Goesel, et al. v. Boley Int'l, et al., No. 13-2434 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In consolidated appeals, the court ruled on motions to seal settlement agreements. In Goesel, the law firm filed a motion to maintain under seal documents disclosing the amounts of a personal injury settlement and of the lawyers' costs and fees. In Massuda, defendants sought to keep the redacted settlement agreement, in a suit for breach of fiduciary duty, kept under seal. The court concluded that the parties in both cases have failed to rebut the presumption of public access to judicial records. In neither case have they offered any reason for secrecy except that they have a confidentiality agreement and that was insufficient. The court denied the request in Goesel where an outsider to the litigation could not evaluate the dispute over the district judge's modification of the settlement without knowing the amount of the settlement before and after the modification. The court dismissed the request in Massuda where, inter alia, there was no indication that the amount of the settlement figured in the district court's decision.