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Willick v. Trimark Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 29, 2013

RYAN WILLICK, Plaintiff,

Jennifer E. Duggan, SBN: 183833 Beatriz Berumen, SBN: 271249 PALMER KAZANJIAN WOHL HODSON LLP, Sacramento, CA, Attorneys for Defendant/Counter-Claimant TRIMARK ASSOCIATES, INC.

Andrea M. Miller, SBN: 088992 James C. Keowen, SBN: 173546 NAGELEY, MEREDITH & MILLER, INC., Sacramento, CA, Attorneys for Plaintiff/Cross-Defendants RYAN WILLICK, individually and dba WILLICK PROJECT MANAGEMENT.


KENDALL J. NEWMAN, Magistrate Judge.

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) and Eastern District of California Local Rule 141.1(c), the parties, by and through their undersigned counsel, hereby stipulate and agree to the following protective order:

The parties believe in good faith that certain discoverable documents and deposition testimony in the above-captioned case contain information that is (a) confidential, sensitive, or potentially invasive of certain privacy interests; (b) not generally known; and (c) not normally revealed to the public or third parties or, if disclosed to third parties, would require such third parties to maintain the information in confidence.

On November 1, 2010, the parties entered into an Independent Contractor Agreement (hereinafter "Agreement") for the provision of outsourced project management services. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant RYAN WILLICK, individually and dba WILLICK PROJECT MANAGEMENT (hereinafter collectively referred to as "WILLICK") generally contends that under the Agreement he was at all times an employee of Defendant/Counter-Claimant TRIMARK ASSOCIATES, INC. (hereinafter referred to as "TRIMARK"), whereas TRIMARK maintains that WILLICK was at all times an independent contractor under the Agreement. The parties generally agree that WILLICK had access to certain proprietary information concerning or relating to TRIMARK processes and operations, including but not limited to project proposals; service agreements; customer lists; client program implementation and change management plan documents; and other confidential commercial information of TRIMARK and of TRIMARK's clients. Consequently, the parties acknowledge that there are likely to be substantial amounts of documents and other material in existence which touch upon a number of sensitive matters and which may contain proprietary information not only of the parties, but of a number of non-party firms, corporations, partnerships, agencies, organizations or other third persons.

The parties acknowledge that without a protective order in place, disclosure of such information may be harmful to the competitive position of the party, or non-party firm, corporation, partnership, agency, organization or other third person from which the information was obtained. Further, given the confidential nature of potentially discoverable information, the parties will likely need to seek Court intervention to resolve discovery disputes as to which records and information warrant confidential protection. The parties may also need the Court's assistance in preserving confidentiality of information provided to the Court through this process. The parties believe a Court order, not a private agreement, properly facilitates the limited disclosure of such documents while protecting them from general disclosure.

For good cause, the Court may issue protective orders limiting disclosure of trade secrets or other confidential research, development, or commercial information. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(G). Within the Ninth Circuit, the publication of materials that could result in infringement upon trade secrets has long been considered a factor that would overcome a strong presumption in favor of access when deciding whether to seal records. See Apple Inc. v. Psystar Corp., 658 F.3d 1150, 1162 (9th Cir. 2011). Further, courts have ordered disclosure of trade secrets and other confidential commercial information subject to a protective order signed by the court to include a restriction that such information be limited to "attorney's eyes only." Nutratech, Inc. v. Syntech (SSPF) Int'l, Inc., 242 F.R.D. 552, 556 (C.D. Cal. 2007).

Accordingly, subject to and without waiving any statutory or other privileges or objections to the admissibility or discoverability of any testimony, information or documents produced in connection with the above-captioned case, the parties hereby stipulate to and petition the Court to enter the following Stipulated Protective Order (hereinafter "Order") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c). 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.



A. The terms of this Order shall be binding on the parties from the time that counsel for the parties have signed the Order, even if the Court has not signed the Order.

B. This Order may be modified or terminated by the Court for good cause shown, or by signed stipulation by the parties.

C. Any party for good cause may apply to the Court to challenge a designation made by any other party, or to reveal information that the producing party has redacted, after an attempt has been made to meet and confer over the issue. Upon such a request to the Court to challenge the designation made, the Court shall first review the documents and determine whether the designation is appropriate. The parties shall comply with this Order unless the Court orders otherwise.

D. The party designating material as "CONFIDENTIAL" may waive any of the provisions of this Order in writing.

E. The parties agree that they will meet and confer with the Court as necessary about the handling of material designated by any of the parties as "CONFIDENTIAL, " produced pursuant to this Order for trial purposes. Nothing herien shall be construed as a concession by any party that its presentation of evidence at trial relevant to its claims or defenses should be restricted in any manner.

F. This Order shall be without prejudice to present a stipulation or motion to the Court under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) for a separate Protective Order as to any particular document or information, including restrictions different from those as specified herein. This shall not be deemed to ...

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