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Letter in re application for an order to take discovery for use in foreign proceedings

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  1. Court Access

On March 23, 2020, the Reporters Committee and the Media Legal Defence Initiative submitted a letter to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in support of Marcus Baram’s request to unseal four sealed documents filed in connection with a U.S. investor’s application to uncover one of the New York journalist’s confidential sources.

The letter comes a few months after the Reporters Committee and MLDI filed a friend-of-the court brief arguing that Baram should not be forced to disclose the confidential source he used to report a story about Shervin Pishevar, the co-founder of Sherpa Capital.

In the letter, the Reporters Committee and MLDI state that there is a presumption of access under the First Amendment and common law to judicial documents, including records such as those sealed in Pishevar’s request to force Baram to disclose information for use in a foreign criminal matter, known as a section 1782 application.

“Such access would enable members of the news media to report fully and accurately on the basis for this Court’s ruling on Petitioner’s section 1782 application,” the two organizations argue, “thereby promoting the public’s knowledge of the issues before the Court and, ultimately, the public’s understanding of the judicial decision-making process.”

Read the full letter.