The complaint filed last June by Dean Altobelli -- former Miller Canfield partner, former Michigan State University football player, and current University of Alabama football analyst -- was interesting enough to the state and national legal community to generate both Detroit Free Press and ABA Journal stories. The newest story, however, is not about whether the law firm forced Altobelli out during a leave of absence, but why the case was on a nonpublic docket in the Ingham County circuit court. A new Free Press story suggests the issue of sealed records is bigger than the Altobelli case, and quotes open records activist and investigator Pat Clawson, who thinks Michigan's process for sealing court records contains a Catch-22:
The public has the ability, under Michigan court rules, to submit a motion objecting to the sealing of records. But you have to know to be able to do it.