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Toland v. Trans Union LLC

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

May 14, 2018

RONALD TOLAND, JR., Plaintiff,

          SUZANNE BEGNOCHE Suzanne Begnoche, Attorney at Law Attorney for Plaintiff

          Robert C. deRosset N.C. Bar No. 27656 Young Moore & Henderson, P.A. Attorney for Defendant


          KIMBERLY A. SWANK United States Magistrate Judge

         The Parties having agreed to the following, and for good cause shown, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:


         Disclosure and discovery activity in this action may involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private personal identifying information such as Social Security or taxpayer-identification numbers, dates of birth, names of minor children, financial account numbers, home addresses, sensitive information involving personal financial, medical, matrimonial, or family matters, employment records of individuals, trade secrets, and other confidential research, development, or commercial information, for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting and defending this litigation may be warranted. The parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery and that the protection it affords extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled, under the applicable legal principles, to treatment as confidential. Nothing in this Order shall preclude any person or entity from disclosing or using, in any manner or for any purpose, any information or document if that information or document is lawfully obtained from a third party without confidentiality restrictions.

         By approving this Order and accepting the Parties' stipulation, the Court is not ruling on whether any document or information is, in fact, entitled to protection under Rule 26(c). Rather, the Court approves this Stipulated Protective Order in order to minimize discovery problems and to promote and expedite unrestricted discovery without Court intervention.

         2. DEFINITIONS

2.1 Confidential Information: Social Security or taxpayer-identification numbers; dates of birth; names of minor children; financial account numbers; where appropriate, home addresses; sensitive information involving personal financial, medical, matrimonial, or family matters; employment records of individuals whether parties or non-parties; or trade secrets and other confidential research, development, or commercial information (regardless of how generated, stored or maintained).
2.2 Counsel (without qualifier): Outside Counsel and House Counsel (as well as their support staffs).
2.3 Designating Party: a Party or Non-party that designates information or items that it produces in disclosures or in responses to discovery as Protected Material. The Party or Nonparty designating information or items as Protected Material bears the burden of establishing good cause for the confidentiality of all such information or items.
2.4 Disclosure or Discovery Material: all items or information, regardless of the medium or manner generated, stored, or maintained (including, among other things, testimony, transcripts, or tangible things) that are produced or generated in disclosures or responses to discovery in this matter.
2.5 Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in a matter pertinent to the litigation who has been retained by a Party or its/her/his counsel to serve as an expert witness or as a consultant in this action and who is not: (a) a past or a current employee of a Party; (b) a past or a current employee of a competitor of a Party; or (c) at the time of retention, anticipated to become an employee of a Party or a competitor of a Party. This definition includes a professional jury or trial consultant retained in connection with this litigation.
2.6 House Counsel: attorneys who are employees of a Party.
2.7 Outside Counsel: attorneys who are not employees of a Party but who are retained to represent or advise a Party in this action.
2.8 Non-party: any individual, corporation, association, or other natural person or entity other than a party.
2.9 Party: any party to this action, including all of its officers, directors, consultants, retained experts, and outside counsel (and their support staff).
2.10 Producing Party: a Party or Non-party that produces Disclosure or Discovery Material in this action.
2.11 Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation support services (e.g., photocopying; videotaping; translating; preparing exhibits or demonstrations; organizing, storing, retrieving data in any form or medium; etc.) and their employees and subcontractors.
2.12 Protected Material: any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is designated by a Party or Non-party as “CONFIDENTIAL” or “CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY” according to paragraph 5, unless the Receiving Party challenges the confidentiality designation, and (a) the Court decides such material is not entitled to protection as confidential; (b) the Designating Party fails to apply to the Court for an order designating the material “CONFIDENTIAL” or “CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY” within the time period specified below; or (c) the Designating Party withdraws its confidentiality designation in writing.
2.13 Receiving Party: a Party that receives Disclosure or Discovery Material from a Producing Party.

         3. SCOPE

         The protections conferred by this Order cover not only Protected Material (as defined above), but also expert reports, deposition testimony, conversations, or presentations by parties or counsel to or in court or in other settings that reveal Protected Material.

         4. DURATION

         Even after the termination 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.


         5.1 Designating Disclosure or Discovery Material as Confidential.

         Parties and non-parties may designate any Confidential Information supplied in any form, or any portion thereof, as Protected Material for purposes of these proceedings. Such designation shall constitute a representation to the Court that counsel believes in good faith that the information (1) constitutes Confidential Information and (2) that there is good cause for the Confidential Information to be protected from public disclosure. The parties and non-parties shall make a good faith effort to designate information so as to provide the greatest level of disclosure possible, but still preserve confidentiality as appropriate.

         5.2 Designating Disclosure or Discovery Material as Confidential -Attorneys Eyes Only.

         If a Producing Party believes in good faith that, despite the provisions of this Order, the Producing Party will suffer identifiable harm if particular documents it designates as “CONFIDENTIAL” are disclosed to all other Parties or non-parties to this action, the Producing Party may designate those particular documents as “CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY.”

         5.3 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 use good faith efforts to limit any such designation to specific material that qualifies as Confidential Information. A Designating Party must use good faith efforts to designate for protection only those parts of material, documents, items, or oral or written communications that qualify as Confidential Information, 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.

         Mass, indiscriminate, or routine designations are strictly prohibited. Designations that are shown to be clearly unjustified, or that have been made for an improper purpose (e.g., to unnecessarily encumber or retard the case development process, or to impose unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties), may subject the Designating Party to sanctions upon appropriate motion to the Court.

         If it comes to a Party's or a Non-party's attention that information or items that it designated for protection do not qualify for protection, that Party or Non-party must promptly notify all other parties that it is withdrawing the mistaken designation.

         All documents, transcripts, or other materials subject to this Order, and all information derived therefrom (including, but not limited to, all testimony, deposition, or otherwise, that refers, reflects or otherwise discusses any information designated Confidential hereunder), shall not be used, directly or indirectly, by any person for any business, commercial or competitive purposes or for any purpose ...

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