THR Property Management L.P. et al v. United Dwelling, Inc. et al

Filing 27

PROTECTIVE ORDER by Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar re STIPULATION for Protective Order 24 . (see document for details) (hr)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 KRISTOPHER S. DAVIS (SBN 193452) DAVID A. BELCHER (SBN 330166) FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP 1800 Century Park East, Suite 1500 Los Angeles, California 90067-1517 Telephone: (310) 203-4000 Facsimile: (310) 229-1285 Attorneys for Plaintiffs THR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT L.P. and INVITATION HOMES INC. GREG BORDO (SBN 156147) BENJAMIN M. WIGLEY (SBN 329736) BLANK ROME LLP 2029 Century Park East, 6th Floor Los Angeles, California 90067 Telephone: (424) 239-3400 Facsimile: (424) 239-3434 Attorneys for Defendant STEVEN DIETZ 15 16 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 17 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 18 19 20 THR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT L.P., and INVITATION HOMES INC., Plaintiffs, 21 22 23 24 25 26 v. Case No. 2:23-cv-06686-CAS (ASx) PROTECTIVE ORDER Complaint Filed: August 15, 2023 Trial Date: April 23, 2024 UNITED DWELLING, INC.; UNITED DWELLING CONSTRUCTION, INC.; and STEVEN DIETZ, inclusive, Defendants. 27 28 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 1. INTRODUCTION 2 1.1 PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS 3 Discovery in this action is likely to involve production of confidential, 4 proprietary, or private information for which special protection from public disclosure 5 and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation may be warranted. 6 Accordingly, the parties hereby stipulate to and petition the Court to enter the following 7 Stipulated Protective Order. The parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer 8 blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery and that the protection 9 it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or 10 items that are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable legal principles. 11 The parties further acknowledge, as set forth in Section 12.3, below, that this Stipulated 12 Protective Order does not entitle them to file confidential information under seal; Civil 13 Local Rule 79-5 sets forth the procedures that must be followed and the standards that 14 will be applied when a party seeks permission from the court to file material under seal. 15 1.2 16 In the course of litigating and taking discovery in this action, the parties, or third 17 parties in connection with the action, may need to produce competitively sensitive, 18 confidential, and proprietary business information and/or private personal, financial 19 information, including the following categories: 20 GOOD CAUSE STATEMENT a. business or commercial information about a party’s business; or 21 22 documents that reveal confidential information about a party’s b. documents that reveal personal confidential financial information. 23 Accordingly, to expedite the flow of information, to facilitate the prompt 24 resolution of disputes over confidentiality of discovery materials, to adequately protect 25 information the parties are entitled to keep confidential, to ensure that the parties are 26 permitted reasonable necessary uses of such material in preparation for and in the 27 conduct of trial, to address their handling at the end of the litigation, and to serve the 28 ends of justice, a protective order for such information is justified in this matter. It is 2 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 the intent of the parties that information will not be designated as confidential for 2 tactical reasons and that nothing be so designated without a good faith belief that it has 3 been maintained in a confidential, non-public manner, and there is good cause why it 4 should not be part of the public record of this case. 5 2. 6 7 8 9 10 DEFINITIONS 2.1 Action: THR Property Management L.P. et al. v. United Dwelling, Inc. et al. (Case No. 2:23-cv-06686-CAS-AS) 2.2 Challenging Party: a Party or Non-Party that challenges the designation of information or items under this Order. 2.3 “CONFIDENTIAL” Information or Items: information (regardless of 11 how it is generated, stored or maintained) or tangible things that qualify for protection 12 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), and as specified above in the Good Cause 13 Statement. 14 15 16 2.4 Counsel: Outside Counsel of Record and House Counsel (as well as their support staff). 2.5 Designating Party: a Party or Non-Party that designates information or 17 items that it produces in disclosures or in responses to discovery as 18 “CONFIDENTIAL.” 19 2.6 Disclosure or Discovery Material: all items or information, regardless 20 of the medium or manner in which it is generated, stored, or maintained (including, 21 among other things, testimony, transcripts, and tangible things), that are produced or 22 generated in disclosures or responses to discovery in this matter. 23 2.7 Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in a matter 24 pertinent to the litigation who has been retained by a Party or its counsel to serve as an 25 expert witness or as a consultant in this Action. 26 2.8 House Counsel: attorneys who are employees of a party to this Action. 27 House Counsel does not include Outside Counsel of Record or any other outside 28 counsel. 3 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 2.9 1 2 Non-Party: any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity not named as a Party to this action. 3 2.10 Outside Counsel of Record: attorneys who are not employees of a party 4 to this Action but are retained to represent or advise a party to this Action and have 5 appeared in this Action on behalf of that party or are affiliated with a law firm which 6 has appeared on behalf of that party, and includes support staff. 7 2.11 Party: any party to this Action, including all of its officers, directors, 8 employees, consultants, retained experts, and Outside Counsel of Record (and their 9 support staffs). 2.12 Producing Party: a Party or Non-Party that produces Disclosure or 10 11 Discovery Material in this Action. 12 2.13 Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation support 13 services (e.g., photocopying, videotaping, translating, preparing exhibits or 14 demonstrations, and organizing, storing, or retrieving data in any form or medium) and 15 their employees and subcontractors. 16 2.14 Protected Material: 17 designated as “CONFIDENTIAL.” any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is 2.15 Receiving Party: a Party that receives Disclosure or Discovery Material 18 19 from a Producing Party. 20 3. SCOPE 21 The protections conferred by this Stipulation and Order cover not only Protected 22 Material (as defined above), but also (1) any information copied or extracted from 23 Protected Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations of Protected 24 Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by Parties or their 25 Counsel that might reveal Protected Material. 26 27 Any use of Protected Material at trial will be governed by the orders of the trial judge. This Order does not govern the use of Protected Material at trial. 28 4 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 4. DURATION 2 Even after final disposition of this Action, the confidentiality obligations 3 imposed by this Order will remain in effect until a Designating Party agrees otherwise 4 in writing or a court order otherwise directs. Final disposition will be deemed to be the 5 later of (1) dismissal of all claims and defenses in this Action, with or without prejudice; 6 and (2) final judgment herein after the completion and exhaustion of all appeals, 7 rehearings, remands, trials, or reviews of this Action, including the time limits for filing 8 any motions or applications for extension of time pursuant to applicable law. 9 5. 10 DESIGNATING PROTECTED MATERIAL 5.1 Exercise of Restraint and Care in Designating Material for 11 Protection. Each Party or Non-Party that designates information or items for protection 12 under this Order must take care to limit any such designation to specific material that 13 qualifies under the appropriate standards. The Designating Party must designate for 14 protection only those parts of material, documents, items, or oral or written 15 communications that qualify so that other portions of the material, documents, items, 16 or communications for which protection is not warranted are not swept unjustifiably 17 within the ambit of this Order. 18 Mass, indiscriminate, or routinized designations are prohibited. Designations 19 that are shown to be clearly unjustified or that have been made for an improper purpose 20 (e.g., to unnecessarily encumber the case development process or to impose 21 unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties) may expose the Designating Party 22 to sanctions. 23 If it comes to a Designating Party’s attention that information or items that it 24 designated for protection do not qualify for protection, that Designating Party must 25 promptly notify all other Parties that it is withdrawing the inapplicable designation. 26 5.2 Manner and Timing of Designations. Except as otherwise provided in 27 this Order (see, e.g., second paragraph of section 5.2(a) below), or as otherwise 28 stipulated or ordered, Disclosure or Discovery Material that qualifies for protection 5 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 under this Order must be clearly so designated before the material is disclosed or 2 produced. 3 Designation in conformity with this Order requires: 4 (a) for information in documentary form (e.g., paper or electronic documents, 5 but excluding transcripts of depositions or other pretrial or trial proceedings), that the 6 Producing Party affix at a minimum, the legend “CONFIDENTIAL” (hereinafter 7 “CONFIDENTIAL legend”), to each page that contains protected material. If only a 8 portion or portions of the material on a page qualifies for protection, the Producing 9 Party also must clearly identify the protected portion(s) (e.g., by making appropriate 10 markings in the margins). 11 A Party or Non-Party that makes original documents available for inspection 12 need not designate them for protection until after the inspecting Party has indicated 13 which documents it would like copied and produced. During the inspection and before 14 the designation, all of the material made available for inspection will be deemed 15 “CONFIDENTIAL.” After the inspecting Party has identified the documents it wants 16 copied and produced, the Producing Party must determine which documents, or 17 portions thereof, qualify for protection under this Order. Then, before producing the 18 specified documents, the Producing Party must affix the “CONFIDENTIAL legend” to 19 each page that contains Protected Material. If only a portion or portions of the material 20 on a page qualifies for protection, the Producing Party also must clearly identify the 21 protected portion(s) (e.g., by making appropriate markings in the margins). 22 (b) for testimony given in depositions that the Designating Party identifies the 23 Disclosure or Discovery Material within 15 days of the Designating Party’s receipt of 24 the deposition transcript. 25 (c) for information produced in some form other than documentary and for any 26 other tangible items, that the Producing Party affix in a prominent place on the exterior 27 of the container or containers in which the information is stored the legend 28 “CONFIDENTIAL.” If only a portion or portions of the information warrants 6 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 protection, the Producing Party, to the extent practicable, will identify the protected 2 portion(s). 5.3 3 Inadvertent Failures to Designate. If timely corrected, an inadvertent 4 failure to designate qualified information or items does not, standing alone, waive the 5 Designating Party’s right to secure protection under this Order for such material. Upon 6 timely correction of a designation, the Receiving Party must make reasonable efforts to 7 assure that the material is treated in accordance with the provisions of this Order. 8 6. CHALLENGING CONFIDENTIALITY DESIGNATIONS 6.1 9 Timing of Challenges. Any Party or Non-Party may challenge a 10 designation of confidentiality at any time that is consistent with the Court’s Scheduling 11 Order. 6.2 12 13 Meet and Confer. The Challenging Party will initiate the dispute resolution process under Local Rule 37.1 et seq. 6.3 14 Burden. The burden of persuasion in any such challenge proceeding will 15 be on the Designating Party. Frivolous challenges, and those made for an improper 16 purpose (e.g., to harass or impose unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties) 17 may expose the Challenging Party to sanctions. Unless the Designating Party has 18 waived or withdrawn the confidentiality designation, all parties will continue to afford 19 the material in question the level of protection to which it is entitled under the 20 Producing Party’s designation until the Court rules on the challenge. 21 7. 22 ACCESS TO AND USE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL 7.1 Basic Principles. A Receiving Party may use Protected Material that is 23 disclosed or produced by another Party or by a Non-Party in connection with this 24 Action only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this Action. Such 25 Protected Material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the 26 conditions described in this Order. When the Action has been terminated, a Receiving 27 Party must comply with the provisions of section 13 below (FINAL DISPOSITION). 28 7 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 Protected Material must be stored and maintained by a Receiving Party at a 2 location and in a secure manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons 3 authorized under this Order. 4 7.2 Disclosure of “CONFIDENTIAL” Information or Items. Unless 5 otherwise ordered by the court or permitted in writing by the Designating Party, a 6 Receiving Party may disclose any information or item designated “CONFIDENTIAL” 7 only to: 8 (a) the Receiving Party’s Outside Counsel of Record in this Action, as well 9 as employees of said Outside Counsel of Record to whom it is reasonably necessary to 10 11 12 disclose the information for this Action; (b) the officers, directors, and employees (including House Counsel) of the Receiving Party to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action; 13 (c) Experts (as defined in this Order) of the Receiving Party to whom 14 disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action and who have signed the 15 “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A); 16 (d) the Court and its personnel; 17 (e) court reporters and their staff; 18 (f) professional jury or trial consultants, mock jurors, and Professional 19 Vendors to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action and who have 20 signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A); 21 22 (g) the author or recipient of a document containing the information or a custodian or other person who otherwise possessed or knew the information; 23 (h) during their depositions, witnesses ,and attorneys for witnesses, in the 24 Action to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary provided: (1) the deposing party 25 requests that the witness sign the form attached as Exhibit A hereto; and (2) they will 26 not be permitted to keep any confidential information unless they sign the 27 “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A), unless otherwise agreed 28 by the Designating Party or ordered by the court. Pages of transcribed deposition 8 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 testimony or exhibits to depositions that reveal Protected Material may be separately 2 bound by the court reporter and may not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted 3 under this Stipulated Protective Order; and (i) any mediator or settlement officer, and their supporting personnel, 4 5 mutually agreed upon by any of the parties engaged in settlement discussions. 6 8. 7 IN OTHER LITIGATION PROTECTED MATERIAL SUBPOENAED OR ORDERED PRODUCED 8 If a Party is served with a subpoena or a court order issued in other litigation that 9 compels disclosure of any information or items designated in this Action as 10 11 12 “CONFIDENTIAL,” that Party must: (a) promptly notify in writing the Designating Party. Such notification will include a copy of the subpoena or court order; 13 (b) promptly notify in writing the party who caused the subpoena or order to 14 issue in the other litigation that some or all of the material covered by the subpoena or 15 order is subject to this Protective Order. Such notification will include a copy of this 16 Stipulated Protective Order; and 17 18 (c) cooperate with respect to all reasonable procedures sought to be pursued by the Designating Party whose Protected Material may be affected. 19 If the Designating Party timely seeks a protective order, the Party served with 20 the subpoena or court order will not produce any information designated in this action 21 as “CONFIDENTIAL” before a determination by the court from which the subpoena 22 or order issued, unless the Party has obtained the Designating Party’s permission. The 23 Designating Party will bear the burden and expense of seeking protection in that court 24 of its confidential material and nothing in these provisions should be construed as 25 authorizing or encouraging a Receiving Party in this Action to disobey a lawful 26 directive from another court. 27 28 9 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 9. 2 PRODUCED IN THIS LITIGATION 3 A NON-PARTY’S PROTECTED MATERIAL SOUGHT TO BE (a) The terms of this Order are applicable to information produced by a Non- 4 Party in this Action and designated as “CONFIDENTIAL.” Such information 5 produced by Non-Parties in connection with this litigation is protected by the remedies 6 and relief provided by this Order. Nothing in these provisions should be construed as 7 prohibiting a Non-Party from seeking additional protections. 8 (b) In the event that a Party is required, by a valid discovery request, to produce 9 a Non-Party’s confidential information in its possession, and the Party is subject to an 10 agreement with the Non-Party not to produce the Non-Party’s confidential information, 11 then the Party will: 12 (1) promptly notify in writing the Requesting Party and the Non-Party 13 that some or all of the information requested is subject to a confidentiality agreement 14 with a Non-Party; 15 (2) promptly provide the Non-Party with a copy of the Stipulated 16 Protective Order in this Action, the relevant discovery request(s), and a reasonably 17 specific description of the information requested; and 18 19 (3) make the information requested available for inspection by the NonParty, if requested. 20 (c) If the Non-Party fails to seek a protective order from this court within 14 21 days of receiving the notice and accompanying information, the Receiving Party may 22 produce the Non-Party’s confidential information responsive to the discovery request. 23 If the Non-Party timely seeks a protective order, the Receiving Party will not produce 24 any information in its possession or control that is subject to the confidentiality 25 agreement with the Non-Party before a determination by the court. Absent a court 26 order to the contrary, the Non-Party will bear the burden and expense of seeking 27 protection in this court of its Protected Material. 28 10 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 10. UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL 2 If a Receiving Party learns that, by inadvertence or otherwise, it has disclosed 3 Protected Material to any person or in any circumstance not authorized under this 4 Stipulated Protective Order, the Receiving Party must immediately (a) notify in writing 5 the Designating Party of the unauthorized disclosures, (b) use its best efforts to retrieve 6 all unauthorized copies of the Protected Material, (c) inform the person or persons to 7 whom unauthorized disclosures were made of all the terms of this Order, and (d) request 8 such person or persons to execute the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” 9 that is attached hereto as Exhibit A. 10 11. INADVERTENT PRODUCTION OF PRIVILEGED OR OTHERWISE 11 PROTECTED MATERIAL 12 When a Producing Party gives notice to Receiving Parties that certain 13 inadvertently produced material is subject to a claim of privilege or other protection, 14 the obligations of the Receiving Parties are those set forth in Federal Rule of Civil 15 Procedure 26(b)(5)(B). This provision is not intended to modify whatever procedure 16 may be established in an e-discovery order that provides for production without prior 17 privilege review. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) and (e), insofar as the 18 parties reach an agreement on the effect of disclosure of a communication or 19 information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product protection, the 20 parties may incorporate their agreement in the stipulated protective order submitted to 21 the court. 22 12. 23 24 MISCELLANEOUS 12.1 Right to Further Relief. Nothing in this Order abridges the right of any person to seek its modification by the Court in the future. 25 12.2 Right to Assert Other Objections. By stipulating to the entry of this 26 Protective Order no Party waives any right it otherwise would have to object to 27 disclosing or producing any information or item on any ground not addressed in this 28 11 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 Stipulated Protective Order. Similarly, no Party waives any right to object on any 2 ground to use in evidence of any of the material covered by this Protective Order. 3 12.3 Filing Protected Material. A Party that seeks to file under seal any 4 Protected Material must comply with Civil Local Rule 79-5. Protected Material may 5 only be filed under seal pursuant to a court order authorizing the sealing of the specific 6 Protected Material at issue. If a Party's request to file Protected Material under seal is 7 denied by the court, then the Receiving Party may file the information in the public 8 record unless otherwise instructed by the court. 9 12.4 Effective Upon Signing. This Order will become effective and the 10 Parties will be bound to it upon the signature of each Party or Non-Party’s attorney of 11 record. 12 13. FINAL DISPOSITION 13 After the final disposition of this Action, as defined in paragraph 4, within 60 14 days of a written request by the Designating Party, each Receiving Party must return 15 all Protected Material to the Producing Party or destroy such material. As used in this 16 subdivision, “all Protected Material” includes all copies, abstracts, compilations, 17 summaries, and any other format reproducing or capturing any of the Protected 18 Material. Whether the Protected Material is returned or destroyed, the Receiving Party 19 must submit a written certification to the Producing Party (and, if not the same person 20 or entity, to the Designating Party) by the 60 day deadline that (1) identifies (by 21 category, where appropriate) all the Protected Material that was returned or destroyed 22 and (2) affirms that the Receiving Party has not retained any copies, abstracts, 23 compilations, summaries or any other format reproducing or capturing any of the 24 Protected Material. Notwithstanding this provision, Counsel are entitled to retain an 25 archival copy of all pleadings, motion papers, trial, deposition, and hearing transcripts, 26 legal memoranda, correspondence, deposition and trial exhibits, expert reports, 27 attorney work product, and consultant and expert work product, even if such materials 28 contain Protected Material. Any such archival copies that contain or constitute 12 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 Protected Material remain subject to this Protective Order as set forth in Section 4 2 (DURATION). 3 14. VIOLATION OF ORDER 4 Any willful violation of this Order may be punished by civil or criminal 5 contempt proceedings, financial or evidentiary sanctions, reference to disciplinary 6 authorities, or other appropriate action at the discretion of the Court. 7 8 IT IS SO STIPULATED, THROUGH COUNSEL OF RECORD 9 10 Dated: March 26 , 2024 11 Respectfully submitted, FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP 12 13 By: Kristopher S. Davis David A. Belcher 14 15 Attorneys for Plaintiffs THR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT L.P. and INVITATION HOMES INC. 16 17 18 Dated: March 26 , 2024 19 BLANK ROME LLP By: 20 Greg Bordo Benjamin M. Wigley 21 Attorneys for Defendant STEVEN DIETZ 22 23 24 FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN, IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 26 27 28 DATED: March 28, 2024 __________________________________ / s / Sagar Honorable Alka Sagar United States Magistrate Judge 13 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 1 EXHIBIT A 2 ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND 3 4 I, _____________________________ [full name], of _________________ 5 [full address], declare under penalty of perjury that I have read in its entirety and 6 understand the Stipulated Protective Order that was issued by the United States 7 District Court for the Central District of California on [date] in the case of THR 8 Property Management L.P. et al. v. United Dwelling, Inc. et al. (Case No. 2:23- 9 cv-06686-CAS (ASx)). I agree to comply with and to be bound by all the terms 10 of this Stipulated Protective Order and I understand and acknowledge that 11 failure to so comply could expose me to sanctions and punishment in the nature 12 of contempt. I solemnly promise that I will not disclose in any manner any 13 information or item that is subject to this Stipulated Protective Order to any person 14 or entity except in strict compliance with the provisions of this Order. 15 I further agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the United States District Court 16 for the Central District of California for the purpose of enforcing the terms of this 17 Stipulated Protective Order, even if such enforcement proceedings occur after 18 termination of this action. I hereby appoint __________________________ [full 19 name] of _______________________________________ [full address and 20 telephone number] as my California agent for service of process in connection with 21 this action or any proceedings related to enforcement of this Stipulated Protective 22 Order. 23 Date: ______________________________________ 24 City and State where signed: _________________________________ 25 Printed name: _______________________________ 26 Signature: __________________________________ 27 28 14 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER

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