Doe 1 v. Superior Court (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles), 132 Cal. App. 4th 1160 (2005)

Petitioners in this case, 26 Roman Catholic priests, filed this action to prevent the Los Angeles Archdiocese from publicly disclosing written summaries that were made of the personnel records of more than 100 priests who were accused of sexually molesting minors. The summaries were prepared for purposes of settling ongoing litigation between the Archdiocese and the alleged molestation victims. The Court of Appeal granted the priests’ petition for a writ of mandate and ordered the trial court to grant the priests’ motion for protective order, prohibiting the public disclosure of the summaries on the ground that disclosure would violate the applicable mediation confidentiality statutes. The Court rejected the argument that barring release of the summaries was a prior restraint of free speech.