New Zimmerman Wrangling Pits Media Against Lawyers

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The attorneys in the George Zimmerman case did not argue over sealing the case file from public view, nor did a judge resist signing an order doing so, but on Monday that order became the subject of a new legal kerfuffle as media outlets sued to open the court file.

In a high-profile case during which we expect wrangling between prosecutors and defense on pretty much every point (Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara, for example, has said he would file a motion to have Seminole County Judge Jessica Recksiedler removed), the decision to seal the case from the public was a rare point of agreement on all sides. But the press is going to play as much of a role in this case as anyone, thanks to the extraordinarily high level of public interest, and news-gathering agencies don't want to be kept from information that's traditionally made available to the public. The Miami Herald joined The New York Times, Tampa Bay Times, NBC, and CNN in suing to have the court file opened back up, the Herald's David Ovalle reported on Monday. Per Ovalle, the press "pointed out that the lawyers never notified the media organizations of their request to seal documents, and never showed actual evidence that a future jury would be prejudiced by the coverage." 

Zimmerman, for his part, has a bail hearing set for Friday, but unless the news organizations are successful in their suit, we're going to have to hear the specifics on that and the rest of the case from the lawyers themselves.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.