American States Insurance Company et al v. Great American Insurance Company

Filing 26

LETTER FROM COURT re parties' 25 Stipulation and Proposed Order Re: Protective Order, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. The Court is declining to sign. (SWT)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE 700 STEWART STREET SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98101 ROBERT S. LASNIK DISTRICT JUDGE (206) 370-8810 February 12, 2018 Lisa C. Neal Wilson Smith Cochran Dickerson 901 Fifth Ave., Suite 1700 Seattle, WA 98164 Leslie E. Barron McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC 600 University Street, Suite 2700 Seattle, WA 98101 Michael T. Skoglund Bates Carey LLP 191 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 2400 Chicago, IL 60606 Delivered Via CM/ECF RE: Am. States Ins. Co., et al. v. Great Am. Ins. Co., C17-1200RSL Stipulated Protective Order Dear Counsel: On February 9, 2018, the Court received your proposed “Stipulated Protective Order.” Dkt. # 25. 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 rules. The agreed protective order submitted in this case is deficient for the following reason: The parties have not shown that restrictions on the dissemination of “underwriting files,” “claim files,” intra-insurer communications, etc., are necessary to protect persons from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, as contemplated by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). Nor have the parties shown that these broad categories of documents have been held in confidence, are trade secrets, or are privileged. Any protective order entered by the Court must not only identify the class or type of documents subject to the order, but also explain the need for confidentiality if not apparent from the context. 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. Sincerely, A Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge

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