Allied World Surplus Lines et al
LETTER FROM COURT re parties' 76 Stipulation for Protective Order, signed 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
December 1, 2017
Delivered Via CM/ECF
Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company, et al. v. Premera,
Stipulated Protective Order
On November 28 , 2017, the Court received your proposed “Stipulated Protective Order.”
Dkt. # 76. 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:
First, the proposed order is too broad and gives too much discretion
to the parties to designate information as “confidential.” The order mentions
trade secrets, pricing proposals, and other types of documents that may
properly be protected from public view, but those categories are simply
examples and do not limit the scope of the order. Rather, the parties
essentially seek protection for anything they choose to identify as
“confidential.” Any protective order entered by the Court must clearly
identify the class or type of documents subject to the order and the need for
Second, the proposed order provides that witnesses at a hearing will
be required to execute an Acknowledgment and Agreement to be Bound
before being shown information designated as “confidential.” To the extent
confidential information is presented in open court, a rebuttable
presumption arises that its confidentiality has been waived.
Third, the threat of sanctions for unjustified and/or improperly
motivated confidentiality designations and challenges (Model Stipulated
Protective Order ¶ 5.1 and ¶ 6.3) must remain.
Finally, the proposed order provides that courtroom testimony can be
shielded from public view by counsel’s determination 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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