Leeder v. Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, Department of Defense

Filing 72

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd granting 56 defendant's Motion for Protective Order.(hrllc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/23/2011)

Download PDF
1 2 *E-FILED 11-23-2011* 3 4 5 6 NOT FOR CITATION 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 7 No. C10-01822 HRL SUE A. LEEDER, 12 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER Plaintiff, v. 13 14 15 SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, LEON E. PANETTA, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, [Re: Docket No. 56] Defendant. / 16 17 18 19 This is an employment discrimination action brought by plaintiff Sue A. Leeder, a former employee of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). Defendant moves for entry of a protective order governing materials to be produced in 20 discovery. Both sides agree that a protective order is appropriate. The only dispute is whether 21 a single-tier “Confidential” provision is sufficient (plaintiff’s view), or whether a second-tier 22 “Highly Confidential–Attorney’s Eyes Only” (AEO) provision reasonably is necessary 23 (defendant’s contention). Upon consideration of the moving and responding papers, as well as 24 the arguments of counsel, this court grants defendant’s motion for protective order, with some 25 modification, as discussed below. 26 At this point, no one knows all of the kinds of documentation that may come into play in 27 this litigation. Nevertheless, on the record presented, and having weighed legitimate competing 28 interests and possible prejudice, this court finds that defendant’s proposed order strikes an 1 appropriate balance between interests in liberal discovery and in safeguarding sensitive 2 information. The court cannot exclude the possibility that there may well be documents 3 produced that will require greater protection than that afforded under a “Confidential” 4 designation. Plaintiff has not managed to persuade that she should be free to make wholesale 5 disclosure of designated documents to any DCAA employee. Nor is it readily apparent that 6 permitting an AEO designation will hamstring plaintiff in the prosecution of this case. 7 Defendant has represented to the court that plaintiff herself may access (1) documents 8 pertaining to audits on which she worked and (2) 18 audit files that defendant says it is prepared 9 to produce—notwithstanding that those documents may be designated AEO. In any event, if the parties should disagree whether a particular confidentiality designation is justified, there are 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 procedures for challenging the designation and resolving any such disputes. 12 Accordingly, the court will enter the proposed protective order submitted by defendant, 13 with modifications to reflect that (1) the court will limit its jurisdiction to enforce the terms of 14 the protective order after final disposition of the litigation; and (2) in the event of any disclosure 15 or other discovery-related dispute, the parties (and any affected non-parties) shall comply with 16 the undersigned’s Standing Order re Civil Discovery Disputes. 17 18 SO ORDERED. Dated: November 23, 2011 19 HOWARD R. LLOYD 20 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 1 5:10-cv-01822-HRL Notice has been electronically mailed to: 2 Claire T. Cormier 3 Mark Walter Hostetter 4 Counsel are responsible for distributing copies of this document to co-counsel who have not registered for e-filing under the court’s CM/ECF program. claire.cormier@usdoj.gov mwhlegal@gmail.com 5 6 7 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?