The Evolving Doctrine of Court Record Access
Richard J. Peltz-Steele
University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth
May 1, 2012
American Bar Association, Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, Media Privacy and Defamation Committee News, Spring 2012, pp. 1, 12-15
When the civil rights era supercharged the freedom of information (FOI) movement, resulting in the federal FOI Act and a wave of reforming state legislation, courts officiated famously over access to the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate tapes. At the same time, access to the court’s own records remained much the same affair as it had been for the first two centuries of the republic. Then came the information age. Viewed suddenly in the light of electronic tools that can quickly compile and manipulate data, the vast stores of information to be found in court records were a mouthwatering fruit suddenly within reach for many requesters. The myriad judicial regulatory systems that have resulted are still evolving.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: judicial, court, record, access, freedom of information, FOI
JEL Classification: H73, K10, K30, K40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 3, 2012
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