“UNOS offered no particularly compelling reasons to keep the documents sealed in the first place. They involve policymaking on a topic of genuine public concern, and do not contain proprietary information or trade secrets that require protection. Nor is there any suggestion that the emails are fraudulent; UNOS itself produced the communications. To be sure, UNOS’s eagerness to keep the documents secret is understandable; we are certain that these are not the first litigants to wish they had been more circumspect in their emails. But UNOS’s reasoning boils down to a desire to keep indiscreet communications out of the public eye, which is not enough to satisfy our standard for good cause.”

The Court of Appeal also rejected the defendant’s argument that affirming the District Court’s order “will allow the court to be used as a vehicle for publicizing confidential materials, opening the floodgates to plaintiffs seeking to use filings as Trojan horses for irrelevant material. Fortunately, our precedents already protect litigants against such schemes: If confidential or sensitive documents are improperly attached to filings, an aggrieved party may move to strike any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter from the record. For cases involving clear abuse of the judicial system, professional sanctions may be available, along with monetary sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, or parties may bring an action for wrongful civil proceedings.”



Callahan v. United Network for Organ Sharing, 17 F.4th 1356 (11th Cir. 2021).