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Courts' sealing practices have had an adverse impact on public health. Last year, in-depth investigative journalism by Reuters generated the first-ever national data set showing the prevalence of court secrecy across the country. The Reuters series revealed how the sealing of court records contributed to the opioid crisis, hid important information about the risks of a popular prescription drug, and shielded evidence that auto makers knew their cars had weak roofs that killed people in rollovers, among other impacts. Reuters journalist Dan Levine is part of a team that conducted a multiyear investigation into the practices of sealing records and issuing protective orders in the federal courts and the impact of these practices on public health and safety. The team's reporting prompted a rare congressional hearing about public access to the courts last September. Dan will discuss the Reuters investigation's findings, methodology, and impact. Presented by the Center for Internet and Society and the Department of Communication.
Dan Levine has covered the U.S. judicial system for 15 years, the last nine of them at Reuters. He has worked on investigative projects about court secrecy, the death penalty and other topics. One project helped lead to a new California law to aid immigrant crime victims who cooperate with law enforcement. His beat reporting has included stories about President Trump’s travel ban, tech privacy and intellectual property. Levine is based in San Francisco.