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Schaffer Family Investors, LLC v. Sonnier

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

April 2, 2014

SCHAFFER FAMILY INVESTORS, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and ROBERT SCHAFFER, an individual, Plaintiffs,
LEE SONNIER, an individual; KRIS MELANCON, an individual; PINNACLE OIL & GAS, LLC, a Louisiana limited liability company; LEMEL PETROLEUM, LLC, a Louisiana limited liability company; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.

Jeffrey D. Wexler, Raymond O. Aghaian, MCKENNA LONG & ALDRIDGE LLP, Los Angeles, California, Attorneys for Plaintiffs Schaffer Family Investors LLC and Robert Schaffer.


JOHN E. McDERMOTT, Magistrate Judge.

Pursuant to the Stipulation Governing Use and Dissemination of Confidential Information filed by Plaintiffs Schaffer Family Investors, LLC and Robert Schaffer and Defendants Lee Sonnier, Kris Melancon, Pinnacle Oil & Gas, LLC, and Lemel Petroleum, LLC, the Court hereby enters this Protective Order (the "Order") to protect confidential information and material that may be produced or otherwise disclosed by the parties or third parties during the course of discovery in this action.

1. This Order shall govern the disclosure and handling of all documents and other products of discovery obtained by the parties in this case (the "Action"), all information derived therefrom, and all copies, excerpts, or summaries thereof, including, but not limited to, documents produced pursuant to inspection demands, answers to requests for admission, answers to interrogatories, documents subpoenaed in connection with depositions, and deposition transcripts (hereinafter referred to collectively as "Discovery Materials").

2. All Discovery Materials produced in discovery in this case shall be used solely for the purpose of pre-trial proceedings (including, but not limited to, motions and briefing), trial preparation and trial, and any appeals in the Action. Discovery Materials shall not be used for any business or non-Action related purpose whatsoever.

3. A party or third party may designate Discovery Materials as Confidential Discovery Materials (by stamping them "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER") only if they contain confidential material including, but not limited to: (a) current financial information of a party; (b) information pertaining to a third party which the party has an obligation to keep confidential; or (c) trade secrets as defined in Cal. Civ. Code ยง 3426.1 (which provides that the term "trade secret" "means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (1) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (2) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy").

4. Designation of Discovery Materials pursuant to this Order shall be made at the time the information is produced or filed, or in the case of a deposition transcript, within 15 days after receipt thereof. Designation shall be made as follows:

(A) for information in documentary form ( e.g., paper or electronic documents, but excluding transcripts of depositions or other pretrial or trial proceedings), the producing party shall affix the legend "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER" 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., by making appropriate markings in the margins).

(B) for testimony given in deposition or in other pretrial or trial proceedings, the designating party shall identify on the record, before the close of the deposition, hearing, or other proceeding, all protected testimony and specify the level of protection being asserted. When it is impractical to identify separately each portion of testimony that is entitled to protection and it appears that substantial portions of the testimony may qualify for protection, the designating party may invoke on the record (before the deposition, hearing, or other proceeding is concluded) a right to have up to 21 days to identify the specific portions of the testimony as to which protection is sought and to specify the level of protection being asserted. Only those portions of the testimony that are appropriately designated for protection within the 21 days shall be covered by the provisions of this Stipulated Protective Order. Alternatively, a designating party may specify, at the deposition or up to 21 days afterwards if that period is properly invoked, that the entire transcript shall be treated as "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER."

Transcripts containing Confidential Discovery Materials shall have an obvious legend on the title page that the transcript contains Confidential Discovery Materials, and the title page shall be followed by a list of all pages (including line numbers as appropriate) that have been designated as Confidential Discovery Materials. The designating party shall inform the court reporter of these requirements. Any transcript that is prepared before the expiration of a 21-day period for designation shall be treated during that period as if it had been designated as "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER." in its entirety 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, the producing party shall affix in a prominent place on the exterior of the container or containers in which the information or item is stored the legend "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER." 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).

5. If any portion of a written discovery response contains Confidential Discovery Materials, such portion shall be provided in a separate document, appended to the main body of the response, appropriately marked in accordance with paragraph 4 above, and incorporated by reference therein.

6. Inadvertent failure to designate qualified information or items as "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER" does not, standing alone, waive the designating party's right to secure protection under this Order for such material, provided that the producing party notifies the receiving party within 21 days of discovery of such inadvertent designation. 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.

7. When a producing party gives notice to a receiving party that certain inadvertently produced material is subject to a claim of privilege or other protection, the obligations of the receiving party are those set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(5)(B). Pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 502(d) and (e), insofar as the parties reach an agreement on the effect of disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work ...

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