MARC Seeks GWB Mistrial Documents on Behalf of Media Companies

Bruce S. Rosen and Zachary D. Wellbrock, representing a consortium of media companies, on Nov. 3, 2016 asked the judge in the case over the George Washington Bridge closures to release documents related to the defense’s mistrial motion.

The MARC attorneys said the case “is one of the highest-profile trials of public officials in state history and it continues to draw national attention.

“It is essential to public confidence in the integrity of the judicial system that the public be able to fully understand and discuss the issues at stake as to conduct of this trial,” said Rosen, a partner, and Wellbrock, an associate.

They said their clients are seeking First Amendment and common law access to documents filed in redacted form in support of a mistrial. The media companies also oppose the government’s request to seal a letter it sent to the court in the matter, seek access to the transcripts of a sealed proceeding and ask the court not to exclude the media and public from access to proceedings without articulating a compelling need.

Two former Gov. Chris Christie allies—Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to the governor, and Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—are on trial for alleged roles in a plan to close bridge lanes as political retribution.

On Nov. 3, the defense filed a mistrial motion after U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton told the jurors that the object of the alleged conspiracy was irrelevant.

Rosen and Wellbrock said the defense “filed the brief in support of the mistrial motion with every word of argument redacted and without any accompanying sealing motion, providing no public explanation or reasoning or for such redactions.”

The media outlets seeking the documents include Gannett Co., Bloomberg L.P., The New York Times Co., ABC News, Politico, New Jersey Advance Media, Dow Jones & Co., the Associated Press, Public Media NJ Inc., and New York Public Radio.

Read the media companies’ letter motion to unseal.

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