Blog by +Wanda Dorn
Mr. Cosby Seeks Court Sanctions Against an Accuser over deposition leaks
If someone signs a "confidentially agreement" before a judge in a court of law and, if represented by an attorney, their attorney is present, that agreement is legally binding to all parties involved. It is a violation of said agreement if one party breaches and divulge information contained therein. Courts in any subsequent action, barring unusual circumstances, cannot use the information. This according to Reuters.
The party, who violates this agreement, can be "sanctioned" or "monetarily" penalized for violating that agreement. Which is Mr. Cosby's right to ask for. She agreed to seal the information in exchange for "money". She never filed a criminal charge against him -- she went for the money, which is her right if that's the way she wanted to handle it.
I have sealed more than two hundred court documents. The courtroom is (normally) closed to spectators when these agreements are made so that the information contained in the agreement is between the parties in question only. The way I sealed a document, it cannot be opened without detection. That is how important it is for the documents to remain confidential.
This is how most divorce; custody, property, corporate, and other legal disputes are resolved. I would hate to see all the wealthy people find that a legal precedence has been set and all sealed agreements are released because the public says that the injured party is automatically the plaintiff -- or the guilty party is the person or company they don't like, and they just "want" to know, but do not have a "legal right" to know what's contained in a sealed agreement.
Like the case in question, it was not an admission of guilt or a criminal-trial-judge-or-jury conviction, it was a "nuisance" settlement. Most of us have been in a car accident where we filed a claim, and the insurance company, not admitting responsibility, often offers a minimal settlement rather than engage in a long costly drawn out trial. That is what in the legal system is referred to as a nuisance settlement. That's what this amounted to -- a settlement rather than fight and make a public scandal of it -- which the media eventually did anyway. There was no trial, we don't know whether she is telling the truth, lying or wanting money. We were not there at the time of the alleged act. What we do know is that she agreed not to go to trial and accepted money instead, and further signed a legal and binding agreement not to divulge the contents of the agreement.
There is another phrase in the legal system called "clean hands" where a party's actions should not be called into question. It looks as if she cannot go into another court on this issue with clean hands.