The opinion of the court was delivered by: Margaret A. Nagle United States Magistrate Judge
PROTECTIVE ORDER ENTERED PURSUANT TO THE PARTIES' STIPULATION
Compl. Filed: June 17, 2011 Compl. Removed: July 15, 2011 Trial Date: None Set
Honorable Christina A. Snyder
Pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and based on the parties' Stipulated Protective Order Regarding Confidential and Trade Secret Information ("Stipulation") filed on September 1, 2011, the terms of the protective order to which the parties have agreed are adopted as a protective order of this Court (which generally shall govern the pretrial phase of this action) except to the extent, as set forth below, that those terms have been substantively modified by the Court's amendment of Paragraphs 1, 8, 12, 13, 15, and 17 of, and Exhibit A to, the Stipulation.
The parties are expressly cautioned that the designation of any information, document, or thing as "CONFIDENTIAL," "Confidential Information," or other designation(s) used by the parties, does not, in and of itself, create any entitlement to file such information, document, or thing, in whole or in part, under seal. Accordingly, reference to this Protective Order or to the parties' designation of any information, document, or thing as "CONFIDENTIAL," "Confidential Information," or other designation(s) used by the parties, is wholly insufficient to warrant a filing under seal.
There is a strong presumption that the public has a right of access to judicial proceedings and records in civil cases. In connection with non-dispositive motions, good cause must be shown to support a filing under seal. The parties apparently have endeavored, through the good cause statement set forth in their Stipulation, to make a prospective showing of good cause. The Court has stricken their good cause statement, because a specific showing of good cause or compelling reasons (see below) for filing under seal, with proper evidentiary support and legal justification, must be made with respect to each document or item designated as "CONFIDENTIAL," "Confidential Information," or other designation(s) used by the parties, which a party seeks to have filed under seal. The parties mere designation of any information, document, or thing as "CONFIDENTIAL," "Confidential Information," or other designation(s) used by the parties, does not -- without the submission of competent evidence, in the form of a declaration or declarations, establishing that the material sought to be filed under seal qualifies as confidential, privileged, or otherwise protectable -- constitute good cause.
Further, if sealing is requested in connection with a dispositive motion or trial, then compelling reasons, as opposed to good cause, for the sealing must be shown, and the relief sought shall be narrowly tailored to serve the specific interest to be protected. See Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-79 (9th Cir. 2010). For each item or type of information, document, or thing sought to be filed or introduced under seal in connection with a dispositive motion or trial, the party seeking protection must articulate compelling reasons, supported by specific facts and legal justification, for the requested sealing order. Again, competent evidence supporting the application to file documents under seal must be provided by declaration.
Any document that is not confidential, privileged, or otherwise protectable in its entirety will not be filed under seal if the confidential portions can be redacted. If documents can be redacted, then a redacted version for public viewing, omitting only the confidential, privileged, or otherwise protectable portions of the document, shall be filed. Any application that seeks to file documents under seal in their entirety should include an explanation of why redaction is not feasible.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protective Order, in the event that this case proceeds to trial, all information, documents, and things discussed or introduced into evidence at trial will become public and available to all members of the public, including the press, unless sufficient cause is shown in advance of trial to proceed otherwise.
TERMS OF THE PROTECTIVE ORDER
1. [OMITTED BY THE COURT]
2. DEFINITION OF "CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION"
For purposes of this Protective Order, "Confidential Information" shall mean the following types of documents and information:
(a) information that constitutes a trade secret including, without limitation, information, materials, and/or other documents reflecting non-public business or financial strategies, and/or confidential competitive information which, if disclosed, could result in prejudice or harm to the disclosing party;
(b) non-public financial or actuarial projections, analyses, or studies;
(c) non-public communications with regulators, Departments of Insurance, or other governmental bodies that are intended to be kept confidential and/or are protected from disclosure by statute or regulation; and
(d) policyholder-specific information.
2.1 Any copies or reproductions, excerpts, summaries, or other documents or media that contain or incorporate Confidential Information as defined above shall also be treated as Confidential Information pursuant to this Protective Order.
2.2 Nothing in this Protective Order shall be construed as requiring Midland to produce any personal or identifying information regarding any individual, nor any other policyholder information that is protected ...