LOS ANGELES — Some legal experts see a dangerous precedent being set with a California Supreme Court ruling in the Michael Jackson case.
The court affirmed the trial judge's decision to seal dozens of court records. It denied a request by news organizations, including The Associated Press, to order "depublication" of the ruling. That means it could be used as a precedent by judges and lawyers for sealing documents in other cases. Legal analysts say that could shut off public access to information in high-profile cases.
Media attorney Theodore Boutrous says Jackson's lawyers made their argument for secrecy by saying Jackson was a special case. He says it should have very limited use in other cases, although some defense lawyers have already indicated they won't hesitate to use it in other cases.
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