Local news organizations are starting to pay attention to Brian France’s super-secret lawsuit with his ex-wife Megan. That’s one of the drawbacks of super-secret lawsuits. Reporters who believe in the quaint notion of open government tend to pay attention to them. According to legal experts, France’s civil complaint against his ex-wife Megan has received extraordinary treatment from the court.
Attorneys for the Charlotte Observer and WCNC have joined lawyers for France’s ex-wife Megan in calling for more openness in the case, which thus far has had no openness. To date, everything in the case has been sealed. At issue is a confidentiality agreement between Brian and Megan. France, the chairman of NASCAR, wants the case tried behind closed doors. Confidentiality, according to France’s lawyers, is something their client "paid a fair amount of money" for. Never mind that it was their client who brought the case to court, thus exposing himself to potential loss of confidentiality.
Lawyers for the Observer and WCNC have filed a motion saying there is no public or governmental reason to close the civil proceedings, such as the protection of minors or possible impairment of a criminal prosecution. They add that France’s argument, if it stands, would allow any private citizen to close the courtrooms of the state of North Carolina.
France’s lawyers say publicizing the confidential information would have "huge, adverse effects for Mr. France."
Somewhere Jeremy Mayfield is punching a wall right now.
Brian France’s secret legal troubles