On LawNext: How Courts, Lawyers and Legal Tech Companies Should Handle Sealed Court Documents: A Panel Discussion

At a time when legal technology companies are making it easier to access and analyze court documents, what should – and should not – be done to protect confidential court documents that are sealed from public access?

This question came to a head last July, when a federal court in North Carolina took the drastic step of issuing a standing order that effectively banned lawyers in that district from using third-party service providers such as PacerPro, RECAP or DocketBird. That order came on the heels of a memorandum from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts that – while it didn’t outright ban the use of such service providers – it did urge courts to warn filers to be cautious about using third-party services and software.

Were these actions justified? Is there reason to be concerned about third-party providers? And what exactly is the best way to protect sealed documents?

To answer these questions, the legal tech company PacerPro brought together a panel of experts for a live program presented during the annual meeting of the National Docketing Association in Boston in October. On the panel were: 

Josh Blandi, CEO and cofounder of UniCourt
Sara Collins, vice president of product management, File & ServeXpress
Gavin McGrane, cofounder of PacerPro
Snorri Ogata, chief technology officer at Tech Unicorn and formerly chief information officer at the Los Angeles Superior court and, before that, at the Orange County Superior Court, two of the largest court systems in the United States.. 

I moderated the panel and recorded it for this podcast. Thanks to the panelists, the NDA, and PacerPro for allowing me to do that. 

Thank You To Our Sponsors

This episode of LawNext is generously made possible by our sponsors. We appreciate their support and hope you will check them out.

Paradigm, home to the practice management platforms PracticePanther, Bill4Time, MerusCase and LollyLaw; the e-payments platform Headnote; and the legal accounting software TrustBooks.
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