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Joyce Walker, Kim Bruce Howlett, and Muriel Spooner, On Behalf of v. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest

January 10, 2013

JOYCE WALKER, KIM BRUCE HOWLETT, AND MURIEL SPOONER, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE SOUTHWEST, A TEXAS CORPORATION, AND DOES 1-50 DEFENDANT.



Formerly Case No.: 3:10-cv -04852 JSW from Northern District of California Judge: Hon. James V. Selna

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Robert N. Block United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER RE: JOINT CONFIDENTIALITY STIPULATION AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

Courtroom: 10C Plaintiffs Joyce Walker, Kim Bruce Howlett, and Muriel Spooner ("Plaintiffs") and Defendant Life Insurance Company of the Southwest ("Defendant" or "LSW" and, together with Plaintiffs, the "Parties") submit the following stipulation to govern certain matters relating to the production by LSW of certain policyholder files pertaining to class members.

WHEREAS, on November 9, 2012, the Court entered an Order certifying a class comprising "all Provider and Paragon Policies who purchased their Policies on or after September 24, 2006." Dkt. 353 at 27;

WHEREAS, Plaintiffs' Request for Production No. 173 demands the production of certain documents contained in the policyholder files for each class member;

WHEREAS, pursuant to an agreement with Plaintiffs, LSW intends to make an interim production of 1400 policy files on an expedited basis, plus a production of the remaining files as soon as practicable thereafter (collectively, the "Production");

WHEREAS, LSW expects that the Production may be very voluminous because each policy file potentially contains hundreds of pages; WHEREAS, the files may include sensitive medical information, as well as information protected by the work product, attorney-client or other privileges; WHEREAS, on September 27, 2011 the parties agreed to a Second Amended Protective Order which provided, inter alia, for protection of inadvertently disclosed documents, which continues in full force and effect, but the parties wish to provide further protection for the Production;

WHEREAS, the parties wish to enter into a stipulation that will permit LSW to make the Production quickly with little or no human review, but without any possibility of waiver of any protection or privilege that would have permitted LSW to withhold any document.

Thus, IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED by and among all Parties, through

their respective attorneys of record, as follows:

1. "Protected Information" shall be defined as any information contained in the Production that could have been withheld, for any reason, including: the attorney-client privilege, work-product protection, privileges pertaining to medical information, spousal privilege, or any other applicable privilege or ground for withholding or redacting ("Ground For Protection").

2. Non-Waiver: Plaintiffs understand and agree that LSW shall make the Production after undertaking either no human review, or an extremely limited human review, at the sole option of LSW. Plaintiffs expressly agree that doing so shall not constitute a waiver of any Ground For Protection. Thus, Plaintiffs shall never, under any circumstances, argue: (i) that the Production or any part thereof constitutes a waiver of, or calls into question, the applicability of any Ground For Production; and (ii) that LSW failed to take reasonable efforts to assert or preserve any Ground For Protection by making the Production. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d), the privilege or protection is not waived by the Production.

3. Non-Use: Plaintiffs shall make no use whatsoever of any information that they reasonably believe to be Protected Information. The use of documents containing confidential medical information shall be governed by the terms of the parties' September 27, 2011 Second Amended Protective Order. In regards to all other types of Protected Information, with the exception of confidential medical information, Plaintiffs shall promptly notify LSW upon identifying such information. Plaintiffs shall either (i) destroy the documents containing such Protected Information, or (ii) take reasonable efforts to segregate and protect the confidentiality of the information pending any Return Request, or clarification from LSW regarding whether the information is Protected Information (which clarification Plaintiffs shall be entitled to request from LSW).

4. Return Requests: LSW may, at any time, tender to Plaintiffs' counsel a written request specifying the Bates numbers of the pages on which Protected Information appears for the redaction of such information or return of any document(s) containing ...


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