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Wells Fargo Bank, National Association v. Building Blocks Pediatrics, PLLC

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

July 25, 2018

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, Plaintiff,
Building Blocks Pediatrics, PLLC, Dori J. Thomas, Michael Thomas, Kristi Woods Edwards, and Clyde Edwards, Defendants.


          James E. Gates United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, National Association ("Plaintiff or "Wells Fargo") and Defendants Dori J. Thomas and Michael Thomas (the "Defendants", and collectively the "Parties")[1] anticipate that documents, testimony, or information containing or reflecting confidential, proprietary, and/or personally or commercially sensitive information are likely to be disclosed or produced during the course of discovery in this case and request that the Court enter this Order setting forth the conditions for treating, obtaining, and using such information.

         Pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court finds good cause for the following Stipulated Protective Order Regarding the Disclosure and Use of Discovery Materials ("Order" or "Protective Order").

         I. PURPOSE.

         A Receiving Party may use Protected Material, as defined below, that is disclosed or produced by another Party or by a non-party in connection with this case only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle the claims at issue in this lawsuit. Such Protected Material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the conditions described in this Protective Order.

         2. DEFINITIONS.

         a. "Discovery Material" means all items or information, including from any non party, regardless of the medium or manner generated, stored, or maintained (including, among other things, testimony, transcripts, or tangible things) that are produced, disclosed, or generated in connection with discovery or any disclosures in this case.

         b. "Party" means any party to this case, including all of its officers, directors, and employees.

         c. "Producing Party" means any Party or other third-party entity that discloses or produces any Discovery Material in this case.

         d. "Protected Material" means any Discovery Material that is designated as "CONFIDENTIAL" or 'HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL", as provided for in this Order, as well as any information copied or extracted therefrom, as well as all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations thereof, plus testimony, conversations, or presentations by the Parties or their counsel in Court or in any other setting that might reveal such information. Protected Material shall not include materials that show on their face they have been disseminated to the public by the designating party.

         e. "Receiving Party" means any Party who receives Discovery Material from a Producing Party.

         f. "Outside Counsel" means (i) outside counsel who appear on the pleadings as counsel for a Party, and (ii) attorneys associated with such counsel to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for purposes of this litigation.


         The computation of any period of time prescribed or allowed by this Order shall be governed by the provisions for computing time set forth in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 6.

         4. SCOPE.

         a. Nothing in this Protective Order shall prevent or restrict a Producing Party's own disclosure or use of its own Discovery Material for any purpose, and nothing in this Order shall preclude any Producing Party from showing its Discovery Material to an individual who prepared the Discovery Material.

         b. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to prejudice any Party's right to use any Protected Material in court or in any court filing so long as appropriate actions are taken to protect any Protected Material's confidentiality, such as filing the Protected Material under seal.

         c. This Order is without prejudice to the right of any Producing Party to seek further or additional protection of any Discovery Material or to modify this Order in any way, including, without limitation, an order that certain matter not be produced at all.

         5. DURATION.

         Even after the termination of this case, the confidentiality obligations imposed by this Order shall remain in effect until a Producing Party agrees otherwise in writing or a court order otherwise directs.


         a. Basic Principles. All Protected Material shall be used solely for this case or any related appellate proceeding, and not for any other purpose whatsoever, including without limitation any other litigation or any business or competitive purpose or function. Protected Material shall not be distributed, disclosed, or made available to anyone except as expressly provided in this Order.

         b. Personally Identifying Information. Plaintiff, Wells Fargo, may be producing records in this lawsuit that contain Personally Identifying Information of Wells Fargo customers, which may include name, mailing address, telephone numbers, email addresses or other personally identifiable information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact or locate an individual ("PII"). While Wells Fargo may redact PII, redacting certain PII may be unduly burdensome, and thus it may choose to not redact PII in all documents produced. The Parties agree that any PII contained in documents produced by Wells Fargo shall be treated as CONFIDENTIAL, pursuant to the terms of this Order. Absent an Order of this Court, neither Defendants nor their counsel shall use PII obtained solely from documents produced by Wells Fargo to communicate with any Wells Fargo customer. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as a waiver by Wells Fargo of its position that Wells Fargo is entitled to redact PII, and the Parties agree that PII may be redacted.

         c. Secure Storage. Protected Material must be stored and maintained by a Receiving Party at a location and in a secure manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons authorized under this Order.

         d. Limitations. Nothing in this Order shall restrict in any way a Producing Party's use or disclosure of its own Protected Material. Nothing in this Order shall restrict in any way the use or disclosure of Discovery Material by a Receiving Party: (i) that is or has become publicly known through no fault of the Receiving Party; (ii) that is lawfully acquired by or known to the Receiving Party independent of the Producing Party; (iii) that was previously produced, disclosed and/or provided by the Producing Party to the Receiving Party or a non-party without an obligation of confidentiality and not by inadvertence or mistake; (iv) with the consent of the Producing Party; or (v) pursuant to Order of the Court.


         a. Available Designations. Any Producing Party may designate Discovery Material with the following designation, provided that it meets the requirements for such designation as provided for herein: "CONFIDENTIAL" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL."

         b. Written Discovery and Documents and Tangible Things. Written discovery, documents (which include "electronically stored information," as that phrase is used in Federal Rule of Procedure 34), and tangible things that meet the requirements for the confidentiality designations listed in Paragraph 7(a) may be so designated by placing the appropriate designation on every page of the written material, for which such designation is appropriate, prior to production. In the event that original documents are produced for inspection, the original documents shall be presumed HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL during the inspection and re-designated, as appropriate during the copying process.

         c. Depositions and Testimony. Parties or testifying persons or entities may designate all or portions of depositions and other testimony with the appropriate designation by indicating on the record at the time the testimony is given or by sending written notice of which portions of the transcript of the testimony is designated within thirty (30) days of receipt of the final transcript of the testimony. If no indication on the record is made, all information disclosed during a deposition shall be deemed HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL until the time within which portions of the testimony may be appropriately designated as provided for herein has passed. Any party that wishes to disclose the transcript, or information contained therein, before the time within which it may be appropriately designated as Protected Material has passed, may provide written notice of its intent to treat the transcript as non-confidential, after which time, any Party that wants to maintain any portion of the transcript as confidential must designate the confidential portions within fourteen (14) days, or else the transcript may be treated as non-confidential. Any designated Discovery Material that is used in the taking of a deposition shall remain subject to the provisions of this Protective Order, along with the transcript pages of the deposition testimony dealing with such Discovery Material. In such cases the court reporter shall be informed of this Protective Order. In the event the deposition is videotaped, the original and all copies of the videotape shall be marked by the video technician to indicate that the contents of the videotape are subject to this Protective Order, substantially along the lines of "This videotape contains confidential testimony used in this case and is not to be viewed or the contents thereof to be displayed or revealed except by order of the Court, or pursuant to written stipulation of the parties." Counsel for any Producing Party shall have the right to exclude from oral depositions, other than the deponent, deponent's counsel, the reporter and videographer (if any), any person who is not authorized by this Protective Order to receive or access Protected Material based on the designation of such Protected Material. Such right of exclusion shall be applicable only during periods of examination or testimony regarding such Protected Material.


         a. To the extent reasonably possible, each Party or non-party that designates information or items for protection under this Order must take care to limit any such designation to ...

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