Steven D. Zansberg of Ballard Spahr writes:
Judge Carlos E. Samour, Jr., on June 29 ordered unsealed the court filings surrounding psychiatric evaluations of James Eagan Holmes, the man convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting on July 20, 2012. As a result, the public will be able to see, for the first time, the reports two independent psychiatrists filed with the Court, and the treatment notes of two University of Colorado mental health professionals who counseled Mr. Holmes before his deadly rampage.
The ruling may be of significance beyond Colorado because it instructs judges elsewhere that reports of court-appointed psychiatric expert witnesses are not privileged and that defendants who place their mental state at issue in a criminal case thereby waive their doctor-patient privilege in actual treatment records that are entered into evidence.
Read more on The National Law Review.