Lawyers for Boy Scouts, Corporations & Media Argue About Whether 'Perversion Files' are Public

Lawyers for interested parties ranging from abuse survivors and multinational corporations to the Boy Scouts of America and media entities are battling about whether so-called “perversion files” can be opened up and, if so, to what extent.

Kept by the Boy Scouts for decades to try to track and prevent individuals who might be unsuitable to work with children from participating in its activities, the files are sought as evidence by plaintiffs in a child-abuse case against the Boy Scouts and the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

In oral arguments before the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem today, attorney Robert Aldisert, who represents the Boy Scouts, said a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge exceeded his authority in ruling not only that some 1,247 files could be used as evidence, reports the Associated Press.

Media organizations intervened on behalf of the plaintiffs to argue that the trial judge made the right call, but disagree about whether victims’ names should be revealed along with those of the accusers.

Meannwhile, a trade group representing well-known companies including Microsoft Corp. has also weighed in. It contends that opening up the Boy Scouts’ files would set a dangerous precedent in Oregon concerning corporate trade secrets, the article reports.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.