The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Volokh Conspiracy

Sealed S.C. Real Estate Case Involving Mick Mulvaney (Acting White House Chief of Staff)


Prof. Adam Levitin (Georgetown Law) has the story on his Credit Slips blog. There is some controversy about the underlying land deal, which the Washington Post covered last year; Prof. Levitin thinks Mulvaney's "move [was] allowed by the rules, but also totally in bad faith," but my UCLA colleague Prof. Lynn Lopucki disagrees, arguing that the underlying financial transaction—"strategic purchase and foreclosure of a mortgage"—is commonplace and generally not considered to be in bad faith. Prof. Levitin's post, though, focuses on the sealing of the court records in the lawsuit over the deal:

Incredibly, even the court's order is under seal. I've never seen an order deciding a foreclosure action that is under seal. It's frankly ridiculous. This is a dodgy land deal, not a state secret….

There is also an update to the post about some of the documents being available unsealed in the appellate file. I can't speak to the underlying transaction, but it does seem to me hard to justify the sealing.