David O. Marcus writes in Southern District of Florida Blog: U.S. Attorney's Office still keeping cooperation secret from public,
Although Chief Judge Moreno and the rest of the SDFLA court have made plea agreements public again by allowing them to be accessed by PACER, the government is still attempting to keep cooperation agreements secret and off-line.
A number of AUSAs and AFPDs have emailed me the new government policy when a defendant is cooperating: Just delete those sections* from the plea agreement and include them in a letter agreement, NOT FILED WITH THE COURT. This new policy certainly circumvents the spirit of making deals open to the public. From what I understand, the prosecutors ask the court to go over the cooperation letter agreement with the defendant, but then ask for the letter not to be filed in the court record. I suspect that most judges will not abide by this request, especially because technically the letter is a matter of public record if reviewed in open court — so why not file it…
I might add that the proprietor of the shop engaged in this behavior is about to become the Dean of a law school. I wonder if this is what they will teach in their Legal Profession course?