November 2, 2007
Judges and Disclosure Control
Judge Strine, in an open hearing on the SLM Corp. buyout, refused to let a spectator leave his courtroom after a ruling from the bench. The reason? The spectator wanted to inform traders in Sallie Mae stock. The judge wanted all traded to get the information "at once." The Judge, in essence, was imposing his own version of Reg. FD on courtroom spectators. This is over the top. Spectators in open court should be able to pass on information as they please. If a judge is sensitive to disclosure problems he does not hold hearings in open court (a practice I am not condoning; Judges are too quite to impose confidentially orders already). This information control fetish is not healthy for the public functioning of our court system.
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