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Apple, Inc., A California Corporation, Plaintiff v. Samsung

September 28, 2012

APPLE, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., A KOREAN CORPORATION; SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., A NEW YORK CORPORATION; SAMSUNG TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMERICA, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

United States District For the Northern District of California

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL; DENYING REQUEST FOR ORDER PROHIBITING COMMUNICATION WITH JURORS

On September 21, 2012, Samsung filed a motion making two requests: to file portions of its Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and supporting documents under seal, and for an order 20 prohibiting the parties from further communication with the jurors ("Mot."). ECF No. 1990. On 21 September 25, 2012, Apple filed a partial opposition to this motion ("Opp'n"). ECF No. 2003. 22

I.Background

On September 21, 2012, Samsung filed a redacted version of its Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law raising nine distinct arguments. ECF No. 1990, Exh. 3. One of these arguments 25 concerns the conduct of the jury during voir dire. This argument consumes two whole pages of the 26 motion, as well as a single footnote later in the motion. Samsung seeks to seal this entire section of 27 the Motion. In addition, Samsung seeks to seal almost all of the Declaration of Susan Estrich in support of that motion, and 15 exhibits attached to the Estrich Declaration. Samsung has cited 2 these exhibits as evidence of "extensive media coverage" that the trial and deliberations have 3 received. Mot. at 1. 4 5 the jurors until the matters raised by the Rules 50 and 59 Motion have been finally resolved." Id. 5(d), because they have been designated as confidential by either Apple or Intel. The Court will 9 consider each of these three requests in turn. 10

Samsung further requests that the parties be "ordered to have no further contact with any of

Finally, Samsung has moved to seal five exhibits to the Declaration of John Pierce in

Support of Samsung's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-8

II.Motion to File Under Seal Samsung's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

As this Court has explained in its previous orders on Motions to Seal in this case, see ECF

Nos. 1966, 1649, 1269 and 1256, there is a "strong presumption in favor of access." Kamakana v.

City and Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). In order to overcome this strong 14 presumption, a party seeking to seal a judicial record must articulate justifications for sealing that 15 outweigh the public policies favoring disclosure. See id. at 1178-79. Because the public's interest 16 in non-dispositive motions is relatively low, a party seeking to seal a document attached to a non-17 dispositive motion need only demonstrate "good cause." Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 18

665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010) (applying "good cause" standard to all non-dispositive motions, because 19 such motions "'are often unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action'" 20

(citing Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179)). Conversely, "the resolution of a dispute on the merits, 21 whether by trial or summary judgment, is at the heart of the interest in ensuring the 'public's 22 understanding of the judicial process and of significant public events.'" Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 23

(9th Cir. 1986)). Thus, a party seeking to seal a judicial record attached to a dispositive motion or 25 presented at trial must articulate "compelling reasons" in favor of sealing. See id. at 1178. This 26 reasoning applies equally to potentially dispositive motions made during or after trial, such as 27 motions for judgment as a matter of law, which, like summary judgment motions and trials, resolve 28

the merits of a case. Accordingly, to prevail on this motion, Samsung would need to demonstrate 2 compelling reasons for sealing. 3

Samsung's articulated reason for sealing here is "to protect both the privacy of the jurors

4 and the integrity of the process." Mot. at 1. This reason might satisfy the "good cause" standard. 5

See Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180 ("[I]f 'good cause' is shown in discovery, a district court may 6 issue 'any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, 7 embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.'") (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 26). But as the 8

'compelling reasons' test." Id. "In general, 'compelling reasons' sufficient to outweigh the 10 public's interest in disclosure and justify sealing court ...


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