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Brimberry v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 15, 2013

P. KELLIE C. BRIMBERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
THE NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendant. THE NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, a Wisconsin corporation, Counter-Claimants,
v.
P. KELLIE C. BRIMBERRY, an individual; FIDUCIARY TRUST INTERNATIONAL OF CALIFORNIA, a California corporation; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Counter-Defendants.

DEBRA WONG YANG, SBN 123289, CATHERINE A. CONWAY, SBN 98366, TAMMY M. STAFFORD, SBN 216757, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Los Angeles, CA, Attorneys for FIDUCIARY TRUST INTERNATIONAL OF CALIFORNIA, a California corporation.

PROTECTIVE ORDER

ANDREW J. WISTRICH, Magistrate Judge.

Counter-Defendant Fiduciary Trust International of California ("Fiduciary Trust") submitted a proposed protective order to apply in the above-entitled action. Upon consideration of all papers submitted and the Court's files in this matter, the Court finds good cause to issue the following Protective Order to apply to discovery in the above-entitled action:

1. 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. Accordingly, the Court enters the following Protective Order ("Order"). This 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. The parties further acknowledge, as set forth in Section 12.4, below, that this Order does not entitle them to file or preclude them from filing 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. 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).

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

2.6 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.

2.7 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.

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

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

2.10 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.

2.11 Party: any party to this action, including all of its officers, directors, employees, consultants, Experts, Counsel (and their support staffs), and any insurer(s).

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

2.13 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.

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

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

3. SCOPE

The protections conferred by this Protective 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.

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.

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. 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 - Subject to Protective Order" or similar designation on the first page of each document or by any other reasonable means of giving notice of the Producing Party's intent to claim the protected status of the document. 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) and must specify, for each portion, the level of protection being asserted.

A Party or Non-Party that makes original documents or materials available for inspection need not designate them for protection until after the inspecting Party has indicated which material it would like copied and produced. During the inspection and before the designation, all of the material made available for inspection shall be deemed "CONFIDENTIAL." After the inspecting Party has identified the documents it wants copied and produced, the Producing Party must determine which documents, or portions thereof, qualify for protection under this Order. Then, before producing the specified documents, the Producing Party must affix the appropriate legend ("CONFIDENTIAL") on the first page of each document that contains Protected Material, or similarly designate by other reasonable means. 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) and must specify, for each portion, the level of protection being asserted.

(b) for testimony given in deposition or in other pretrial or trial proceedings, if a question calls for an answer containing Protected Material, or if a question or answer contains Protected Material, that the Designating Party shall, either at the deposition or other proceeding itself or within 30 days after receipt of the transcript thereof, notify all Outside Counsel of Record that the information provided in such answer or question is considered "CONFIDENTIAL" and shall designate such specific portions of the transcript, which shall thereafter be subject to the provisions of this Order.

Parties shall give the other parties notice if they reasonably expect a deposition, hearing or other proceeding to include Protected Material so that the other parties can ensure that only authorized individuals who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" (Exhibit A) are present at those proceedings. The use of a document as an exhibit at a deposition shall not in any way affect its designation as "CONFIDENTIAL." Transcripts containing Protected Material shall have an obvious legend on the title page that the transcript contains Protected Material, and the title page shall be followed by a list of all pages (including line numbers as appropriate) that have been designated as Protected Material and the level of protection being asserted by the Designating Party. The Designating Party shall inform the court reporter of these requirements. Any transcript shall be treated as if it had been designated "CONFIDENTIAL" in its entirety until it is actually designated or until the expiration of the 30 day period for designation after the transcript is received by the Designating Party, whichever is earlier, unless otherwise agreed. After the expiration of that period, the transcript shall be treated only as actually designated.

(c) for information produced in some form other than documentary and for any other tangible items, that the Producing Party affix in a prominent place on the exterior of the container or containers in which the information or item is stored the legend "CONFIDENTIAL." If only a portion or portions of the information or item warrant protection, the Producing Party, to the extent practicable, shall identify the protected portion(s) and specify the level of protection being asserted.

5.3 Inadvertent Failures to Designate. If timely corrected, an inadvertent failure to designate qualified information or items does not, standing alone, waive the Designating Party's right to secure protection under this Order for such material. Upon timely correction of a designation, the Receiving Party must make reasonable efforts to assure that the material is treated in accordance with the provisions of this Order.

6. CHALLENGING CONFIDENTIALITY DESIGNATIONS

6.1 Timing of Challenges. Any Party or Non-Party may challenge a designation of confidentiality at any time. Unless a prompt challenge to a Designating Party's confidentiality designation is necessary to avoid foreseeable, substantial unfairness, unnecessary economic burdens, or a significant disruption or delay of the litigation, a Party does not waive its right to challenge a confidentiality designation by electing not to mount a challenge promptly after the original designation is disclosed.

6.2 Meet and Confer. The Challenging Party shall initiate the dispute resolution process by providing written notice of each designation it is challenging and describing the basis for each challenge. To avoid ambiguity as to whether a challenge has been made, the written notice must recite that the challenge to confidentiality is being made in accordance with this specific paragraph of the Protective Order. The parties shall attempt to resolve each challenge in good faith and must begin the process by conferring directly (in voice to voice dialogue; other forms of communication are not sufficient) within 14 days of the date of service of notice. In conferring, the Challenging Party must explain the basis for its belief that the confidentiality designation was not proper and must give the Designating Party an opportunity to review the designated material, to reconsider the circumstances, and, if no change in designation is offered, to explain the basis for the chosen designation. A Challenging Party may proceed to the next stage of the challenge process only if it has engaged in this meet and confer process first or establishes that the Designating Party is unwilling to participate in the meet and confer process in a timely manner.

6.3 Judicial Intervention. If the Parties cannot resolve a challenge without court intervention, the Parties may file a joint stipulation in accordance with this Local Rule 37-2 within 21 days of the initial notice of challenge or within 14 days of the parties agreeing that the meet and confer process will not resolve their dispute, whichever is earlier. The joint stipulation will identify the designated material that is the basis of the challenge, and the Challenging Party will provide its basis for challenging the designation, and the Designating Party will provide its basis for the chosen designation.

The burden of persuasion in any such challenge proceeding shall be on the Designating Party. Frivolous challenges and those made for an improper purpose (e.g., to harass or impose unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties) may expose the Challenging Party to sanctions. Pending the resolution of any such challenge proceeding, all parties shall continue to afford the material in question the level of protection to which it is entitled under the Producing Party's designation until the court rules on the challenge.

7. ACCESS TO AND USE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL

7.1 Basic Principles. A Receiving Party may use Protected Material that is disclosed or produced by another Party or by a Non-Party in connection with this case only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this litigation. Such Protected Material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the conditions described in this Order. When the litigation has been terminated, a Receiving Party must comply with the provisions of Section 12 below (FINAL DISPOSITION).

Protected Material must be stored and maintained by a Receiving Party at a location and in a secure, password-protected manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons authorized under this Order.

Nothing in this Order shall prevent the Parties from using or disclosing their own Disclosure or Discovery Material for any purpose, regardless of whether they are designated "CONFIDENTIAL."

7.2 Disclosure of "CONFIDENTIAL" Information or Items. Unless otherwise ordered by the court or permitted in writing by the Designating Party, a Receiving Party may disclose any information or item designated "CONFIDENTIAL" only to:

(a) the Receiving Party's Outside Counsel of Record in this action, as well as employees of said Outside Counsel of Record to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for this litigation and who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" that is attached hereto as Exhibit A;

(b) the officers, directors, advisors, and employees (including In-House Counsel) of the Receiving Party to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" (Exhibit A);

(c) Experts (as defined in this Order) of the Receiving Party to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation, and who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" (Exhibit A);

(d) the court and its personnel;

(e) court reporters and their staff, professional jury or trial consultants, and Professional Vendors to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" (Exhibit A);

(f) during their depositions, witnesses in the action to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary, as agreed upon in advance by Outside Counsel of Record, and who have signed the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" (Exhibit A), unless otherwise agreed by the Designating Party or ordered by the court. Pages of transcribed deposition testimony or exhibits to depositions that reveal Protected Material must be separately bound by the court reporter following designation as Protected Material and may not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted under this Protective Order.

(g) the author or recipient of a document containing the information or a custodian or other person who otherwise possessed or knew the information.

8. PROTECTED MATERIAL SUBPOENAED OR ORDERED PRODUCED IN OTHER LITIGATION

If a Party is served with a subpoena or a court order issued in other litigation that compels disclosure of any information or items designated in this action as "CONFIDENTIAL" that Party must:

(a) promptly notify in writing the Designating Party. Such notification shall include a copy of the subpoena or court order;

(b) promptly notify in writing the party who caused the subpoena or order to issue in the other litigation that some or all of the material covered by the subpoena or order is subject to this Protective Order. Such notification shall include a copy of this Protective Order; and

(c) cooperate with respect to all reasonable procedures sought to be pursued by the Designating Party whose Protected Material may be affected.

If the Designating Party timely seeks a protective order, the Party served with the subpoena or court order shall not produce any information designated in this action as "CONFIDENTIAL" before a determination by the court from which the subpoena or order issued, unless the Party has obtained the Designating Party's permission. The Designating Party shall bear the burden and expense of seeking protection in that court of its confidential material-and nothing in these provisions should be construed as authorizing or encouraging a Receiving Party in this action to disobey a lawful directive from another court.

9. A NON-PARTY'S PROTECTED MATERIAL SOUGHT TO BE PRODUCED FROM A NON-PARTY IN THIS LITIGATION

The terms of this Order are applicable to information produced by a Non-Party in this action and designated as "CONFIDENTIAL." Such information produced by Non-Parties in connection with this litigation is protected by the remedies and relief provided by this Order. Nothing in these provisions should be construed as prohibiting a Non-Party from seeking additional protections.

10. UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL

If a Receiving Party learns that, by inadvertence or otherwise, it has disclosed Protected Material to any person or in any circumstance not authorized under this Protective Order, the Receiving Party must immediately (a) notify in writing the Designating Party of the unauthorized disclosures, (b) use its best efforts to retrieve all unauthorized copies of the Protected Material, (c) inform the person or persons to whom unauthorized disclosures were made of all the terms of this Order, and (d) request such person or persons to execute the "Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound" that is attached hereto as Exhibit A.

11. MISCELLANEOUS

11.1 Right to Further Relief. Nothing in this Order abridges the right of any person to seek its modification by the court in the future.

11.2 Right to Assert Other Objections. By stipulating to the entry of this Protective Order no Party waives any right it otherwise would have to object to disclosing or producing any information or item on any ground not addressed in this Protective Order. Similarly, no Party waives any right to object on any ground to use in evidence of any of the material covered by this Protective Order.

11.3 Filing Protected Material. Without written permission from the Designating Party or a court order secured after appropriate notice to all interested persons, a Party may not file in the public record in this action any Protected Material. Should the Parties dispute the propriety of filing any Protected Material in this action, they may file a joint stipulation in accordance with this Local Rule 37-2 (as described in Paragraph 6.3). In any event, however, a Party that seeks to file under seal any Protected Material must comply with Civil Local Rule 79-5. Protected Material may only be filed under seal pursuant to a court order authorizing the sealing of the specific Protected Material at issue. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5, a sealing order will issue only upon a request establishing that the Protected Material at issue is privileged, protectable as a trade secret, protectable personal or business confidential information, or otherwise entitled to protection under the law. If a Receiving Party's request to file Protected Material under seal pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5 is denied by the court, then the Receiving Party may file the information in the public record unless otherwise instructed by the court.

11.4 No Waiver of Privilege. Nothing herein constitutes or may be interpreted as a waiver by any Part of the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product protection, or any other privilege.

11.5 Disclosure to Governmental Authorities. Nothing contained herein shall in any way restrict a right or ability of any Party to provide or disclose information to any governmental or regulatory authority upon that entity's request (without notice to the Designating Party).

12. FINAL DISPOSITION

Within 21 days after the final disposition of this action, as defined in paragraph 4, and upon request of the Producing Party, each Receiving Party must return all Protected Material to the Producing Party or the Producing Party's Counsel or must certify that such Protected Material has been destroyed to the extent possible. As used in this subdivision, "all Protected Material" includes all copies, abstracts, compilations, summaries, non-privileged notes, and any other format reproducing or capturing any of the Protected Material.

(a) Whether the Protected Material is returned or destroyed, the Receiving Party must submit a written certification to the Producing Party (and, if not the same person or entity, to the Designating Party) by the 60-day deadline that (1) identifies (by category, where appropriate) all the Protected Material that was returned or destroyed and (2) affirms that the Receiving Party has not retained any copies, abstracts, compilations, summaries or any other format reproducing or capturing any of the Protected Material (other than archive copies of Protected Material that cannot be reasonably eliminated from the Receiving Party's electronic systems).

(b) Notwithstanding this provision, Outside Counsel and In-House Counsel are entitled to retain an archival copy of all pleadings, motion papers, trial, deposition, and hearing transcripts, legal memoranda, correspondence, deposition and trial exhibits, expert reports, attorney work product, and consultant and expert work product, even if such materials contain Protected Material.

(c) Any such archival copies retained pursuant to paragraph 12(a) or 12(b) that contain or constitute Protected Material remain subject to this Protective Order as set forth in Section 4 (DURATION).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

EXHIBIT A

ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND

I, ___________________________ [name], of _______________________ [address], declare under penalty of perjury that I have read in its entirety and understand the Protective Order that was issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on ___________ [date] in the case of P. Kellie C. Brimberry v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Case No. CV13-00127 RSWL. I agree to comply with and to be bound by all the terms of this Protective Order and I understand and acknowledge that failure to so comply could expose me to sanctions and punishment in the nature of contempt. I solemnly promise that I will not disclose in any manner any information or item that is subject to this Protective Order to any person or entity except in strict compliance with the provisions of this Order.

I further agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Central District of California for the purpose of enforcing the terms of this Protective Order, even if such enforcement proceedings occur after termination of this action.

I hereby appoint [print or type full name] of [print or type full address and telephone number] as my California agent for service of process in connection with this action or any proceedings related to enforcement of this Protective Order.


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