First, thank you to all of the many readers who have communicated their concerns and prayers for the family crisis that is precluding me from daily blogging for now. Your kind thoughts and words are comforting and much appreciated.
But now for a quick blog post. While working this week, I was checking the docket of an appeal in which I am involved at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While there, I ambled over to the docket of the appeal of former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling just to see if there was anything interesting happening. Check out the following recent entries:
3/4/08 Motion filed by Appellant Jeffrey K Skilling to file supplemental briefs. [5976818-1] Supplemental brief included? (Y/N): Y, to unseal A’s suppl. brief brief [5976818-2] Date of COS: 3/3/08 Sufficient [Y/N]: Y [06-20885] (jmw)
3/5/08 Motion filed by Appellant Jeffrey K Skilling [5976825-1] to place supplemental brief under seal. Date of COS: 3/4/08 Sufficient [Y/N]: Y [06-20885] (jmw) 3/5/08 Response/opposition filed by Appellee USA to motion to file supplemental briefs [5976818-1] by Appellant Jeffrey K Skilling. Reply to Resp/Opp due on 3/14/08. Date of COS: 3/4/08 Sufficient [Y/N]: y [5976831-1] [06-20885] (jmw)
3/7/08 Reply filed by Appellant Jeffrey K Skilling to response/opposition [5976831-1], motion to file supplemental briefs [5976818-1] Reply to Resp/Opp due ddl satisfied., motion to unseal brief [5976818-2] Sufficient [Y/N]: Y [5978302-1] [06-20885] (jmw)
Translated, the foregoing means that Skilling’s appellate team filed a motion on Tuesday requesting that the Fifth Circuit grant permission to the parties to file supplemental briefs and, because of confidentiality concerns, requested that the supplemental brief be filed under seal (in other words, not for public consumption).
The government must have been expecting the Skilling motion because they filed a response in opposition to it the following day (Wednesday). Not to be outdone in terms of alacrity, the Skilling team filed their response today to the government’s opposition and, for good measure, requested that the Fifth Circuit unseal the Skilling supplemental brief and make if available for public review.
Looks to me like a good opportunity for a mainstream media outlet to intervene and demand that the Fifth Circuit order the supplemental briefs be made available for public review, don’t you think?