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Verni v. Lanzaro

Close Date: 12/05/2008
Topic(s): First Amendment
Open Court Proceedings and Challenges to Protective Orders
Status: open
Date Of Involvement: 10/11/2007

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Public Citizen moved to intervene and unseal the record in a high-profile personal injury case in New Jersey. The plaintiff, a girl who was paralyzed by a drunk driver when she was two years old, initially won one of the highest personal injury awards in New Jersey's history. On appeal, however, the verdict was reversed, and when the case was returned to the trial court it sealed all future filings in the case, including the court's own decisions. Public Citizen argued that the public has a First Amendment and common-law right of access to the case file. On appeal, the court ordered the records unsealed.