The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States Magistrate Judge The Honorable Andrew J. Wistrich
PROTECTIVE ORDER Trial Date: February 7, 2012 Discovery Cut-Off: October 24, 2011
Plaintiffs Eileen Joy Peviani and Mary Henderson (collectively "Plaintiffs") and Defendant Gruma Corporation ("Gruma")*fn1 , by and through their counsel of record, filed a Stipulation and Proposed Protective Order ("Protective Order") on May 19, 2011, because discovery in this action is likely to involve, production of confidential or proprietary business documents and information containing, among other matters, proprietary formulae and ingredients, financial and sales data, and laboratory test reports, the disclosure of which would likely cause significant financial and other harm to the competitive positions of Gruma. Such documents and information are likely to include, among other things, reports from laboratory testing concerning the amounts of certain ingredients used in Gruma's confidential and proprietary formulae and confidential sales figures pertaining to Gruma's sales of products at issue in this case. In addition, such documents and information are likely to include, among other things, Plaintiffs' confidential personal information such as bank account, credit and debit card information and other personal or financial information. Among other safeguards, such documents and information should be used solely for purposes of this action and should be protected against disclosure to the public.
THIS COURT FINDS GOOD CAUSE TO GRANT THE PROTECTIVE ORDER AND SPECIFICALLY ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
1. This Protective Order covers only those documents and information that are entitled to confidential treatment under applicable legal principles. It does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery. As set forth in Section 10 below, this Protective Order creates no entitlement to file confidential information under seal. U.S. Central District Local Rule 79-5 sets forth the procedures that must be followed, and reflects the standards that will be applied, if a Party seeks permission from the Court to file material under seal.
2.1 Party: any party to this action. In the case of a party who is not a natural person, the term "Party" shall include all of the organization's officers, directors, and employees.
2.2 Disclosure or Discovery Material: all documents, items, or information, regardless of the medium or manner generated, stored, or maintained (including, but not limited to, testimony, transcripts, documents or tangible things) that are produced or generated in disclosures or responses to discovery in this action.
2.3 "Confidential" Information or Items: documents, information (regardless of how generated, stored or maintained), or tangible things that the designating Party in good faith believes contains confidential or sensitive proprietary, business, commercial or personal information. Information available to the public through lawful means, including catalogs, advertising materials and the like shall not be designated as "Confidential Information or Items."
2.4 "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only" Information or Items: extremely sensitive Confidential Information or Items whose disclosure to another Party or non-party would create a risk of injury that could not be avoided by less restrictive means. Such information or items are likely to include, among other things, Gruma's sensitive sales figures, which if disclosed to persons other than permitted by this Protective Order would likely cause significant and substantial financial and other harm to Gruma's competitive position.
2.5 Designating Party: a Party or non-party that designates its Disclosures or Discovery Material as "Confidential" or "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only."
2.6 Receiving Party: a Party or non-party that receives Disclosures or Discovery Material from a Designating Party.
2.7 Protected Material: any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is designated as either "Confidential" or as "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only."
2.8 Outside Counsel: attorneys who are not employees of a Party but who are retained to represent or advise a Party in this action (as well as the support staff of such attorneys).
2.9 In-House Counsel: attorneys who are employees of a Party (as well as their support staff).
2.10 Counsel (without qualifier): Outside Counsel and In-House Counsel (as well as their support staffs).
2.11 Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in an area pertinent to this action who has been retained by a Party or its Counsel to serve as an expert witness or as a consultant in this action; and who is not a past or a current owner, officer, director, or employee of a Party and who, at the time of retention, was not anticipated to become an employee of a Party. This definition includes a professional jury or trial consultant retained in connection with this action.
2.12 Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation support services (e.g., photocopying, videotaping, translating, preparing exhibits or demonstrations, organizing, storing, retrieving data in any form or medium; etc.) and their employees and subcontractors.
The protections conferred by this Protective Order cover (a) Protected Material (as defined above) and (b) any information copied or extracted from Protected Material, as well as all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations thereof, plus testimony, conversations, or presentations by Parties or Counsel to or in Court or in other settings that would reveal Protected Material. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court pursuant to sections 5.2(c) and 5.2(e), nothing herein shall impose any restriction on the use or disclosure of material by a party obtained by such party independent of this action.
The confidentiality obligations imposed by this Protective Order shall remain in effect during, and after the termination of, this action until a Designating Party agrees ...