In a fraud case brought against the former vice president of a now-defunct Vermont business, U.S. District Court in Burlington (VT) took an unusual step in sealing court records that would normally be made available to the general public.
The sealing of these court records drew interest from well beyond Vermont to include the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. and from the New England First Amendment Coalition.
Rob Bertsche, a partner and co-chair of Prince Lobel’s Media Law Practice Group and well-known First Amendment lawyer, discussed that one of the basic tenets of democracy includes the public’s right to know. He stated, “The court and the parties didn’t let the public know there was even a case, let alone that there were documents being secretly filed and a court hearing taking place behind unmarked closed doors. That is not the American way.”
Please click here to read the complete article, as well as all of Rob’s comments that appear toward the end of the article.