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Access to Electronic Court Records-An Outline of Issues and Legal Analysis

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Citation Edit

James M. Chadwick, Access to Electronic Court Records-An Outline of Issues and Legal Analysis (full-text).

Overview Edit

Recently, both the federal courts and the court systems of many states have begun to consider the adoption of, or have actually begun to implement, rules regarding public access to court records maintained in electronic form. These proposals raise profound questions regarding public access to the judicial process. They also implicate substantial privacy concerns. Therefore, it is vital that there be the most extensive possible public knowledge and understanding of these proposals and their implications. Such understanding is necessary to ensure that the public participates in the formation of rules regarding access to electronic records in a meaningful manner.

This paper focuses on federal and California law, but the issues and legal principles discussed are common to all proposals regarding access to electronic court records.

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