Kirby Offshore Marine Pacific LLC v. Emerald Services Inc
LETTER FROM THE COURT re parties' 17 Stipulation and Proposed Protective Order, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. The Court is declining to sign. (SWT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE
700 STEWART STREET
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98101
ROBERT S. LASNIK
May 11, 2017
Markus B.G. Oberg
Le Gros Buchanan & Paul
4025 Delridge Way SW, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98106
Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP
520 Pike Street, Suite 1525
Seattle, WA 98101
Delivered Via CM/ECF
Kirby Offshore Marine Pacific, LLC v. Emerald Services, Inc.,
C17-0224RSL, Stipulated Protective Order
On May 2, 2017, the Court received your proposed “Stipulated Protective Order.” Dkt.
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c), protective orders may be entered to protect parties from
annoyance, embarrassment, or undue burden or to protect confidential commercial
information. Such protective orders may issue upon a showing of good cause.
Although parties may agree on confidentiality among themselves, when they request that
the Court be involved, the proposed order must be narrowly drawn, identifying both the
type of information that is to be protected and, if not obvious, the reason such protection
is warranted. The order must also comply with the applicable federal and local procedural
The agreed protective order submitted in this case is deficient in the following respects:
The proposed order is too broad and gives too much discretion to the parties
to designate information as “confidential.” The order identifies trade secrets
as a type of document that may be protected from public view, but that
category is simply an example and does not limit the scope of the order.
Rather, the parties essentially seek protection for any non-public documents
that they deem to contain confidential information. They provide no
indication of the categories of documents (personnel files, customer lists,
etc.) or the circumstances that lessen the public’s interest in access or
increase the parties’ interests in secrecy. Any protective order entered by
the Court must clearly identify the class or type of documents subject to the
order and the need for confidentiality
The proposed order also provides that trial testimony can be shielded from
public view by counsel’s unilateral declaration that the information is
“confidential.” Absent an extraordinary showing, the courtroom and all
proceedings conducted therein will remain open to the public.
The agreed protective order received by the Court will remain lodged in the file, but will
not be entered. The parties may resubmit a proposed order if they remedy the
deficiencies identified in this letter.
Robert S. Lasnik
United States District Judge
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