When a United States senator asked the federal judiciary to look into sealed settlement agreements, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee asked the Federal Judicial Center to undertake a research effort to discover how often settlement agreements are sealed in federal court and under what circumstances. The Center learned that the sealing of settlement agreements in federal court is rare, and typically the only part of the court record kept secret by the sealing of a settlement agreement is the amount of settlement. This article describes how the Center developed its re- search project to address the senator's concerns. The article also discusses what the Center learned.

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