American Bankruptcy Institute Journal
"A Gasket Bursts: District Court Rejects Sealing of Court Records"
Courts regularly walk a tightrope between a litigant's desire to keep documents and information private and the public's right of access to such court records and proceedings. In the current electronic age, those interested in public access have expanded beyond the traditional press to bloggers desirous of publishing materials on the Internet. Parties cannot adequately protect themselves from public disclosure by merely tagging a document as "confidential" and entering into a protective order providing for the sealing of documents, especially in the face of objection by a third party seeking public access. The courts require a much greater showing to seal a court record, as certain parties were recently reminded by the district court on appeal in Legal Newsline v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, a case arising out of the claims-estimation proceedings in the asbestos bankruptcy cases of Garlock Sealing Technologies.