B. Pre-trial proceedings

Overview

The Supreme Court in 1984 noted that deposition proceedings “are not public components of a civil trial. Such proceedings were not open to the public at common law, and, in general, they are conducted in private as a matter of modern practice.” Seattle Times Company v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 33 (1984) (citing Gannett Co. v. DePasquale, 443 U.S. 368, 389 (1979)). It has not directly addressed access to other pretrial civil proceedings, but lower courts have extended the presumption of access to a variety of pretrial civil proceedings. Thus, the court in Publicker Indus., Inc. v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1066 (3rd Cir. 1984) extended the presumption of access to a preliminary injunction hearing in civil case. And in Newman v. Graddick, 696 F.2d 796, 801 (11th Cir. 1983), the court recognized a constitutional right of access to pretrial and post-trial proceedings in a civil case dealing with prisoners’ rights because “[t]he reasons for a right of access to the trial in a case of this kind seem to apply equally to proceedings other than the trial itself.”

6th Cir.