United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER ON ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL EXHIBITS TO JOINT DISCOVERY LETTERS 1, 2, AND 3 Re: Dkt. Nos. 162, 163
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiffs Circle Click Media LLC ("Circle Click") and CTNY Insurance Group LLC ("CTNY") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") bring this putative class action against Regus Management Group LLC ("RMG"), Regus Business Centre LLC ("RBC"), Regus plc, and HQ Global Workplaces LLC ("HQ Global") (collectively "Defendants"). Now pending before the Court are two administrative motions to file under seal exhibits to the parties' three Joint Letter Briefs (Dkt. Nos. 159, 161, 164). The first motion concerns (1) Exhibits 9, 10, 12 and 13 to the Declaration of Joseph A. Garofolo in Support of Joint Letter Brief Nos. 1 and 2 Regarding Personal Jurisdiction Requests, and (2) Exhibits A and B to the Declaration of Stephanie A. Blazewicz in Support of Joint Letter Brief #1 and Joint Letter Brief #2. (Dkt. No. 162.) The second motion seeks to file under seal Exhibits D and E to the Declaration of Stephanie A. Blazewicz in Support of the Joint Letter Brief Regarding Defendant Regus plc's Motion for Protective Order. (Dkt. No. 163.)
There is a presumption of public access to judicial records and documents. Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). "It is well-established that the fruits of pre-trial discovery are, in the absence of a court order to the contrary, presumptively public. [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 26(c) authorizes a district court to override this presumption where good cause' is shown." San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th Cir. 1999). Sealing is appropriate only where the requesting party "establishes that the document, or portions thereof is privileged or protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law." N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 79-5(a). A party must "narrowly tailor" its request to sealable material only. Id.
I. Motion to Seal Exhibits and Testimony Submitted in Support of Joint Letter Briefs Nos. 1 and 2 Regarding Personal Jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 162)
Defendant moves to file under seal Exhibits 9, 10, 12 and 13 to the Declaration of Joseph A. Garofolo, as well as Exhibits A and B to the Declaration of Stephanie A. Blazewicz, filed in support of Letter Briefs Nos. 1 and 2.
A. Exhibit 9
Exhibit 9, titled "Regus Group plc Investment Policies and Procedures, New Centres & Acquisitions, " and Bates numbered REGUS02316-22, is "a copy of the Regus Group's Investment Policies and Procedures, which set forth the investment process that the Regus Group employs." (Dkt. No. 162-1 at ¶ 3.) Because this document contains information that could give Defendant's competitors an advantage if disclosed, the Court finds good cause to seal it.
B. Exhibit 10
Exhibit 10 is the Full Service Management Agreement by and between HQ Global Workplaces LLC and Regus Management Group LLC and the Full Service Management Agreement by and between Regus Business Centre LLC and Regus Management Group LLC, Bates numbered REGUS00194-228. ( Id. ) Because "[t]hese agreements describe the services that are provided by Regus Management Group LLC and set forth the business relationships between these entities, which is proprietary and confidential information providing Regus Group a competitive advantage" ( id. ), the Court agrees that good cause exists to maintain the document under seal.
C. Exhibit 12
Exhibit 11 consists of selected pages of "the condensed transcript" of Regan's individual deposition on December 3, 2013. (Dkt. No. 162-5 at ¶ 14.) Counsel states that the "lines of the excerpts of the transcript attached hereto as Exhibit 12 referenced by Plaintiffs in the Joint Letter Briefs have been highlighted." ( Id. ) The Court notes that only a small percentage of the pages submitted in Exhibit 12 are highlighted-7 out of 22. Defendant does not explain why they have submitted the non-highlighted pages, or, more significantly, why they seek to seal them. Because a party must narrowly tailor its request for sealing, the Court only considers the highlighted testimony.
On Page 111:15-21 and pages 115:14-117:18, and 148:22-151:15, Regan discusses his understanding of the term "control, " and states that the extent of control Regus plc exerts over a subsidiary is that it could make a request to a subsidiary's board as a result of its majority interest. There is no need for Regan's abstract understanding of the term "control" to be kept confidential.
On pages 148:22 through 151:15, Regan testifies about a document, marked as Exhibit 5, which describes the rationale for forming Regus plc. Regan specifically explains that because Regus plc is a publicly-held company, subject to disclosure objections, his testimony about the purpose of Regus plc's formation directly reflects the document's text. Given that Regan's testimony expressly reflects ...