A federal court in Michigan was recently presented with a motion to seal the briefing associated with a motion to confirm an arbitration award. The arbitration concerned a reinsurance dispute and had been conducted pursuant to a confidentiality agreement that required the final award and any court submissions be kept confidential. Noting the “long-established legal tradition of public access to court documents,” the court ordered that only limited portions of the Final Award should be sealed – those that identified non-parties. The court refused to seal other portions of the award, rejecting the argument that public filing of the award’s “substantive rulings” could harm the reinsurer’s financial interests. The reinsurer argued that other reinsureds could cite to the blanket pronouncements in the Final Award to support their claims, despite the confidential nature of the arbitration. The court ruled that unlike situations where the arbitration award contains confidential business data or trade secrets and therefore is properly sealed, the request to seal the Final Award in this case was made merely to prevent unhelpful portions of the Final Award from becoming public in an effort to avoid future litigation. The court cited Sixth Circuit precedent holding a party’s interest in shielding prejudicial information from public view, standing alone, cannot justify the sealing of that information. Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., No. 14-CV-13060, 2014 WL 5481107 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 29, 2014).