Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

276.81 sec. 001 - Secrecy: The Use and Abuse of Information Control in the Courts (Spring 2022)

Instructor: Rebecca E Wexler  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


Tu 10:00 AM - 12:40 PM
Location: Law 111
From January 11, 2022
To April 22, 2022

Course Start: January 11, 2022
Course End: April 22, 2022
Class Number: 32095

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 21
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 23
As of: 07/19 11:58 AM

It is a long-standing legal principle that, when it comes to litigation, “the public has a right to every person’s evidence,” and that what happens in courtrooms and court records should be transparent and open to all. Yet, courts routinely block subpoenas, seal records, and close hearings to protect sensitive information from disclosure. This seminar will explore the use and abuse of secrecy in the courts. Illustrative topics include: prohibitions on subpoenas for social media records; the use of confidential informants to conceal warrantless cell phone tracking; “grey mail” tactics of threatening disclosure in litigation in order to force dismissal; trade secret obstacles to making challenges to algorithmic decisions; and the reporter’s privilege not to reveal anonymous sources. How does secrecy in courts affect trust in the judicial system and its democratic legitimacy? We will engage in close reading of foundational cases, as well as litigation documents and legal scholarship.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Intellectual Property and Technology Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Public Law and Policy
Social Justice and Public Interest

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