Keeping court documents closed to the press

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Although most injury cases settle long before the doors of the court are reached, a large proportion require that proceedings be issued, whether to ensure that the three year limitation period is avoided or to put pressure on insurers who won’t address the issues in the case properly.

Court documents are generally public so the press are within their rights to keep an eye on issued cases and report the details. Many of our clients are worried that their stories will appear in the paper and cause them and their families stress and embarrassment.

We should reassure them. An application can be made to the Court that the file be closed to public scrutiny or restricted to certain applicants, although the press and others can apply to set that order aside.

Generally the Court will ensure the privacy of a Claimant if it is asked to do so. Although personal injury cases can make interesting stories, the interests of the injured party and their families must be properly considered.

There can be real advantages in involving the press, particularly if public pressure can ensure the circumstances of an accident do not reoccur. A carefully worded press release can be the best way to balance what can be conflicting goals.Our clients can be confident that we will consider these issues and address them in the way that best suits them.


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