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Do Celebrities Have A Greater Right To Seal Court Files?

In a recent decision by a Supreme Court New York County Justice, the subject of sealing court filings from public disclosure was reviewed. The widow of a world famous celebrity--the late Glenn Frey, asked Justice George Silver for an Order "sealing the entire file in this action" pursuant to Uniform Rules for Trial Courts, 22 NYCRR 216.1. In recent years civil court filings have become easily available to the general public online.  Frequently, extremely private and sensitive information regarding a litigant's financial, marital and medical affairs are described in these records which can be accessed by anyone 24/7. The rule cited above allows the sealing of records filed in court upon a finding of "good cause" when the "need for secrecy outweighs the public's right to access". However, "the court generally will not approve wholesale sealing, even when both sides to the litigation request sealing."

Justice Silver denied the request to seal the entire court record but left open the possibility that he would agree to seal certain records, such as Glenn Frey's tax returns. Justice Silver asked: "If this court were to deny their (us peasants) applications simply because they have not achieved the same level of status or acclaim as decedent, such litigants would be able to rightfully ask what makes this case so different from theirs? Why should a famous plaintiff be entitled to protections that less renowned individuals can only dream of? What level of fame warrants sealing protection in the first place?" Frey v Steven Itzkowitz, The Mount Sinai Hospital, Sup. Ct., New York County, Index No. 805014/18

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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