The Volokh Conspiracy

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No Sealing in Ex-Record Exec Charlie Walk's Malpractice Lawsuit vs. Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz

Kasowitz had negotiated a confidential settlement agreement for Walk with UMG Recordings; but the agreement has now been made public, because the judge order it had to be unsealed for the malpractice lawsuit.


Walk had been fired by UMG Recordings for alleged sexual harassment, and settled any possible claims against UMG with Kasowitz's help. Walk later sued Kasowitz and his firm, claiming they advised him badly; he sought to keep the confidential settlement agreement sealed. No dice, said New York trial judge Andrew Borrok, in Walk v. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, handed down on May 7 but just posted on Westlaw:

[T]he plaintiff's motion to seal must be denied. Charlie Walk has placed directly at issue the Settlement Agreement … dated March 27, 2018, between UMG Recordings, Inc. … and Mr. Walk pursuant to which he was paid approximately $1.7 million in connection with the termination of his employment from UMG. To wit, Mr. Walk alleges that the defendants committed malpractice in advising him and negotiating the Settlement Agreement with UMG when he was accused by a number of women of sexual harassment.

Neither UMG nor Mr. Walk has a compelling interest in keeping the Settlement Agreement confidential. The interest of the victims of Mr. Walk's alleged conduct and the public interest in how UMG addresses these types of allegations substantially outweighs any private agreement to the contrary.

For more on the case, and on the original dispute with UMG, see this Music Business Worldwide story.