Access to Courts

Federal Judge in Boston Orders Groundbreaking Webcast of Hearing

United States District Court Judge Nancy Gertner agreed today to allow video cameras into her Boston courtroom to provide live Internet coverage of a hearing next Thursday in the lawsuit against Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum, who allegedly downloaded seven songs illegally over a peer-to-peer network.

Background on the case from Judge Gertner's order:

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Celebrating Open Access Day

I am sitting in the Berkman Center's conference room listening to Stephen Schultze give an impassioned appeal to increase public access to government information, especially federal court records.  You can listen to his talk through a live webcast feed. Here is a summary of Steve's presentation:

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Online News Site Challenges Secret Court Proceedings

Last Wednesday, the Newspaper Tree, an online news site out of El Paso, Texas, which focuses on business, politics, and culture in the region, filed a motion objecting to an El Paso federal court's sealing of plea hearings and court documents in the pre-trial phases of a large public corruption prosecution.

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Third Circuit Grants Public Access To Prospective Juror Information

On August 1, 2008, the Third Circuit Court of the Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Wecht. The opinion is great news for citizen media creators, because the court ruled that the First Amendment confers a presumptive right of access to obtain the names of trial and prospective jurors in a criminal case prior to empanelment. U.S.

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Highlights from the Legal Guide: Access to Courts and Court Records

This is the eighth in a series of posts calling attention to topics we cover in the Citizen Media Legal Guide. In this post, we highlight the section on Access to Courts and Court Records, which provides an overview of federal and state laws that grant you the right to access federal and state court records and court proceedings.

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The Smoking Gun Does the Dirty Work, Finds the Gems Others Miss

The New York Times just ran a fascinating article on The Smoking Gun, a website dedicated to providing "documents--cool, confidential, quirky--that can't be found elsewhere on the Web." The three-person investigative shop in mid-town Manhattan consistently finds -- and publishes -- court documents, government records, and other esoterica that it finds through

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CMLP Launches New Legal Guide Section on Access to Government Information

Back in January, we began rolling out the Citizen Media Law Project's Legal Guide.

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Oklahoma Curtails Online Access to Court Records

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court adopted new rules governing public access to court records, cutting off all public access to court records via the Internet and limiting public access to other information that has been available in the past.

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A.P. Request for Access to Search Warrant Affidavit Denied in Baseball Steroids Case

Written by Tom Casazzone, CMLP Intern

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