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Falls v. Goldman Sachs Trust Co., N.A.

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

January 31, 2017

RALPH L. FALLS III, Plaintiff,
v.
GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST COMPANY, N.A., as Executor of the Estate of RALPH L. FALLS, JR., GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST COMPANY, N.A., as Trustee of the RALPH LANE FALLS REVOCABLE DECLARATION OF TRUST, DIANNE C. SELLERS, LOUISE FALLS CONE, individually and on behalf of her minor Children and unborn issue, TOBY CONE, MARY COOPER FALLS WING, individually and on behalf of her minor Children and unborn issue, GILLIAN FALLS CONE, individually and on behalf of her minor children and unborn issue, and K.L.C., by her next friends and parents, Louise Falls Cone and Toby Cone, Defendants.

          SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD LLP, Lynn F. Chandler N.C., Jonathan P. Heyl N.C., Matthew W. Krueger-Andes N.C., Attorneys for Ralph L. Falls III

          SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P., James K. Dorsett III N.C., Mitchell Armbruster N.C., Attorneys for Goldman Sachs Trust Co., N.A., as Executor of the Estate of Ralph L. Falls, Jr. and as Trustee of the Ralph Lane Falls Revocable Declaration of Trust

          MULLINS DUNCAN HARRELL & RUSSELL PLLC, Alan W. Duncan N.C., Allison Mullins N.C., Attorneys for Dianne C. Sellers

          ELLIS & WINTERS LLP, Leslie C. Packer N.C., Alex J. Hagan N.C., Emily E. Erixson N.C., Attorneys for Louise Falls Cone, Toby Cone, Gillian Falls Cone, and K.L.C.

          WOMBLE CARLYLE SANDRIDGE & RICE, LLP, Johnny M. Loper N.C., Elizabeth K. Arias N.C., Jesse A. Schaefer N.C., Attorneys for Mary Cooper Falls Wing

          CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER

          Louise W. Flanagan, United States District Court Judge

         WHEREAS, this is a multi-faceted dispute arising out of (1) a declaratory judgment action to declare certain trust documents invalid; (2) associated claims including claims for malicious interference with the right to inherit and to invalidate a marriage; and (3) additional claims, crossclaims, and counterclaims, including a claim for breach of a lease agreement and claims for declaratory judgments; and, WHEREAS the parties anticipate that there will be a number of confidential documents exchanged that require this protective order, particularly in regard to allegations that Ralph L. Falls, Jr. (“Decedent”) was incompetent or subject to undue influence during a period in which he executed trust documents or amendments. These allegations will require the parties to conduct discovery of Decedent's medical records and financial records, which necessitates the entry of this Protective Order.

         WHEREAS, to facilitate the production and receipt of information during pre-trial discovery in the above-captioned litigation (the “Litigation”) without un-necessarily shielding from interested parties and/or the general public information that is neither a “trade secret, ” “proprietary” nor otherwise legitimately deserving of a “confidential” designation, the parties hereto agree and stipulate, through their respective counsel, to the entry of the following Protective Order for the protection of “Confidential” Materials (as defined herein) that may be produced or otherwise disclosed during the course of this Litigation by any party or non-party, and the Court has been fully advised of the premises for this Protective Order and has found good cause for its entry.

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the terms and conditions of this Protective Order (hereinafter, “Order”) shall govern the handling of discovery materials in the Litigation:

         1. Applicability of Order:

         This Order will be applicable to and govern the handling of all items or information, regardless of the medium or manner generated, including documents, depositions, deposition exhibits, interrogatory responses, responses to requests for admissions, responses to requests for production of documents, and all other discovery obtained pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by or from a party, person, or entity in connection with the Litigation (this information hereinafter referred to as “Discovery Material”). As used herein, “Producing Party” shall refer to the party that gives testimony or produces documents or other information in this Litigation, and “Receiving Party” shall refer to the party that receives such information.

         2. Designation of Material:

         Any Producing Party may designate Discovery Material as “Confidential” under the terms of this Order (hereinafter “Protected Material(s)”) if the Producing Party in good faith reasonably believes that such Discovery Material contains non-public, confidential material as defined in section 3 below. Discovery Material shall be designated as Protected Material prior to, or contemporaneously with, the production or disclosure of the Discovery Material. No failure or delay by a party in exercising any right, power or privilege granted in this Order, however, shall operate as a waiver of any such right, power or privilege granted in this Order. Discovery Material produced in the Litigation that is not identified as Protected Material at the time of production may thereafter be identified in writing as Protected Material. If a Producing Party produces Confidential Material of the other party without designating it as Confidential, the Receiving Party may in writing designate such Discovery Material as Protected Material after it has been produced. Each party that receives such written notice shall endeavor to retrieve any Discovery Material that may have been disseminated, shall affix the appropriate confidentiality designation to it, and shall thereafter distribute it only as allowed by this Order. No distribution prior to the receipt of such written notice shall be deemed a violation of this Order.

         3. Confidential Material:

         Commercially sensitive or sensitive medical information (regardless of how generated, stored or maintained) or tangible things not generally known to others, and that the Designating Party (i) would not normally reveal to third parties in the ordinary course of its business except in confidence, or has undertaken with others to maintain in confidence; or (ii) is protected by a right to privacy under federal or state law, or any other applicable privilege or right related to confidentiality or privacy.

         4. Confidential Treatment:

         Except as provided for below, Protected Materials shall be held in confidence by each person to whom they are disclosed, shall be used only as allowed by the terms of this Order, shall be used only for purposes of the prosecution and defense of the Litigation only, shall not be used for any business purpose or other purpose whatsoever, and shall not be shown, disseminated, copied, or otherwise disclosed to anyone not entitled to such information as herein provided. All produced Protected Materials shall be carefully maintained so as to preclude access by persons who are not entitled to receive such information.

         5. Disclosure of “Confidential Material”:

         Protected Material designated “Confidential” shall be disclosed only to the following persons (“Qualified Persons”):

A. Members and employees of outside counsel of record in this Litigation whose duties and responsibilities require access to such materials;
B. The Parties, and, in the case of a corporate party, any officers, directors, or employees of said corporate party deemed necessary by counsel to assist in the prosecution, defense or settlement of this Litigation, but only after such persons execute a Consent Protective Order Certification (“Certification”), the form of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A;
C. Outside experts and consultants (collectively, referred to herein as “Expert” or “Experts”), together with their support personnel, who are engaged or potentially engaged for the purposes of this Litigation by a party, but only after such persons execute a Certification. For purposes of this Order, an Expert shall be defined as a person who is retained or employed as a bona fide expert, consultant or investigator for purposes of this Litigation only by or at the direction of counsel for a party;
D. Non-party witnesses, to the extent reasonably necessary to interview or examine such witnesses for the purposes of this Litigation, but only after such persons execute a Certification;
E. Court reporters and videographers, together with their support personnel, taking testimony involving Protected Material;
F. Employees of third-party contractors engaged by and working under the supervision of the parties' outside counsel, to the extent reasonably necessary to render professional services in this Litigation;
G. Any person designated by the Court in the interest of justice, upon such terms as the ...

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