Tom Williams in the Texas Lawbook: Haynes and Boone Score a Win for Media Courtroom Rights


Fort Worth’s 2nd Court of Appeals has ruled that local reporters are allowed access to two barred January hearing transcripts associated with a juvenile capital murder case and that State District Judge Jean Boyd abused her discretion in closing the hearings to the media in the first place.

In a 26-page opinion, Justice Sue Walker determined Judge Boyd closed her courtroom “without showing a good cause,” as required in the Texas Family Code, and ordered Judge Boyd to immediately vacate the courtroom closure orders.

The ruling is a win not only for the six Dallas-Fort Worth media outlets involved, but for all public access to juvenile courts rights in general, the media’s lawyers said...

“If there is going to be a closure, there must be a showing of a good cause based on evidence in record to substantiate doing that,” said Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Tom Williams, who represented the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CBS 11 News, KXAS-TV and KFDW FOX 4.

Excerpted from the Texas Lawbook, August 14, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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