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Watchous Enterprises, L.L.C. v. Pacific National Capital

United States District Court, D. Kansas

February 27, 2017

WATCHOUS ENTERPRISES, L.L.C. Plaintiff,
v.
PACIFIC NATIONAL CAPITAL, WATERFALL MOUNTAIN USA LLC, and WATERFALL MOUNTAIN LLC, WATERFALL INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LIMITED Defendants.

          Grant D. Klise James A. Walker, #9037 Grant D. Klise, #26810 Attorneys for Plaintiff

          HYLAND LAW FIRM, LLC Charles J. Hyland Charles J. Hyland, KS #14613 Attorneys for Defendants

          STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER

          James P. O'Hara U.S. Magistrate Judge

         The parties agree that during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. They agree that certain categories of such information should be treated as confidential, protected from disclosure outside this litigation, and used only for purposes of prosecuting or defending this action and any appeals. The parties jointly request entry of this proposed Stipulated Protective Order to limit the disclosure, dissemination, and use of certain identified categories of confidential information.

         The parties assert in support of their request that protection of the identified categories of confidential information, further described in Section 2 below, is necessary because much of the information sought will contain confidential, proprietary, or personal information that, if disclosed to the general public, could result in prejudice, oppression, the divulgence of proprietary/commercial information, or undue burden on the parties.

         This case involves allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, negligence, and fraud relative to a broker agreement and a Letter of Intent to create a joint venture for the exploration and drilling of oil and gas interests located in the State of Kansas, as well as alleged damages incurred by the parties relative to the same. During discovery, the parties anticipate, among other things, that the following information may be requested: private/commercial financial information, including, without limitation, prior history of attempted and completed transactions between the Defendants; proprietary/confidential commercial information related to the parties' competitive business practices in the oil and gas industry; and employment/personnel records. The disclosure of such information may place the parties at a competitive disadvantage or possibly result in an undue burden or prejudice. The disclosure of such information outside these proceedings could result in prejudice to a party, divulgence of private/proprietary information for unfair competitive advantage, or cause an undue burden on a party.

         For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court grants the parties' stipulated request and hereby enters the following Protective Order:

         1. Scope.

         All documents and materials produced in the course of discovery of this case, including initial disclosures, responses to discovery requests, all deposition testimony and exhibits, and information derived directly therefrom (hereinafter collectively “documents”), are subject to this Order concerning Confidential Information as set forth below. As there is a presumption in favor of open and public judicial proceedings in the federal courts, this Order will be strictly construed in favor of public disclosure and open proceedings wherever possible.

         2. Definition of Confidential Information.

         As used in this Order, “Confidential Information” is defined as information that the producing party designates in good faith has been previously maintained in a confidential manner and should be protected from disclosure and use outside the litigation because its disclosure and use is restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of disclosing party or nonparties. For purposes of this Order, the parties will limit their designation of “Confidential Information” to the following categories of information or documents:

• private oil and gas information;
• private oil and gas drilling or completion information, including, without limitation, pricing and competitive information;
• proprietary/confidential commercial information related to the parties' competitive business practices in the oil and gas industry;
• private/commercial financial information;
• employment/personnel records; and private financial, income, or expense information or records including tax returns.

         Information or documents that are available to the public may not be designated as Confidential Information.

         3. Form and Timing of Designation.

         The producing party may designate documents as containing Confidential Information and therefore subject to protection under this Order by marking or placing the words “CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER” (hereinafter “the marking”) on the document and on all copies in a manner that will not interfere with the legibility of the document. As used in this Order, “copies” includes electronic images, duplicates, extracts, summaries or descriptions that contain the Confidential Information. The marking will be applied prior to or at the time the documents are produced or disclosed. Applying the marking to a document does not mean that the document has any status or protection by statute or otherwise except to the extent and for the purposes of this Order. Copies that are made of any designated documents must also bear the marking, except that indices, electronic databases, or lists of documents that do not contain substantial portions or images of the text of marked documents and do not otherwise disclose the substance of the Confidential Information are not required to be marked. By marking a designated document as confidential, the designating attorney thereby certifies that the document contains Confidential Information as defined in this Order.

         4. Inadvertent Failure to Designate.

         Inadvertent failure to designate any document or material as containing Confidential Information will not constitute a waiver of an otherwise valid claim of confidentiality pursuant to this Order, so long as a claim of confidentiality is asserted within thirty (30) days after discovery of the inadvertent failure.

         5. Depositions.

         Deposition testimony will be deemed confidential only if designated as such when the deposition is taken or within a reasonable time period after receipt of the deposition transcript. Such designation must be specific as to the portions of the transcript and/or any exhibits to be protected.

         6. Protection of Confidential Material.

         (a) ...


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