Court record blackout

Virginia Lawyers Weekly reports this week that a reporter seeking evidence used in the York County capital murder trial of Daryl Atkins has been effectively denied access. A clerk said she could not release the material -- even though it is not under seal and even though there's a presumption that non-sealed evidence used at trial is open to the public -- without the judge's OK. The judge has sat on the reporter's request for access for months. The Clerk of Court for Wise County forwarded the story to his fellow clerks with this note, " I commend [the article] for your reading as an example of the way NOT to conduct yourself if the situation arises."