January 3, 2013 Article

Public Access to Judicial Proceedings and Records in Maine: Worth Protecting

Plaintiffs and defendants in legal actions typically have little interest in a transparent justice system. A litigant often has the opposite interest, wanting as little light as possible shed on his proceedings, and preferring them to be shrouded in secrecy. A litigant's priority is the success of his case – only rarely is the case itself about public access to judicial proceedings and records. Corporate defendants in civil litigation are notoriously publicity averse. Some criminal defendants would also prefer that their matters be handled in secret for fear of embarrassment or harm to reputation. It is easy to file a motion to seal or to stamp as "confidential" documents that a client does not want made public, or to acquiesce to such a motion made by opposing counsel. Even a litigant not sensitive to publicity may find it hard to justify spending money fighting over public access to court proceedings or records. Is that a battle worth fighting?

Read the complete article at the link above.

Firm Highlights


Open Courts Compendium: First Circuit

Sigmund D. Schutz was invited by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to author the First Circuit chapter in the  Open Courts Compendium . The Open Courts Compendium  is a general guide to court access issues, with...


Eighteen Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected as Chambers USA Leaders in Their Field

Eighteen Preti Flaherty attorneys and five practice groups have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business , the highly regarded directory of leading attorneys and...

Press Coverage

As More States Release COVID-19 Cases by Town, Maine Says It Could Take 6 Months

As more states continue to release information on the number and distribution of coronavirus cases, officials from Maine's public health agency claim that making tallies available to the public under the state's Freedom of...

Press Coverage

Officer-involved Shootings Video - Maine Behind the Curve on Public Access to Information

More than three months after officers were involved in a fatal shooting of a Minot, Maine, resident, the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the Attorney General continue to deny requests to...

Press Coverage

Maine - Mills Administration Held Secret Meetings on Pandemic with State Lawmakers

Officials in the administration of Governor Mills briefed large groups of Maine legislators privately and without public notice multiple times, in apparent violation of state law. Extended Coverage: Mills administration holds 8 briefings with...