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James Shortt v. County of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Sheriff's Department; Estate of

January 29, 2013

JAMES SHORTT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES; LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT; ESTATE OF RICHARD LAMSCUS (DECEASED); ESTATE OF JAMES MERCER (DECEASED), ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Dale S. Fischer

#:2089

STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] PROTECTIVE ORDER

I.PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS

Disclosure and discovery activity in this action are likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation may be warranted.

Plaintiff claims that his civil rights were violated, resulting in his conviction for murder in the early 1980's. The currently named defendants are the estates and/or surviving family members of the two deceased Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department ("LASD") Homicide Detectives, Richard Lamascus and James Mercer, who were assigned to the underlying investigation, the County of Los Angeles ("County") and the LASD. Plaintiff's claims against the District Attorney's Office were dismissed by the Court.

To date, Plaintiff has propounded five sets of document production requests on Defendants County of Los Angeles and LASD which include approximately 200 separate document production requests (many of which include additional sub-categories of documents). Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 26 and in response to the five sets of documents production requests, Defendants County and LASD have produced to Plaintiff over 8,000 bates numbers of documents and materials. Defendants County and LASD maintain that many of the document production requests seek privileged materials, including, but not limited to, various notes, memoranda, communications and other documents containing attorneys' thoughts, impressions and mental conclusions as well as various documents containing confidential, private information about third party non-parties to the instant litigation. Defendants have provided a privilege log identifying these materials. In the interest of judicial economy, Defendants County and LASD have agreed to produce a sub-set of the materials listed in the privilege log subject to protective order.*fn1

Plaintiff through his counsel of record, and Defendants, through their counsel of record, hereby stipulate that any production of Protected Materials shall be produced subject to the terms of this Order. The parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery and that the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable legal principles. The parties further acknowledge, as set forth in Section 12.3, below, that this Stipulated Protective Order does not entitle them to file confidential information under seal; Civil Local Rule 79-5 and this Court's Civil Case Standing Order set forth the procedures that must be followed and the standards that will be applied when a party seeks permission from the court to file material under seal.

II.2. DEFINITIONS

2.1 Challenging Party: a Party or Non-Party that challenges the designation of information or items under this Order.

2.2 "CONFIDENTIAL" Information or Items: information (regardless of how it is generated, stored or maintained) or tangible things that qualify for protection under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c).

2.3 Counsel (without qualifier): Outside Counsel of Record and House Counsel (as well as their support staff).

2.4 Designating Party: a Party or Non-Party that designates information or items that it produces in disclosures or in responses to discovery as "CONFIDENTIAL."

2.5 Disclosure or Discovery Material: all items or information, regardless of the medium or manner in which it is generated, stored, or maintained (including, among other things, testimony, transcripts, and tangible things), that are produced or generated in disclosures or responses to discovery in this matter.

2.6 Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in a matter pertinent to the litigation who has been retained by a Party or its counsel to serve as an expert witness or as a consultant in this action.

2.7 House Counsel: attorneys who are employees of a party to this action. House Counsel does not include Outside Counsel of Record or any other outside counsel.

2.8 Non-Party: any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity not named as a Party to this action.

2.9 Outside Counsel of Record: attorneys who are not employees of a party to this action but are retained to represent or advise a party to this action and have appeared in this action on behalf of that party or are affiliated with a law firm which has appeared on behalf of that party.

2.10 Party: any party to this action, including all of its officers, directors, employees, consultants, retained experts, and Outside Counsel of Record (and their support staffs).

2.11 Producing Party: a Party or Non-Party that produces Disclosure or Discovery Material in this action.

2.12 Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation support services (e.g., photocopying, videotaping, translating, preparing exhibits or demonstrations, and organizing, storing, or retrieving data in any form or medium) and their employees and subcontractors.

2.13 Protected Material: any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is designated as "CONFIDENTIAL."

2.14 Receiving Party: a Party that receives Disclosure or Discovery Material from a Producing Party.

III.3. SCOPE

The protections conferred by this Stipulation and Order cover not only Protected Material (as defined above), but also (1) any information copied or extracted from Protected Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations of Protected Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by Parties or their Counsel that might reveal Protected Material. However, the protections conferred by this Stipulation and Order do not cover the following information: (a) any information that is in the public domain at the time of disclosure to a Receiving Party or becomes part of the public domain after its disclosure to a Receiving Party as a result of publication not involving a violation of this Order, including becoming part of the public record through trial or otherwise; and (b) any information known to the Receiving Party prior to the disclosure or obtained by the Receiving Party after the disclosure from a source who obtained the information lawfully and under no obligation of confidentiality to the Designating Party. Any use of Protected Material at trial shall be governed by a separate agreement or order.

IV.4. DURATION

Even after final disposition of this litigation, the confidentiality obligations imposed by this Order shall remain in effect until a Designating Party agrees otherwise in writing or a court order otherwise directs. Final disposition shall be deemed to be the later of (1) dismissal of all claims and defenses in this action, with or without prejudice; and (2) final judgment herein after the completion and exhaustion of all appeals, rehearings, remands, trials, or reviews of this action, including the time limits for filing any motions or applications for extension of time pursuant to applicable law.

V.5. DESIGNATING PROTECTED MATERIAL

5.1 Exercise of Restraint and Care in Designating Material for Protection. Each Party or Non-Party that designates information or items for protection under this Order must take care to limit any such designation to specific material that qualifies under the appropriate standards. The Designating Party must designate for protection only those parts of material, documents, items, or oral or written communications that qualify -- so that other portions of the material, documents, ...


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