Access to Court Records: A Review of Recent Case Law

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: May 19, 2020
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  • Outline the constitutional and common law framework governing access to judicial documents
  • Understand recent court decisions addressing access to judicial documents
  • Evaluate how courts respond to arguments against access and balance countervailing values
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: May 19, 2020


This webinar will address recent case law regarding access to court records and what these cases mean for the constitutional and common law rights of access when those rights arise, and what delays or limitations on access--if any--are permissible.

At the end of this program, you should be able to:
1. Explain how recent case law regarding access to court records impacts constitutional rights
2. Identify which laws' limitations are permissible

This program was recorded on May 19th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Rachel E. Matteo-Boehm

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Ms. Matteo-Boehm is a partner in the firm's San Francisco office and co-leader of the firm’s Media Litigation team. A former reporter for The Dallas Morning News, Ms. Matteo-Boehm has spent almost her entire legal career helping clients both inside and outside the media industry solve their First Amendment speech and other content-related problems, whether that means litigation, counseling, or something in between. She has represented content providers and distributors in matters involving defamation, privacy, right of publicity, copyright, trademark, and related claims. She is experienced in prepublication review of print, broadcast, and multimedia content, responding to retraction and takedown demands, and litigating motions to quash subpoenas served on content providers and distributors. Ms. Matteo-Boehm has also has extensive experience representing clients seeking access to government proceedings and documents under the federal Freedom of Information Act, state open records and meetings laws, the First Amendment, and other applicable laws. In recent years, she has represented clients in several matters involving access to digitized information maintained in government electronic databases, and has litigated numerous cases involving access to court proceedings and records.

The Internet has its own set of special issues, and Ms. Matteo-Boehm has represented clients in matters involving section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Internet privacy laws, and a variety of other Internet-specific laws and regulations, as well as the more subtle legal issues that make publishing on the Internet different from the print and broadcast formats.

Ms. Matteo-Boehm has extensive experience in litigation involving anti-SLAPP statutes, and has obtained early dismissal of many actions involving the rights of speech and petition under anti-SLAPP laws in California and in Texas, where began her legal career and remains licensed to practice law

The First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” is not only for the press. Whether by virtue of their web sites, social media, or offline speech-related activities, clients outside the media industry regularly confront First Amendment and other content-related legal issues, and Ms. Matteo-Boehm applies her extensive experience representing the media to solve the problems and achieve the goals of non-media business entities in a variety of different industries.

Ms. Matteo-Boehm was recognized in 2010 as an Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer magazine.

Heather S. Goldman

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Heather Goldman regularly assists clients with resolving complex commercial disputes and responding to government investigations and inquiries. She has represented clients in connection with matters involving the First Amendment, intellectual property disputes, and false advertising. Ms. Goldman has also represented clients in connection with litigation involving contract claims, business torts, and employment matters. Her practice includes all facets of litigation, including case analysis; implementing litigation strategies; drafting pleadings, motions, and appellate briefs; conducting witness interviews; preparing witnesses for testimony; taking and defending depositions; arguing motions; managing document discovery from retention to production; negotiating settlements; and performing in-depth legal research.

Ms. Goldman also has significant experience advising and assisting clients in conducting internal investigations and responding to government inquiries. She has assisted in conducting and defending internal corporate investigations, replying to investigative subpoenas, and negotiating resolutions to government investigations. Ms. Goldman has assisted clients under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Prior to her career in law, Ms. Goldman was an award-winning producer at CNN.

Christine Walz

Holland & Knight LLP

Christine Walz is a litigation and media attorney in Holland & Knight's New York office. She is a member of both the firm's Litigation Section and Media Practice Team.

Ms. Walz is routinely called on to assist media clients with a wide range of First Amendment issues, including defamation, privacy, newsgathering, reporters' privilege and access to public records. She also has extensive experience in federal and state court litigation, defending clients in civil enforcement actions and other complex litigation.

Amanda B. Levine

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Amanda Levine represents and defends news and entertainment companies in a broad spectrum of media and First Amendment litigation and content-related matters, ranging from intellectual property, defamation, records and courtroom access, privacy, right-of-publicity, libel, copyright, and trademark issues. She also has experience representing individuals and corporations in commercial and civil litigations, securities litigations, government investigation, and white-collar matters.

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