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Superior Court Allows Media to Intervene to Get Access to Documents Covered By Confidentiality Order

In a case that raises several issues of first impression in Rhode Island, the Superior Court has allowed several Media Entities-the Associated Press, the Providence Journal, the New York Times and the National Catholic Reporter-to intervene in a civil lawsuit to seek access to documents covered by a confidentiality order.  The underlying case involved a dispute over a substantial donation to the Legion of Christ.  The Court also held that there is a right of access under the First Amendment to documents filed with the court, as opposed to documents produced during discovery but not filed.  Finally, the Court adopted a "balancing of the interests" test to determine when it appropriate to vacate a confidentiality order.  Applying the test, it vacated orders it and the probate court had entered so the intervenors could get access to documents that had been filed with the court.  Duaray v. Estate of Gabrielle D. Mee, P.B. 10-1195 (R.I. Super. Jan. 23, 2013).  http://www.sfandllaw.com/Practice-Areas/Business-Commercial-Litigation.shtml

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