A UCLA First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic students and I were both recently appointed amicus by the District Court to file a brief opposing and supporting the right to public access. The parties had both agreed to sealing, but “courts are duty-bound to protect public access to judicial proceedings and records,” even as to “stipulated sealings … where the parties agree.” Appointing an amicus curiae will allow the court to make an adversary presentation about the case.
I believe this type of appointment works for everyone.
- Each side will present their arguments, which the court can consider impartially. The court might end up disagreeing with us. Over 30 sealing motions have been filed in different courts across the country. I am familiar with the process and can ensure that arguments are properly researched.
- Protected is the public’s right to access court records.
- My student has the opportunity to present a motion in writing under my supervision and then argue it in court. (Thanks to Scott & Cyan Banister, the main benefactors of our Clinic, we have funding for travel costs, so none of this requires spending court funds.)
Although the document sealing parties may not win, it is possible that they will lose the case. However, legal rights to seal documents are not theirs.
In any event, I just wanted to flag this in case some other courts will find it helpful—we’re always happy to help with such appointments. We would also be happy to assist:
- Sealing with shorts
- Shorts that oppose pseudonymity
- with briefs (usually in appellate courts) defending the decision below on any First Amendment or First-Amendment-related question, when the appellee isn’t appearing (we’re doing that now in a Ninth Circuit trademark law case) or when the appellant and appellee both disagree with the decision below,
- In federal or state courts
- trial or appellate,
- We can provide local advice if necessary.
In principle, we would also be willing to accept to help support sealing or pseudonymity, if necessary. pro se Although he hasn’t been capable of effectively presenting the legal arguments, the court would appreciate a more knowledgeable presentation. Whatever my opinion may be on the proper use of pseudonymity or sealing in a particular case, I am able to give the court the most effective arguments. My students and I will also be grateful.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel we could be of assistance.