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Optima Tobacco Corp. v. U.S. Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers, Inc.

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

May 9, 2018

OPTIMA TOBACCO CORPORATION, a Florida Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. FLUE-CURED TOBACCO GROWERS, INC., and UETA, INC., Defendants.

          Gary J. Rickner Caroline B. McLean Ward & Smith, P.A. Counsel for Optima Tobacco Corporation

          Lee M. Whitman Paul J. Puryear, Jr. Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Derek L. Shaffer Keith Forst Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP Counsel for US. Flue-Cured To bacco Growers, Inc.

          Thomas H. Segars Troy D. Shelton Ellis & Winters LLP, Counsel for UETA, Inc.

          CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER FED. R. CIV. P. 26(C) (AS MODIFIED)

          James E. Gates United States Magistrate Judge.

         The parties maintain information and documents that may be subject to discovery requests in this action, and which they claim to be confidential due to their proprietary nature and/or their commercial sensitivity in light of the parties' adversarial positions in this litigation and the parties' participation in the marketplace for the manufacture and sale of tobacco products.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

         1. This Protective Order shall govern all confidential information, testimony, documents, and things produced by any party or non-party from whom discovery or testimony is sought or during the pendency of this case, shall apply in connection with all depositions and trial testimony regarding any such information, documents, drawings, or things, and is applicable to any confidential information, documents, or things produced or filed by any party or non-party from whom discovery or testimony is sought during the course of this case, including any appeal.

         2. Any party or non-party from whom discovery or testimony is sought who provides or produces testimony, information, and/or documents (a "Producing Party") may designate the testimony, information, and/or documents being provided or produced as "CONFIDENTIAL" in accordance with the terms of this Protective Order.

         3. Only information that is personally sensitive, commercially sensitive, nonpublic, confidential, or proprietary and that is not generally available may be designated as "CONFIDENTIAL." This information includes but is not limited to personal information that is not usually disclosed (such as passwords, birthdates, social security numbers, account information, health or biographical information), proprietary business information, competitively sensitive information such as pricing, volume, and/or margins, or other confidential information concerning the subject matter of this litigation that is believed to be unknown or unavailable to the public.

         4. All testimony, information, and/or documents designated as "CONFIDENTIAL" (hereinafter "Confidential Information") shall be used solely in connection with pretrial proceedings, trial preparation, trial, or other proceedings in this litigation, and not for any other purpose.

         5. Documents may be designated by a Producing Party as "CONFIDENTIAL" by being stamped with a designation so as to clearly indicate their status as "CONFIDENTIAL" documents. A Producing Party may designate testimony given in deposition or in other pretrial or trial proceedings as "CONFIDENTIAL" by (a) declaring the same on the record before the close of the deposition, hearing, or other proceeding, or (b) in the case of a deposition, designating specific lines and pages as "CONFIDENTIAL" and serving such designations in writing within ten (10) days of receipt of the deposition transcript. The entirety of all deposition transcripts shall be treated as "CONFIDENTIAL" for the ten-day period following receipt of the transcript. After the ten-day period, only those portions of the testimony that are appropriately designated for protection shall be covered by the provisions of this Protective Order. Transcript pages containing designated testimony must be separately bound by the court reporter, who must affix to the top of each such page the legend "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER, " as instructed by the Producing Party making the designation. In the event that, during a deposition, counsel reasonably and in good faith anticipates that a question or line of questioning will elicit testimony that may properly be designated as "CONFIDENTIAL, " then that counsel may instruct any person in the deposition room who is not authorized by this Protective Order to have "CONFIDENTIAL" information disclosed to them (including parties or representatives of parties, if applicable) to leave the room until the question or line of questioning has concluded.

         6. The inadvertent or unintentional disclosure of any confidential information without a proper designation shall not be construed as a waiver, in whole or in part, of any party's claim of confidentiality, either as to the specific confidential information disclosed or with regard to other related information. Any Producing Party may designate information as "CONFIDENTIAL" subsequent to its initial disclosure by providing written notification to the other parties of its confidential nature and, under such circumstances, the information shall be treated as confidential absent contrary instructions from the Court.

         7. This Protective Order prohibits the disclosure of Confidential Information and also prohibits the discussion of such Confidential Information with any person to whom disclosure is not specifically authorized by this Protective Order.

         8. Confidential Information designated as "CONFIDENTIAL, " any copies thereof, or notes made therefrom may be disclosed only to "Qualified Persons." ...


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