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Court Reverses Order Unsealing 17 Exhibits

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - A California appeals court reversed an order unsealing 17 exhibits attached to a shareholder derivative action that accused Mercury Interactive Corp. directors of backdating stock options.

The court concluded that there is no presumption of public access to the records, and the parties who sought to keep them sealed should not have to bear the "significant burden" of showing that there was an overriding interest in keeping them sealed.

Media representative successfully sought an order to unseal the amended and consolidated complaint, along with 17 exhibits.

The court reversed, citing NBC Subsidiary Inc. v. Superior Court, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that "the First Amendment does not compel public access to discovery materials that are neither used at trial nor submitted as a basis for adjudication." See ruling.

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