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Johnson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division

February 7, 2017

SHERON JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES, INC. and WAL-MART REALTY COMPANY, Defendants.

          MORGAN & MORGAN, P.A., Seth M. Diamond, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          DREW, ECKL & FARNHAM, LLP., Jeffrey S. Ward, Attorneys for Defendants.

          CONSENT CONFIDENTIALITY ORDER

          THE HONORABLE G. R. SMITH MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The parties to this action have come before the Court requesting a confidentiality order. The parties agree and consent that the "good cause" requirement of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1) exists in this case in order to expedite the flow of discovery material, facilitate the prompt resolution of disputes over confidentiality, adequately protect material entitled to be kept confidential, and ensure that protection is afforded only to material so entitled. The parties further consent and agree that a multitude of confidential and proprietary corporate documents which will be requested and produced in this litigation necessitate a protective order specifically in regard to those that include financial, trade secret, confidential or proprietary business information. After careful consideration, the Court finds that the "good cause" requirement of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1) has been met and therefore GRANTS the Parties' request for a protective order as set forth below. However, nothing in this Order shall be construed as allowing the parties to file any documents under seal without the permission of the Court. Should the parties seek to file documents under seal, they must follow and comply with the procedures set forth in this Court's Local Rule 79.7

         1. Non-disclosure of Stamped Confidential Documents.

Except with the prior written consent of the party or other person originally designating a document to be stamped as a confidential document, or as hereinafter provided under this Order, no stamped confidential document may be disclosed to any person. A "stamped Confidential Document" means any document which bears the legend (or which shall otherwise have had the legend recorded upon it in a way that brings it to the attention of a reasonable examiner) "Confidential" to signify that it contains information believed to be subject to protection under F.R.C.P. 26. For purposes of this Order, the term "document" means all written, recorded, or graphic material, whether produced pursuant to F.R.C.P. 34, subpoena, by agreement, or otherwise. Interrogatory answers, responses to requests for admission, deposition transcripts and exhibits, pleadings, motions, affidavits, and briefs that quote, summarize, or contain materials entitled to protection may be accorded status as a stamped confidential document, but, to the extent feasible, shall be prepared in such a manner that the confidential information is bound separately from that not entitled to protection.

         2. Permissible Disclosure.

Notwithstanding Paragraph 1, stamped confidential documents may be disclosed to counsel for the parties in this action who are actively engaged in the conduct of litigation involving Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wal-Mart Realty Company, and/or Wal-Mart Stores East, LP (hereinafter "Walmart"); to the partners, associates, secretaries, paralegal assistants, and employees of such counsel to the extent reasonably necessary to render professional service in such litigation; to persons with prior knowledge of the documents or the confidential information contained therein, and their agents; to court officials involved in such litigation (including court reporters, persons operating video recording equipment at depositions, and any special master appointed by the Court); and to the parties in this case. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (C), such documents may also be disclosed:

A. to any person designated by the Court in the interest of justice, upon such terms as the Court may deem proper; and
B. to persons noticed for depositions or designated as trial witnesses to the extent reasonably necessary in preparing to testify; to outside consultants or experts retained for the purpose of assisting counsel in the litigation; to employees of parties involved solely in one or more aspects of organizing, filing, coding, converting, storing, or retrieving data or designing programs for handling data connected with this action, including the performance of such duties in relation to a computerized litigation support system; and to employees of third-party contractors performing one or more of these functions; to any person serving as a juror in a trial of the captioned matter; or any other person designated by written agreement between the parties or the subsequent order of the Court after reasonable notice to all parties.
C. If the receiving party desires to disclose documents, material, or information designated as "Confidential, " or information derived therefrom, to any individual not authorized to receive "Confidential" information under paragraph 2, the receiving party shall first identify to the producing party, in writing, the documents, material, or information that it desires to disclose and the name, title, and job responsibilities of each such individual to whom the receiving party wishes to disclose the documents, material or information designated as "Confidential" and the reasons why the receiving party wishes to disclose such confidential documents, material or information. The producing party shall, within 48 hours of receiving said written notice, inform the receiving party in writing whether it consents or objects to the proposed disclosure. The receiving party may seek a prompt hearing before this Court for an Order allowing the proposed disclosure and the producing party will cooperate in obtain such a prompt hearing.

         3. Declassification.

If a party objects to the designation of any material as confidential information, the attorneys for the party will first consult in a good faith attempt to come to an agreement as to the document, testimony or information which is claimed to constitute confidential information. Should a party object to the designation of any material as confidential information and the parties cannot come to an agreement as to the information, that party may apply to the Court for a ruling that a document (or category of documents) stamped as confidential is not entitled to such status and protection. The party or other person that designated the document as confidential shall be given notice of the application and an opportunity to respond. To maintain confidential status, the proponent of confidentiality must show good cause for the document to have such protection. Until the Court enters an order, if any, changing the designation of the material, it shall continue to be treated as confidential and as a protected document as provided in this Order.

         4. Confidential ...


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