Consuelo Gomez v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. et al

Filing 24

PROTECTIVE ORDER by Magistrate Judge Alicia G. Rosenberg re Stipulation for Protective Order 23 . (see document for details) (hr)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Marie B. Maurice, Esq. (SBN 258069) Christian A. Abella, Esq. (SBN 336957) IVIE McNEILL WYATT PURCELL & DIGGS A Professional Law Corporation 444 South Flower Street, 32nd Floor Los Angeles, California 90071 T: (213) 489-0028/F: (213) 489-0552 Attorneys for Defendant, HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC. 9 UNITED STATES OF DISTRICT COURT 10 11 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 12 13 CONSUELO GOMEZ, Case No.: 2:24-cv-01923-SB-AGR [Complaint Filed: 1/12/24; Hon. Stanley J. Blumenfeld, Jr.; Trial Date: Not Set] 14 Plaintiff, 15 16 [DISCOVERY MATTER] vs. STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER 17 18 19 HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC.; and DOES 1-25, inclusive. 20 Defendants. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1. A. PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS Discovery in this action is likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation may be warranted. Accordingly, the parties hereby stipulate to and petition the Court to enter the following Stipulated Protective Order. The parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 1 1 discovery and that the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends 2 only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment 3 under the applicable legal principles. The parties further acknowledge, as set forth 4 in Section 12.3, below, that this Stipulated Protective Order does not entitle them 5 to a file confidential information under seal; Civil Local Rule 79-5 sets forth the 6 procedures that must be followed and the standards that will be applied when a party 7 seeks permission from the court to file material under seal. B. GOOD CAUSE STATEMENT 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 This action is likely to involve sensitive and confidential inter-agency documents related to the incident that should be protected from public dissemination. The pending discovery requests, as well as anticipated future requests, would require the production of information Home Depot considers confidential, proprietary, and private, business interests. Home Depot is the leading home improvement retailer and maintains it competitive advantage, in part, by being at the forefront of innovative business ideas, practices and operations. Home Depot has been able to attain and maintain its position in the industry by taking advantage of the collective experience and knowledge of its associates and by investing resources to develop sound operating practices and a unique manner of doing business, all of which are embodied, in part, in the Company’s policies. This advantage would be greatly diminished if Home Depot’s polices were publicly disclosed making them available to the competitors. 22 Accordingly, to expedite the flow of information, to facilitate the prompt 23 resolution of disputes over confidentiality of discovery materials, to adequately 24 protect information the parties are entitled to keep confidential, to ensure that the 25 parties are permitted reasonable necessary uses of such material in preparation for 26 and in the conduct of trial, to address their handling at the end of the litigation, and 27 serve the ends of justice, a protective order for such information is justified in this 28 matter. It is the intent of the parties that information will not be designated as STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 confidential for tactical reasons and that nothing be so designated without a good faith belief that it has been maintained in a confidential, non-public manner, and there is good cause why it should not be part of the public record of this case. 2. DEFINITIONS 2.1 Action: This pending federal lawsuit in CONSUELO GOMEZ, an individual, v. HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC. A Delaware Corporation; and DOES 1-25 Inclusive. CASE NO.: 2:24-cv-01923-SB-AGR. 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 how it is generated, stored, or maintained) or tangible things that qualify for protection under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), and as specified above in the Good Cause Statement. 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 22 or 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 25 an 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. STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 3 2.9 1 2 or other legal entity not named as a Party to this action. 2.10 Outside Counsel of Record: attorneys who are not employees of a party 3 4 5 6 to this Action but are retained to represent or advise a party to this Action and have appeared in this Action on behalf of that party or are affiliated with a law firm which has appeared on behalf of that party, including support staff. 2.11 Party: any party to this Action, including all of its officers, directors, 7 8 9 employees, consultants, retained experts, and Outside Counsel of Record (and their support staffs). 2.12 Producing Party: a Party or Non-Party that produces Disclosure or 10 11 Discovery Material in this Action. 2.13 Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation 12 13 Non-Party: any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, support services (e.g., photocopying, videotaping, translating, preparing exhibits or 14 demonstrations, and organizing, storing, or retrieving data in any form or medium) 15 and their employees and subcontractors. 2.14 Protected Material: any Disclosure or Discovery Material that is 16 17 designated as “CONFIDENTIAL.” 2.15 Receiving Party: a Party that receives Disclosure or Discovery 18 19 Material from a Producing Party. 20 3. SCOPE 21 The protections conferred by this Stipulation and Order cover not only 22 Protected Material (as defined above), but also (1) any information copied or 23 extracted from Protected Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or 24 compilations of Protected Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or 25 presentations by Parties or their Counsel that might reveal Protected Material. 26 27 Any use of Protected Material at trial shall be governed by the orders of the trial judge. This Order does not govern the use of Protected Material at trial. 28 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 4 1 4. Even after final disposition of this litigation, the confidentiality obligations 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DURATION imposed by this Order shall remain in effect until a Designating Party agrees otherwise in writing or a court order otherwise directs. Final disposition shall be deemed to be the later of (1) dismissal of all claims and defenses in this Action, with or without prejudice; and (2) final judgment herein after the completion and exhaustion of all appeals, rehearings, remands, trials, or reviews of this Action, including the time limits for filing any motions or applications for extension of time pursuant to applicable law. 5. DESIGNATING PROTECTED MATERIAL 5.1 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 take care to limit any such designation to specific material that 14 qualifies under the appropriate standards. The Designating Party must designate 15 for protection only those parts of material, documents, items, or oral or written 16 communications that qualify so that other portions of the material, documents, items, 17 or communications for which protection is not warranted are not swept unjustifiably 18 within the ambit of this Order. 19 Mass, indiscriminate, or routinized designations are prohibited. Designations 20 that are shown to be clearly unjustified or that have been made for an improper 21 purpose (e.g., to unnecessarily encumber the case development process or to impose 22 unnecessary expenses and burdens on other parties) may expose the Designating 23 Party to sanctions. 24 If it comes to a Designating Party’s attention that information or items that it 25 designated for protection do not qualify for protection, that Designating Party must 26 promptly notify all other Parties that it is withdrawing the inapplicable designation. 27 28 5.2 Manner and Timing of Designations. Except as otherwise provided in this Order (see, e.g., second paragraph of Section 5.2(a) below), or as otherwise STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 stipulated or ordered, Disclosure or Discovery Material that qualifies for protection under this Order must be clearly so designated before the material is disclosed or produced. Designation in conformity with this Order requires: (a) for information in documentary form (e.g., paper or electronic documents, but excluding transcripts of depositions or other pretrial or trial proceedings), that the Producing Party affix at a minimum, the legend “CONFIDENTIAL” (hereinafter “CONFIDENTIAL legend”), to each page that contains protected material. If only a portion or portions of the material on a page qualifies for protection, the Producing Party also must clearly identify the protected portion(s) (e.g., by making appropriate markings in the margins). A Party or Non-Party that makes original documents available for inspection need not designate them for protection until after the inspecting Party 14 has indicated which documents it would like copied and produced. During the 15 inspection and before the designation, all of the material made available for 16 inspection shall be deemed “CONFIDENTIAL.” After the inspecting Party has 17 identified the documents it wants copied and produced, the Producing Party must 18 determine which documents, or portions thereof, qualify for protection under this 19 Order. Then, before producing the specified documents, the Producing Party must 20 affix the “CONFIDENTIAL legend” to each page that contains Protected Material. 21 If only a portion or portions of the material on a page qualifies for protection, the 22 Producing Party also must clearly identify the protected portion(s) (e.g., by making 23 appropriate markings in the margins). 24 (b) for testimony given in depositions that the Designating Party 25 identify the Disclosure or Discovery Material on the record, before the close of the 26 deposition all protected testimony. 27 (c) for information produced in some form other than documentary and 28 for any other tangible items, that the Producing Party affix in a prominent place on STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 6 1 2 3 4 the exterior of the container or containers in which the information is stored the legend “CONFIDENTIAL.” If only a portion or portions of the information warrants protection, the Producing Party, to the extent practicable, shall identify the protected portion(s). 5.3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 failure to designate qualified information or items does not, standing alone, waive the Designating Party’s right to secure protection under this Order for such material. Upon timely correction of a designation, the Receiving Party must make reasonable efforts to assure that the material is treated in accordance with the provisions of this Order. 6. 14 Timing of Challenges. Any Party or Non-Party may challenge a designation of confidentiality at any time that is consistent with the Court’s Scheduling Order. 6.2 15 16 CHALLENGING CONFIDENTIALITY DESIGNATIONS 6.1 12 13 Inadvertent Failures to Designate. If timely corrected, an inadvertent Meet and Confer. The Challenging Party Shall initiate the dispute resolution process under Civil Local Rule 37-1 et seq. 6.3 17 The burden of persuasion in any such challenge proceeding shall be 18 on the Designating Party. Frivolous challenges, and those made for an improper 19 purpose (e.g., to harass or impose unnecessary expenses and burdens on other 20 parties), may expose the Challenging Party to sanctions. Unless the Designating 21 Party has waived or withdrawn the confidentiality designation, all parties shall 22 continue to afford the material in question the level of protection to which it 23 is entitled under the Producing Party’s designation until the Court rules on the 24 challenge. 25 7. 26 ACCESS TO AND USE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL 7.1 Basic Principles. A Receiving Party may use Protected Material that 27 is disclosed or produced by another Party or by a Non-Party in connection with this 28 Action only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this Action. Such STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Protected Material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the conditions described in this Order. When the Action has been terminated, a Receiving Party must comply with the provisions of Section 13 below (FINAL DISPOSITION). 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. 7.2 Disclosure of “CONFIDENTIAL” Information or Items. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court or permitted in writing by the Designating Party, a Receiving Party may disclose any information or item designated “CONFIDENTIAL” only to: (a) the Receiving Party’s Outside Counsel of Record in this Action, as well as employees of said Outside Counsel of Record to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for this Action; 15 (b) the officers, directors, and employees (including House Counsel) 16 of the Receiving Party to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action; 17 (c) Experts (as defined in this Order) of the Receiving Party to whom 18 disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action and who have signed the 19 “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A); 20 (d) the Court and its personnel; 21 (e) court reporters and their staff; 22 (f) professional jury or trial consultants, mock jurors, and Professional 23 Vendors to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this Action and who have 24 signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A); 25 26 (g) the author or recipient of a document containing the information or a custodian or other person who otherwise possessed or knew the information; 27 (h) during their depositions, witnesses, and attorneys for witnesses, in 28 the Action to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary provided: (1) the deposing STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 party requests that the witness sign the form attached as Exhibit A hereto; and (2) they will not be permitted to keep any confidential information unless they sign the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A), unless otherwise agreed by the Designating Party or ordered by the Court. Pages of transcribed deposition testimony or exhibits to depositions that reveal Protected Material may be separately bound by the court reporter and may not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted under this Stipulated Protective Order; and (i) any mediator or settlement officer, and their supporting personnel, 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 mutually agreed upon by any of the parties engaged in settlement discussions. 8. PROTECTED MATERIAL SUBPOENAED OR ORDERED PRODUCED IN OTHER LITIGATION If a Party is served with a subpoena or a court order issued in other litigation that compels disclosure of any information or items designated in this Action as “CONFIDENTIAL,” that Party must: (a) promptly notify in writing the Designating Party. Such notification shall include a copy of the subpoena or court order; 17 (b) promptly notify in writing the party who caused the subpoena or 18 order to issue in the other litigation that some or all of the material covered by the 19 subpoena or order is subject to this Protective Order. Such notification shall include 20 a copy of this Stipulated Protective Order; and 21 22 (c) cooperate with respect to all reasonable procedures sought to be pursued by the Designating Party whose Protected Material may be affected. 23 If the Designating Party timely seeks a protective order, the Party served with 24 the subpoena or court order shall not produce any information designated in this 25 action as “CONFIDENTIAL” before a determination by the court from which the 26 subpoena or order issued, unless the Party has obtained the Designating Party’s 27 permission. The Designating Party shall bear the burden and expense of seeking 28 protection in that court of its confidential material, and nothing in these provisions STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 should be construed as authorizing or encouraging a Receiving Party in this Action to disobey a lawful directive from another court. 9. A NON-PARTY’S PROTECTED MATERIAL SOUGHT TO BE PRODUCED IN THIS LITIGATION (a) The terms of this Order are applicable to information produced by a Non-Party in this Action and designated as “CONFIDENTIAL.” Such information produced by Non-Parties in connection with this litigation is protected by the remedies and relief provided by this Order. Nothing in these provisions should be construed as prohibiting a Non-Party from seeking additional protections. (b) In the event that a Party is required, by a valid discovery request, to produce a Non-Party’s confidential information in its possession, and the Party is subject to an agreement with the Non-Party not to produce the Non-Party’s confidential information, then the Party shall: 14 (1) promptly notify in writing the Requesting Party and the Non- 15 Party that some or all of the information requested is subject to a 16 confidentiality agreement with a Non-Party; 17 (2) promptly provide the Non-Party with a copy of the 18 Stipulated Protective Order in this Action, the relevant discovery request(s), 19 and a reasonably specific description of the information requested; and 20 21 (3) make the information requested available for inspection by the Non-Party, if requested. 22 (c) If the Non-Party fails to seek a protective order from this Court 23 within 14 days of receiving the notice and accompanying information, the 24 Receiving Party may produce the Non-Party’s confidential information responsive 25 to the discovery request. If the Non-Party timely seeks a protective order, the 26 Receiving Party shall not produce any information in its possession or control that 27 is subject to the confidentiality agreement with the Non-Party before a 28 determination by the Court. Absent a court order to the contrary, the Non-Party STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 10 1 2 3 shall bear the burden and expense of seeking protection in this Court of its Protected Material. 10. If a Receiving Party learns that, by inadvertence or otherwise, it has disclosed 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL Protected Material to any person or in any circumstance not authorized under this Stipulated Protective Order, the Receiving Party must immediately (a) notify in writing the Designating Party of the unauthorized disclosures, (b) use its best efforts to retrieve all unauthorized copies of the Protected Material, (c) inform the person or persons to whom unauthorized disclosures were made of all the terms of this Order, and (d) request such person or persons to execute the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” that is attached hereto as Exhibit A. 11. INADVERTENT PRODUCTION OF PRIVILEGED OR OTHERWISE PROTECTED MATERIAL 14 When a Producing Party gives notice to Receiving Parties that certain 15 inadvertently produced material is subject to a claim of privilege or other protection, 16 the obligations of the Receiving Parties are those set forth in Federal Rule of Civil 17 Procedure 26(b)(5)(B). This provision is not intended to modify whatever 18 procedure may be established in an e-discovery order that provides for production 19 without prior privilege review. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) and 20 (e), insofar as the parties reach an agreement on the effect of disclosure of a 21 communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work 22 product protection, the parties may incorporate their agreement in the stipulated 23 protective order submitted to the Court. 24 12. 25 26 MISCELLANEOUS 12.1 Right to Relief. Nothing in this Order abridges the right of any person to seek its modification by the Court in the future. 27 12.2 Right to Assert Other Objections. By stipulating to the entry of this 28 Protective Order, no Party waives any right it otherwise would have to object to STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 11 1 2 3 disclosing or producing any information or item on any ground not addressed in this Stipulated Protective Order. Similarly, no Party waives any right to object on any ground to use in evidence of any of the material covered by this Protective Order. 12.3 Filing Protected Material. A Party that seeks to file under seal any 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Protected Material must comply with Civil Local Rule 79-5. Protected Material may only be filed under seal pursuant to a court order authorizing the sealing of the specific Protected Material at issue. If a Party’s request to file Protected Material under seal is denied by the court, then the Receiving Party may file the information in the public record unless otherwise instructed by the court. 13. FINAL DISPOSITION After the final disposition of this Action, as defined in Section 4, within 60 days of a written request by the Designating Party, each Receiving Party must return all Protected Material to the Producing Party or destroy such material. As used in 14 this subdivision, “all Protected Material” includes all copies, abstracts, compilations, 15 summaries, and any other format reproducing or capturing any of the Protected 16 Material. Whether the Protected Material is returned or destroyed, the Receiving 17 Party must submit a written certification to the Producing Party (and, if not the same 18 person or entity, to the Designating Party) by the 60 day deadline that (1) identifies 19 (by category, where appropriate) all the Protected Material that was returned or 20 destroyed; and (2) affirms that the Receiving Party has not retained any copies, 21 abstracts, compilations, summaries, or any other format reproducing or capturing 22 any of the Protected Material. Notwithstanding this provision, Counsel are entitled 23 to retain an archival copy of all pleadings, motion papers, trial, deposition, and 24 hearing transcripts, legal memoranda, correspondence, deposition and trial exhibits, 25 expert reports, attorney work product, and consultant and expert work product, even 26 if such materials contain Protected Material. Any such archival copies that contain 27 or constitute Protected Material remain subject to this Protective Order as set forth 28 in Section 4 (DURATION). STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 12 1 2 3 4 14. Any violation of this Order may be punished by any and all appropriate measures including, without limitation, contempt proceedings and/or monetary sanctions. IT IS SO STIPULATED, THROUGH COUNSEL OF RECORD: 5 6 7 Dated: 0D\   LAW OFFICES OF ANDREW ZEYTUNTSYAN, PC 8 By: 9 10 11 12 V 6YHWODQD 'DUELQ\DQ Andrew Zeytuntsyan, Esq. Svetlana Darbinyan, Esq. Attorneys for Plaintiff, CONSUELO GOMEZ 13 14 15 Dated: April 26, 2024 IVIE McNEILL WYATT PURCELL & DIGGS 16 17 18 19 By: /s/ MARIE MAURICE Marie B. Maurice, Esq. Christian A. Abella, Esq. Attorneys for Defendant, HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 13 EXHIBIT A 1 ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND 2 3 I, [print or type full name], of [print or type full address], declare 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 under penalty of perjury that I have read in its entirety and understand the Stipulated Protective Order that was issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on [date] in the case of CONSUELO GOMEZ v. HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC.; CASE NO.: 2:24-cv-01923-SB-AGR. I agree to comply with and to be bound by all the terms of this Stipulated Protective Order, and I understand and acknowledge that failure to so comply could expose me to sanctions and punishment in the nature of contempt. I solemnly promise that I will not disclose in any manner any information or item that is subject to this Stipulated Protective Order to any person or entity except in strict compliance with the provisions of this Order. I further agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the United States District 16 Court for the Central District of California for the purpose of enforcing the terms 17 of this Stipulated Protective Order, even if such enforcement proceedings occur 18 after termination of this action. I hereby appoint __________________________ 19 [print or type full name] of _______________________________________ [print 20 or type full address and telephone number] as my California agent for service of 21 process in connection with this action or any proceedings related to enforcement of 22 this Stipulated Protective Order. 23 Date: ______________________________________ 24 City and State where sworn and signed: ________________________________ 25 26 Printed name: _______________________________ 27 28 Signature: __________________________________ STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER - 15

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