Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 3/20/2007 01:37:00 PM

Vermont Auto Emissions Trial Stalls over Trade Secrets

From the Boston Globe, a story concerning delays in a federal case brought by automobile manufacturers and dealers who contend that Vermont lacks authority to regulate vehicle emissions.

According to the story:

The trial was postponed after U.S. District Judge William Sessions III heard arguments centered on the auto interests' desire to seal certain documents and close the courtroom to the public during some witnesses' testimony because of trade secrets that would be revealed. The Burlington Free Press, which opposes the motions, is seeking to intervene in the case in hopes of keeping the proceedings open.

As always, there are consequences to filing lawsuits that might relate to things you'd just as soon keep secret.

Again according to the Globe:

In a lengthy question-and-answer session with Clubok [the industry attorney], Sessions said it was problematic for the auto interests to claim economic harm without being available to answer questions about finances, production costs and other elements that they contend are private.

"You're making a strong argument that you'll be devastated," Sessions said. "When you make that particular argument, you open the door to [defendants' attorneys] saying 'Prove it. Prove that these regulations would cost you so enormously.'"

Trial has been rescheduled to April.
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