How Does the Public’s Right of Access Affect Spoliation?

The public has a presumptive right of access to judicial proceedings, but balancing that with the possibility of future litigation and the spoliation of evidence poses a complicated issue. The court sought to balance and remedy such issues in Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe, Case No. 13 C 6312 (N.D. Ill. June 4, 2014).

Plaintiff filed a previous motion to seal its motion for a protective order, requesting that virtually every factual assertion be redacted. The court denied the motion, without prejudice, iterating that the public has a presumptive right to access Plaintiff’s filings because they were submitted to influence judicial decisions.

In seeking a way to balance interests, the court asserted that areas which tend to reveal what Plaintiff asserts as a possible legal action and fears that disclosure will likely lead to spoliation of evidence, are portions that may be redacted.

The decision marked a pragmatic and rationalized approach to balancing the rights of all parties involved.

ILS – Plaintiff eDiscovery Experts