Rao et al v. Apple Inc.

Filing 183

Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi terminating 170 Joint Discovery Letter Brief re 30(b)(6) Depositions; granting 169 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal. (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/17/2020)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SAN JOSE DIVISION 7 Case No. 18-cv-02813-EJD (VKD) 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 IN RE: MACBOOK KEYBOARD LITIGATION ORDER TERMINATING DKT. NO. 170; GRANTING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL Re: Dkt. Nos. 170, 169 12 13 14 On December 16, 2019, the parties submitted a joint discovery dispute letter concerning 15 Rule 30(b)(6) depositions. Dkt. No. 170. After further conference of counsel at the hearing on the 16 dispute on January 14, 2020, the parties reached an agreement as to all matters raised in their 17 letter. Dkt. No. 179. Accordingly, the Court terminates Dkt. No. 170. 18 Additionally, in connection with the parties’ joint discovery dispute letter, plaintiffs filed 19 an administrative motion to file portions of the letter under seal. Dkt. No. 169. Defendant Apple 20 Inc. filed a declaration in support of the request to seal. Dkt. No. 175. Having considered the 21 parties’ submissions, the Court grants the administrative motion, as set forth below. 22 There is a strong presumption in favor of access by the public to judicial records and 23 documents accompanying dispositive motions that can be overcome only by a showing of 24 “compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings.” Kamakana v. City & Cty. of 25 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178–79 (9th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 26 However, the presumption does not apply equally to a motion addressing matters that are only 27 “tangentially related to the merits of a case.” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 28 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016), cert. denied sub nom. FCA U.S. LLC v. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 137 S. Ct. 1 38 (2016). A litigant seeking to seal documents or information in connection with such a motion 2 must meet the lower “good cause” standard of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 3 Id. at 1098–99; Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179–80. 4 Plaintiffs’ motion to seal concerns information submitted in connection with a discovery 5 dispute. The underlying discovery dispute does not address the merits of the parties’ claims or 6 defenses, but rather whether Apple should produce Rule 30(b)(6) witnesses to testify on specific 7 topics. The material to be sealed is only tangentially related to the merits of the case. The Court 8 therefore applies the “good cause” standard of Rule 26(c). 9 The Court is skeptical that the portions sought to be sealed warrant sealing. “The mere fact that production of records may lead to a litigant’s embarrassment, incrimination, or exposure to 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 further litigation will not, without more, compel the court to seal its records.” Kamakana, 447 12 F.3d at 1179. However, because the presiding judge has previously granted motions to seal other 13 documents containing the same or substantially similar information (Dkt. Nos. 135, 157), and 14 because the Court applies only the “good cause” standard to this discovery dispute, the Court 15 grants the motion to seal the fifth line of the second full paragraph and the eighth line of the third 16 full paragraph on page 4 of the parties’ joint discovery letter. 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 17, 2020 19 20 VIRGINIA K. DEMARCHI United States Magistrate Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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