Peter Guffin, Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Maine School of Law, recently submitted written comments on the Maine Judicial Branch’s planned proposal to the Maine Legislature to Adopt the “Digital Court Records Access Act.” In his comments, he states that the proposed “Digital Court Records Access Act” provides a useful starting point, but “falls far short of meeting its stated purpose ‘to provide a comprehensive framework for public access to digital court records maintained by the Maine Judicial Branch.’”
Professor Guffin adds that the Act “narrowly addresses a very singular set of issues involving individual case files,” and “fails to address a number of privacy, transparency, data security, and access-to-justice issues, many of which are equally if not more critical for Maine citizens.” He provides additional commentary and analysis on the Act in following areas:
- Separation of powers
- Burden of proof
- Maine Judicial Branch accountability and citizen redress
Professor Guffin concludes his comments by saying that the Maine Judicial Branch should either not present the Act to the Legislature, or postpone submitting it until “more information has been provided to the public and members of the Bar” about how it plans to address the Act’s omissions.
At Maine Law, Guffin serves as Co-Director of the Information Privacy Law Program. He teaches courses and practicums in information privacy law and cybersecurity. He also heads Pierce Atwood’s Privacy & Data Security practice, where he counsels clients on compliance with state, federal, and international laws and regulations relating to privacy and data protection, including cross-border data transfers.