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First Amendment

Undisclosed Court Papers Trouble Critics

Posted May 30, 2007 9:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The federal clerk’s office for the Southern District of Florida did not post key documents to its Web site in a case involving Miami attorney Louis Robles.

First Amendment advocates are troubled by the omission, which apparently violated rules of the U.S. Judicial Conference, according to the Daily Business Review. They see a troubling trend of courts keeping documents off the electronic database.

Robles, who had been accused of stealing client money, had been expected to accept a plea deal that called for a 10-year prison sentence and $13 million in restitution.

But Robles’ bond was revoked after his girlfriend warned he planned to flee the country. Reporters were not aware of the development because the petition for bond revocation, the arrest warrant and other documents were not posted, the paper says.

The clerk’s office told the Daily Business Review that it is working to correct the posting problem.

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