The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. David O. Carter
Ctrm. 9-D PROTECTIVE ORDER  Action Filed: April 2, 2012 Trial Date: September 14, 2013 Discovery Cut-Off: August 14, 2013 Pre-Trial Conference: September 3, 2013
1. PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS
Disclosure and discovery activity in the above-captioned action (the "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. Accordingly, defendant Bank of America, N.A. petitions the court to enter the following Protective Order.
This Protective Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery, and 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. As set forth in Section 14.3, below, this Protective Order does not entitle the parties to file confidential information under seal; Civil Local Rule 79-5 sets 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.
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). This includes, but is not limited to, information that: (i) contains confidential, proprietary, trade secret, or other commercially sensitive information; (ii) contains confidential research, development, or commercial information; or (iii) contains sensitive health, personal financial, or other information protected by the right of privacy.
2.3 "Counsel:" both outside counsel of record and in-house counsel. This includes attorneys retained to represent or advise a party to this action and who have appeared in this action on behalf of a party or are affiliated with a law firm that has appeared on behalf of that party, and attorneys who are employees of a party to this action, as well as their support staff (which includes secretaries, paralegals, legal assistants, and other 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" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY."
2.5 "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 (1) has been retained by a Party or its counsel to serve as an expert witness or as a consultant in this action, (2) is not a past or current employee of a Party or of a Party's competitor, and (3) at the time of retention, is not anticipated to become an employee of a Party or of a Party's competitor.
2.7 "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" Information or Items: extremely sensitive "Confidential Information or Items," disclosure of which to another Party or Non-Party would create a substantial risk of serious harm that could not be avoided by less restrictive means.
2.8 "Non-Party:" any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity not named as a Party to this action.
2.9 "Party:" any party to this action, including all of its officers, directors, employees, consultants, retained experts, and in-house counsel (and their support staffs).
2.10 "Producing Party:" a Party or Non-Party that produces Disclosure or Discovery Material in this action.
2.11 "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.
2.12 "Protected Material:" any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is designated as "CONFIDENTIAL," or as "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY."
2.13 "Receiving Party:" a Party that receives Disclosure or Discovery Material from a Producing Party.
The protections conferred by this 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 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.
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.
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. To the extent it is practical to do so, 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, items, or communications for which protection is not warranted are not swept unjustifiably within the ambit of this Order.
Mass, indiscriminate, or routinized designations are prohibited. Designations that are shown to be clearly unjustified or that have been made for an improper purpose (e.g., to unnecessarily encumber or retard the case development process or to impose unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties) expose the Designating Party to sanctions.
If it comes to a Designating Party's attention that information or items that it designated for protection do not qualify for protection at all or do not qualify for the level of protection initially asserted, that Designating Party must promptly notify all other parties that it is withdrawing the mistaken designation.
5.2 Manner and Timing of Designations. Except as otherwise provided in this Order (see, e.g., second paragraph of section 5.2(a) below), or as otherwise stipulated or ordered, Disclosure or Discovery Material that qualifies for protection under this Order must be clearly so designated before the material is disclosed or produced.
Designation in conformity with this Order requires:
(a) for information in documentary form (e.g., paper or electronic documents, but excluding transcripts of depositions or other pretrial or trial proceedings), that the Producing Party affix the legend "CONFIDENTIAL" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" to each page that contains protected material. If only a portion or portions of the material on a page qualifies for protection, the Producing Party also must clearly identify the protected portion(s) (e.g., ...