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Shepherd v. Riverside Transport Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 22, 2019


          Ruth R. Benien Counsel for Plaintiff Kristin Lee Shepherd.

          Carol A. Krstulic Counsel for Defendant Riverside Transport, Inc.



         This is an employment case in which Plaintiff alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. Jurisdiction is proper in this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Defendant denies Plaintiff's allegations in their entirety and denies that it violated any laws. Plaintiff expects to request documents and information regarding Defendant's operations that are both proprietary and considered to be trade secrets, as well as certain confidential personnel records. Defendant expects to request documents and information regarding Plaintiff's personal, financial, medical, educational, employment, and mental condition. Defendant considers its proprietary information, trade secrets, and personnel records to be private and/or confidential. Plaintiff considers his personal, financial, medical, educational, employment, and mental condition to be private and/or confidential.

         The parties agree during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action, including financial and medical records of Plaintiff as well as potential personnel and other confidential business information of Defendants. 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 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 is necessary because confidential personnel information is anticipated to be the subject of discovery. The privacy interests associated with such information substantially outweigh the public's right of access to judicial records. This Order will facilitate the exchange of information between the parties. In addition, good cause exists for the issuance of a protective order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c).

         For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court grants the parties' joint 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:

(a) Non-public, confidential financial information of Defendant;
(b) Non-public proprietary or confidential information relating to Defendant's business, marketing, sales, policies and procedures, and/or employment practices, including but not limited to documents containing trade secrets, future business plans, market analysis, confidential research, development, commercial or other proprietary information.
(c) The non-public, confidential personnel and/or human resources files, or other employment records, of any of the Defendant's current or former employees. This includes, but is not limited to, information retained in personnel files, job application materials, performance ratings, employee compensation and payroll information, supervisor notes, medical records, documents related to discipline and/or termination, documents regarding attendance, and information relating to employment policies.
(d) Confidential, proprietary, or trade secret information of any third party;
(e) Health care information, personnel records, tax records, or other financial information related to Plaintiff.
(f) Any testimony regarding Confidential Information as defined in Paragraphs 2(a)-(d) above.
(g) Extracts and summaries prepared from such materials set forth in Paragraphs 2(a)-(e) above.
(h) Those portions of briefs, affidavits, memoranda, depositions, or other writings, including exhibits thereto, which contain or refer to the Confidential Information.

         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” (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 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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