E. Discovery materials

Overview

In Seattle Times Company v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 33 (1984), the Supreme Court ruled that “pretrial depositions and interrogatories 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.” Though that case dealt with the ability of a civil party to release information obtained in discovery, at least one court relied on Rhinehart to deny a writer’s request to vacate an order barring disclosure of the contents of criminal “discovery materials produced by the government to defense counsel.” U.S. v. Rahman, 22 Media L. Rep. 1063, 1064, 1993 WL 454198 (S.D.N.Y. 1993). The court reasoned that “production of discovery material even pursuant to a court order does not create a public record.” Id.

6th Cir.