Waiting for Ruling to Ya’ll Politics’ Motion To Unseal in State Farm v. Hood

t seems that Hood views the terms of the settlement agreement as politically embarrassing. But open access to court proceedings should take precedent over politics.

It is bad form and bad law for court files to be sealed without an evidentiary basis for a finding of good cause in the record. An example is Judge Yerger’s unexplained sealing of all relevant pleadings in the Eaton v. Frisby case pending in Hinds County. In the good old days newspapers viewed themselves as the guardians of public access to the courts and challenged improper sealing of court files and court proceedings. Now, newspapers can’t afford to pay the lawyers to make the challenges.

I would like to see Judge Bramlette grant the motion for two reasons. First, it would reverse the trend of unexplained sealing of court files and confidentiality orders not supported with evidence. Second, it would start a trend of new media (a blog) successfully challenging secrecy in the courts.

Miss. Litigation Review
6/23/10