Libel Case Can’t Be Litigated with Alleged Libel Sealed—and the Alleged Libel Is Now Unsealed
I wrote about this in November:
In Manhattan Telecommunications Corp. [MetTel] v. Granite Telecommunications, LLC, MetTel sued its competitor Granite for allegedly libeling MetTel in statements to customers; but the allegedly libelous statements were redacted from the publicly available Complaint.
Not allowed, says Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III, dealing with my notice opposing such sealing. (Many thanks to my local counsel Garrett Rice of Ross Aronstam & Moritz LLP for all his invaluable help, and to UCLA law student Jenna Battaglia, who worked on the case with me.) Here is an excerpt from the Vice Chancellor’s opinion; for similar federal cases, see Parson v. Farley (which I had also filed) and Holmes v. Grambling:
Court of Chancery Rule 5.1 … codifies the “powerful presumption of public access” to court proceedings and records…. [Confidential treatment is allowed only if a party] can demonstrate that “the public interest in access to Court proceedings is outweighed by the harm that public disclosure of sensitive, non-public information would cause.”
By design, the burden of demonstrating [this] is exacting, recognizing that “[t]hose who decide to litigate in a public forum … must do so in a manner consistent with the right of the public to follow and monitor the proceedings and the
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