman to serve as bureau chief.

Mutchler was appointed as Pennsylvania’s first Executive Director of the Office of Open Records in 2008. In that role, she developed rules and procedures for agency and corporate compliance with government open records law. Previously, Mutchler served as Illinois’ first Public Access Counselor in the Office of Attorney General, enforcing the state’s Open Meetings and Freedom of Information (FOIA) laws.

After her government service, Mutchler created the nation’s first Transparency Law Practice serving multi-national corporations, pharmaceuticals, energy, and media companies, counseling them on how to obtain public records to competitive advantage.

Mutchler published a memoir, Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist and the Politics of Gay Love in America in 2014.  She has been interviewed for her memoir and open records expertise by numerous national news outlets, including The Rachel Maddow Show, National Public Radio, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters, the AP, Slate, Politico, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mutchler received her B.A. from Penn State University and J.D. from the John Marshall School of Law in Chicago. She was a Bohnett Fellow for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Lyons, a co-founder and Vice President at ShellyLyons Public Affairs and Communications, is a recognized expert in government, public affairs, and law. He has been a public affairs consultant working with major corporations, non-profits, statewide coalitions, foundations, and trade associations.  Lyons will continue in his current role at ShellyLyons. He has extensive experience in assisting clients grappling with crises that are being played out in the media spotlight.

He is formerly State Director for U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, where he was a senior advisor on strategy and communications and oversaw the Senator’s state operations, managing outreach and constituent service efforts through seven regional offices across Pennsylvania.

Earlier in his career, Lyons was an attorney in private practice and with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. Lyons also served as a senior aide to Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey and served on several state boards and commissions.

Lyons holds a B.S. from the University of Scranton, magna cum laude, and a J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School.

For more information, please visit or contact Brittany Crampsie at 717.724.1681 or at

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By | 2017-06-09T14:06:28+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Categories: News & Events|

About the Author:

Partners Terry Mutchler and Charlie Lyons joined forces to create a new firm dedicated to serving a wide array of clients as they navigate the growing and critically important area of Transparency Law. Mutchler Lyons manages client challenges at the intersection of Media, Law and Government, with a focus on helping agencies, corporations and the media navigate open records, freedom of information, and right to know laws.