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updated 8/2/2005 10:00:16 AM ET 2005-08-02T14:00:16

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.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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