A footnote in June Medical Services v. Phillips detailed the Fifth Circuit’s procedures for documents sealed in the trial court.

“When presented with an appeal, we routinely unseal documents that were sealed in the district court when those documents are used on appeal and there is no legal basis for sealing. Indeed, we often do this sua sponte.  In [one recent case], he district court sealed parts of the record pursuant to a stipulated protective order ‘in an effort to accommodate the defendant’s concerns about its trade secrets becoming public.’ Notwithstanding the stipulated protective order in that case, this court denied the appellant’s unopposed motion to place record excerpts under seal and ordered that the record excerpts be unsealed. . Indeed, when parties in this court seek to file documents under seal on appeal, the clerk’s office sends them a standard letter that requires them to ‘explain in particularity the necessity for sealing in this court. Counsel do not satisfy this burden by simply stating that the originating court sealed the matter, as the circumstances that justified sealing in the originating court may have changed or may not apply in an appellate proceeding.””

No. 21-30001-CV (Jan. 7, 2022) (citations omitted).

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