Arthur Andersen records sought in UnCover case

From: Irvin Muchnick <irvmuch[_at_]>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 13:53:58 -0700 (PDT)

SOUGHT IN SEALED COURT RECORDS OAKLAND, California -– The opening of records with information about the Arthur Andersen accounting firm’s role in the $7.25 million settlement of an authors’ class-action copyright infringement lawsuit is being sought here in United States District Court.

Acting on behalf of freelance journalist Irvin Muchnick, San Francisco attorney Roy S. Gordet filed a motion with Senior Judge D. Lowell Jensen on May 13 for public access to previously sealed documents in Ryan v. CARL Corp., a case settled two years ago. Muchnick, a former assistant director of the National Writers Union, was later a consultant to plaintiff class counsel in the Ryan case. The first class action of its kind in the history of American jurisprudence, Ryan involved claims by freelance magazine and journal authors against the owners of the UnCover document-delivery service.

“We’re seeking to create a comprehensive public record of the distribution of the multimillion-dollar Ryan settlement fund,” Gordet said. “My client has written critically of Arthur Andersen’s performance as claims administrator. The open portion of the case file indicates that Andersen charged the class $500,000. A review of the sealed documents would help answer the question, ‘Exactly what did writers get in return?’”

Muchnick added: “We already know of at least one serious mistake by Andersen during the processing of claims, and the firm’s connection to the Enron scandal points clearly to the need for the highest level of public scrutiny of everything else it has been up to. Without prejudging the contents of these secret files, I’m from Missouri and I’m respectfully asking the court to ‘show me’.”

Irvin Muchnick’s writings about the Ryan case and related authors’ rights issues are collected at the website “Electronic Rights & Wrongs,”
The site table of contents can be viewed at
<>. Items there

· “Arthur Andersen and Me”

· Muchnick’s letter to Judge Jensen (March 6, 2002) and Judge Jensen’s response (April 17, 2002)

· The court motion of May 13, 2002

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