Commercial Division Blog

Posted: November 9, 2022 / Written by: Jeffrey M. Eilender, Samuel L. Butt, Christopher R. Dyess, Joshua Wurtzel, Hillary S. Zilz / Categories Sealing/Confidentiality, Commercial

Court Denies Motion To Seal Documents From Public View

In an Opinion, dated October 24, 2022, in Bravia Capital H.K. v. HNA Group Co., 2022 NY Slip Op 51039(U), Justice Robert R. Reed denied withdrawing counsel’s motion to permanently seal the documents filed in support of withdrawal.  The Court explained: 

Here, the court is not persuaded that the KWM's memorandum of law ( NYSCEF doc. no. 183) or its affirmation in support (NYSCEF doc. no. 184) require sealing. KWM did not identify any trade secrets or confidential proprietary information that implicated defendants' privacy interests. The affirmation and memorandum of law merely recites defendants' conduct and provides insight to this court on the grounds for which KWM seeks to withdraw. The documents do not disclose any information that could threaten defendants' business or destroy its competitive advantage (Mosallem 76 AD3d 350-351). In keeping with the general rule that courts should "limit the public nature of judicial proceedings sparingly, and then, only when unusual circumstances necessitate it" (id.), KWM's request for an order permanently sealing KWM's application to withdraw, is denied.

Clients very often want their documents sealed, but as this case demonstrates, the burden is very high and sealing is the exception rather than the norm.  The attorneys at Schlam Stone & Dolan frequently litigate sealing issues.  Contact the Commercial Division Blog Committee at commercialdivisionblog@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions concerning such issues.