Chao & Stomper v. Amalgamated Transit Union
The United States Department of Labor sued the Central States Pension Fund over serious violations of fiduciary duty, and the case was eventually settled by the entry of a consent decree that required, among other things, the appointment of a court-appointed court-appointed Independent Special Counsel who was required to issue quarterly reports to the Court discussing the administration of the fund and problems encountered. Representing pension beneficiaries, Public Citizen moved for leave to intervene, and argued that the reports and their financial attachments are judicial records whose disclosure is required by the common law rule of public access and by the First Amendment. The district court agreed in part, ordering the Fund to make reports and attachments for the past several years available to intervenors, and to make future reports and attachments available as they were received. In addition to providing the reports and attachments to intervenors as required by the court order, the Fund began posting the reports themselves on its web site.