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The Evolving Doctrine of Court Record Access

American Bar Association, Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, Media Privacy and Defamation Committee News, Spring 2012, pp. 1, 12-15

5 Pages Posted: 3 May 2012  

Richard J. Peltz-Steele

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth

Date Written: May 1, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: judicial, court, record, access, freedom of information, FOI

JEL Classification: H73, K10, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Peltz-Steele, Richard J., The Evolving Doctrine of Court Record Access (May 1, 2012). American Bar Association, Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, Media Privacy and Defamation Committee News, Spring 2012, pp. 1, 12-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050048

Richard J. Peltz-Steele (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth ( email )

333 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-1252
United States
15089851102 (Phone)

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