11th Circ. Won't Seal Emails In Organ Donation Fight

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By Humberto J. Rocha (November 18, 2021, 9:07 PM EST) — The 11th Circuit denied nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing’s attempt to keep sealed “embarrassing” communications between its top-level staffers and external policymakers regarding a new nationwide liver transplant allocation rule, finding the emails qualify as judicial, and thus public, records.

In a unanimous ruling issued Wednesday, a three-judge panel upheld a Georgia federal court’s finding that the documents that UNOS was asking to keep under permanent seal — which included “colorable evidence of animosity and even some measure of regional bias,” “inadvisable ‘hot takes'” and “inflammatory remarks” — qualified as judicial records as part of a case in which patients…

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