Vukelich v. Bell Partners, Inc.
CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER. Signed by Magistrate Judge David Keesler on 3/19/2012. (tmg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-00663-MOC-DCK
KAREN M. VUKELICH,
BELL PARTNERS, INC.
In the course of discovery, the parties will request and exchange information and documents
that are or may be of a personal, confidential and/or proprietary nature, including but not limited to
personnel data and records of persons other than the Plaintiff, medical records, materials related to
employee benefits of persons other than Plaintiff, as well as confidential commercial information
and trade secrets, competitively sensitive commercial information, confidential financial, marketing,
pricing, or other information regarding operations of Bell Partners, Inc. that provides the company
with a competitive advantage, is not readily known in the public market, or other financial
information regarding Bell Partners, Inc. The parties seek to limit the use of the information and
documents to protect themselves from annoyance and potential embarrassment as well as to
maintain the confidentiality of personal, financial, and/or proprietary information. Accordingly, they
have agreed to the entry of this Order to facilitate the production of the information requested and
any information which will be produced during discovery in this case. It is not the intention of the
parties, nor of this Order to disallow the production of documents which may be considered
confidential as the term is defined in this Order.
Designation of Confidential Information
"Confidential information" as used herein means any type or classification of
information which is designated as "confidential" in the manner specified below, in the good faith
belief that such information falls within the scope of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, has not already been provided to Employment Security Commission, EEOC, or to the
Plaintiff in the past, and is subject to this Protective Order. For purposes of this Protective Order,
"confidential information" includes, but is not limited to, proprietary, commercial, financial and/or
personal information, including but not limited to financial data, non-Plaintiff personnel files, nonPlaintiff pay information, medical records, drug testing documents, non-Plaintiff workers'
compensation files, property reports and data, data related to occupancy rates, resident information,
trade secrets and other competitively sensitive materials, financial records, actuarial records and
reports and information about disabilities, tax returns, non-Plaintiff retirement benefits,
customer/resident information, information or documents related to the operations at Bell Partners,
Inc., information related to personal or financial information relating to the parties or others.
"Confidential information" may include documents, information contained in documents,
depositions, interrogatory answers, and all other discovery pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, court testimony, matters in evidence and other information furnished by or on behalf of
any party in connection with this litigation which falls within the scope of this Protective Order.
The party producing any documents or information subject to this Protective Order
shall have the right to use its discretion in designating materials subject to this Order to be
confidential information. However, the party shall be obligated to designate only documents or
information which it believes in good faith to be information within the scope of Rule 26(c) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Moreover, the party shall be obligated to make specific
designations to the extent reasonably possible and to avoid overbroad designations.
Any party producing documents may designate such documents and copies thereof
as confidential by marking any confidential page as follows: CONFIDENTIAL. In lieu of placing
said legend on the originals of documents, the producing party may legend the copies that are
produced. When producing a multi-page document, all of which it contends is confidential, a party
may designate the entire document as confidential by marking the first page of the document as
Information disclosed at the deposition of any party or at the deposition of one of its
present or former officers, directors, employees or agents, or of independent experts retained by any
party for purposes of this litigation may be designated by such party as confidential by indicating
on the record at the deposition that the testimony is confidential and subject to the provisions of this
Order. Each party shall attach a copy of such written statement to the face of the transcript and each
copy thereof in its possession, custody or control.
Use of Confidential Information
Confidential information shall be used only for the purpose of these proceedings and
shall not be disclosed to any person except the following:
Official counsel for any party, the legal associates, clerical or other support staff of
such counsel assisting in the preparation of this action, and the plaintiff, to the extent necessary to
prepare this case for litigation;
Agents, representatives and employees of either party, as is necessary to prepare this
case for litigation;
Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 6 below, independent experts (who shall not
be a party or an employee of a party) employed by either party for the purpose of assisting in this
A witness who is either the producing party or an employee of the producing party
or a former or current employee of the producing party, as is necessary to prepare this case for
litigation, and, the court reporter and courtroom personnel at any deposition, pretrial hearing, trial
or other proceedings held in connection with this action;
Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 7 below, any court, including this Court, or
appellate body which has cause to consider any of the issues raised in this action;
Jurors and prospective jurors;
Or any other person or entity to whom this Court orders or allows disclosure after
notice and opportunity for hearing.
It is specifically agreed to by the parties that Plaintiff cannot disclose any documents marked
“CONFIDENTIAL” pursuant to this Consent Protective Order to any person assisting her with this
litigation unless such person is duly authorized to practice law and has entered an appearance in this
case and/or has established an attorney-client privileged relationship with Plaintiff, or is employed
as a legal assistant to any counsel in this matter.
Non-Disclosure of Confidential Information
No person to whom confidential information is disclosed shall disclose such
confidential information to any person to whom disclosure is not authorized by the terms hereof,
or make any other disclosure of such confidential information for any purpose whatsoever,
commercial or otherwise. In addition to the other restrictions on disclosure contained herein, the
parties agree that no confidential information may be disclosed to any person (including any
consultant, expert or employee of any party) until such person has read a copy of this Order and
signed an acknowledgment, thereby indicating his willingness to be bound by its provisions. The
disclosing party shall have the obligation to maintain records identifying all such persons to whom
information has been disclosed.
Information Filed with the Court
When a party seeks to file under seal confidential documents, things, and/or
information, including confidential portions of any transcript, a party shall submit such materials
to the court pursuant to the CM/ECF procedures for submitting sealed documents. Each time a party
seeks to file under seal confidential documents, things, and/or information, said party shall
accompany the request with a motion to seal and a supporting memorandum of law specifying (a)
the exact documents, things, and /or information, or portions thereof, for which filing under seal is
requested; (b) where it is necessary for the court to determine the source of the public’s right to
access before a request to seal may be evaluated, whether any such request to seal seeks to overcome
the common law or the First Amendment presumption to access; (c) the specific qualities of the
material at issue which justify sealing such material, taking into account the balance of competing
interests in access; (d) the reasons why alternatives to sealing are inadequate; and (e) whether there
is consent to the motion. Finally, in addition to the motion and supporting memorandum, said party
must set out such findings in a proposed order to seal for the court.
In the event that a party disputes the propriety of the designation of any material or
information as confidential, that party may file a motion with the Court requesting a ruling regarding
whether the material or information should be treated as confidential for purposes of this Consent
Protective Order. No party shall be obligated to challenge the propriety of any designation of
information as confidential and a failure to do so shall not preclude a subsequent attack on the
propriety of such designation.
At the conclusion of this litigation, the parties may contact the Court to obtain any
confidential information in the Court's files so the parties may make appropriate disposition of all
confidential information furnished pursuant to the terms of this Order. At the conclusion of the
litigation, the parties agree to return any confidential information to the party providing the
confidential information except transcriptions of depositions taken in the course of this proceeding.
This Protective Order shall not abrogate or diminish any contractual, statutory or
other legal obligation or right of any party or person with respect to the confidential information.
Specifically, this Protective Order shall not require any party to notify or to obtain permission from
other parties before introducing materials designated confidential at trial or examining witnesses
about materials designated confidential during depositions or at trial, beyond the notice required by
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, local court rules or order of this Court.
Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Protective Order shall be deemed to
preclude any party from seeking and obtaining, on an appropriate showing, such additional
protection with respect to confidential information as that party may consider appropriate; nor shall
any party be precluded from claiming that any matter designated hereunder is not entitled to
protection, or is entitled to a more limited form of protection than designated.
This the 16th day of March, 2012.
s/Vicki Brown Rowan
N.C. State Bar No. 14294
1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28209
Telephone: (704) 525-4110
Facsimile: (704) 525-4301
Attorney for Plaintiff
s/ Kristine M. Sims
N.C. State Bar No. 26903
s/Kenneth P. Carlson, Jr.
N.C. State Bar No. 17361
s/William J. McMahon, IV
N.C. State Bar No. 34907
CONSTANGY, BROOKS & SMITH, LLP
100 North Cherry Street, Suite 300
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Telephone: (336) 721-1001
Facsimile: (336) 748-9112
Attorneys for Defendant
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: March 19, 2012
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