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Lopez v. K Mart Corp.

June 12, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Robert N. Block United States Magistrate Judge United States District Court, Central District of California


Plaintiff Rosa Lopez (an individual), and Defendant KMART Corporation (hereinafter "Defendant"), have stipulated to this Protective Order by and through their undersigned counsel.

Defendant represents that pre-trial discovery in this case necessarily has involved and will continue to involve matters that are confidential and proprietary to Defendant's on-going business, and may require the production of documents revealing Defendant's methods of operation, material non-public financial information and private employee information and data.

Defendant further represents that Plaintiff has requested information and documents through relating to Defendant's operating policies and procedures, including but not limited to, Defendant's vacation and personnel time policies. Defendant considers this information confidential commercial information that would cause substantial economic harm to Defendant's competitive position if they were made public. Such information qualifies for protection under applicable federal laws. See ICG Communs. Inc. v. Allegiance Telecom, 211 F.R.D. 610 (N.D. Cal. 2002).

Plaintiff represents that these categories of information and documents have been requested and are relevant and/or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence relating to their claims.

Defendant further represents that such material falls within recognized categories of information that may be protected from public disclosure through confidentiality designations under a protective order. See Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 26(c)(1)(G) (allowing protection of "trade secret or other confidential research, development or commercial information").

Defendant further represents that public disclosure of such material poses a substantial risk of great economic harm in that discovery of Defendant's trade secrets and other proprietary commercial information would put Defendant at a competitive disadvantage and would be a windfall to the discovering (competing) party.

For the foregoing reasons, good cause exists for entry of this Order to facilitate pre-trial disclosure while assuring the safety of these sensitive disclosures. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c).

This Order shall apply to pre-trial out-of-court discovery and pre-trial filings with the Court. The parties agree to confer in good faith, in consultation with the Court, in establishing procedures for the use of materials designated as confidential in any evidentiary hearing or trial, which may include a request to close the Courtroom when confidential information may be revealed in the course of such hearing or trial. In the absence of an agreement of the parties or further order of the Court, no Confidential materials may be disclosed in any public hearing or trial.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the following provisions shall govern the conduct of pre-trial proceedings in this action.

1. The word "document" shall have the full meaning ascribed to it in Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and shall include, without limitation all original written, recorded or graphic matters and all copies thereof.

2. This Order shall govern the handling of certain documents produced in this action and designated "Confidential" as further set forth herein.

3. The parties may obtain confidential treatment, as defined in this Order, for such documents by typing or stamping "Confidential" (or words of similar import) on each page or to the front cover of the electronic version of the documents for which confidential treatment is desired. Pages so designated shall hereinafter be referred to as "Confidential Documents." The party designating the Confidential Documents or information shall hereinafter be referred to as the "Designating Party." Any Confidential Document or confidential information contained therein shall be used solely for the purpose of preparing for and conducting pretrial and trial proceedings in this action where counsel and the parties agree to be bound by the terms of this protective order. Nothing in this Order precludes the parties from agreeing to produce and accept certain documents on a "attorneys eyes only" basis, which shall be disclosed only to counsel of record, in the event that a party believes, in good faith, that the documents provided would reveal especially sensitive information that could cause irreparable harm if disclosed to persons other than counsel.

4. Documents or portions thereof may be designated "Confidential" pursuant to the terms of this Order:

(a) If the portion of the document discloses proprietary and confidential trade secrets or confidential research, development or commercial information the disclosure of which a party believes in good faith would cause substantial harm to current legitimate business interests, or discloses information invasive of the ...

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