Toyota Motor Sales v. Reavis, a companion case to a still-ongoing appeal of a major products-liability judgment, affirmed the denial of Toyota’s motion to seal certain trial exhibits. Noting the general presumption in favor of open records, the Fifth Court observed, inter alia:

  • “[E]ven assuming the court records contain trade secrets, the existence of trade secrets standing alone is insufficient to overcome the presumption of openness and allow the records to be permanently sealed.”
  • “Because Toyota did not take adequate steps during trial to protect the exhibits and related testimony from public disclosure and did not seek an instruction prohibiting the jury and other non-parties from discussing the documents beyond the setting of the trial, we conclude any interest Toyota had in maintaining secrecy of the records does not “clearly outweigh” the presumption of openness.”

No. 05-19-00284-CV (Feb. 4, 2021) (mem. op.).

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