Judge Warns Business Litigants (Including Facebook) About Excessive Sealing Requests
From DZ Reserve v. Facebook, Inc., decided earlier this month by Judge James Donato (N.D. Cal.):
A hallmark of our federal judiciary is the “strong presumption in favor of access to court records.” Public access maintains confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice, and protects the integrity and independence of the courts. This is why the business of the federal judiciary is done in open court.
In limited circumstances, there may be grounds for curtailing public access. This is an exception to the rule, and so a party requesting that a document or evidence be sealed from the public needs to present a good reason explaining why. A particularized showing of good cause is required to seal documents related to non-dispositive motions, and a compelling reason supported by specific facts is needed before the Court will consider sealing records involving dispositive motions such as a summary judgment motion.
Both sides in this litigation have filed a slew of motions to seal nearly every kind of filing in this case: discovery letters, supporting declarations, motions, scheduling stipulations, and even the complaint itself. All
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