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Gounder v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

August 4, 2017

KAMLAWANTI GOUNDER a/k/a KALMA GOUNER, individually, and the marital community composed of KAMLAWANTI GOUNDER and JOHN DOE GOUNDER, Plaintiffs,
v.
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, a national banking association; and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          Jeffrey Smoot, WSBA #39335 Law Office of Jeffrey L. Smoot, Attorney for Plaintiff Kamlawanti Gounder

          Frederick A. Haist, WSBA #48937 Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Attorneys for Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

          STIPULATED AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZCHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         1. RECITALS

         Plaintiff Kamlawanti Gounder and Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) agree that discovery in this action is likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection may be warranted. Accordingly, the parties hereby stipulate to and petition the court to enter the following stipulated protective order. The parties acknowledge that this agreement is consistent with Local Civil Rule 26(c). It does not confer blanket protection on all disclosures or responses to discovery, the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable legal principles, and it does not presumptively entitle parties to file confidential information under seal.

         2. PURPOSES

         The parties to this stipulation agree that they possess confidential and/or proprietary business records and other confidential and/or proprietary information. Discovery in this action is likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection may be warranted. In order to address and protect the confidential and/or proprietary nature of certain documents produced, the parties agree to limit the disclosure and use of designated confidential and/or proprietary information for use in this litigation only.

         The United States Supreme Court recognizes that an entity's interest in protecting trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information can overcome the public interest in access to court records, sufficient to support the sealing of targeted court documents. As the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged, the courts may deny public access to judicial documents where such records constitute “sources of business information that might harm a litigant's competitive standing.” Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597-98 (1978) (noting that “courts have refused to permit their files to serve as . . . sources of business information that might harm a litigant's competitive standing”) (citations omitted); see also Bite Tech, Inc. v. X2 Biosystems, Inc., 2013 WL 1399349, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 5, 2013) (granting a motion to seal where the information could be used to predict a company's future business plans).

         Accordingly, the parties hereby stipulate to and request the court to enter the following Stipulated Protective Order to govern the production and handling of documents and things, answers to discovery requests, exhibits and other information produced or provided by the parties or non-parties in the above entitled action. This includes materials that are produced pursuant to discovery requests, notices of deposition, depositions upon written questions, interrogatories, subpoenas or voluntary exchanges. The parties acknowledge that this agreement is consistent with FRCP 26(c). It does not confer blanket protection on all disclosures or responses to discovery-the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable legal principles, and it does not presumptively entitle parties to file confidential information under seal.

         3. “CONFIDENTIAL” MATERIAL

         “Confidential” material shall include the following documents and tangible things produced or otherwise exchanged: (a) personnel and payroll information; (b) financial information including those of third parties; (c) commercially sensitive or personally sensitive information of a non-public nature; (d) confidential business records, including proprietary and other trade secret information; and (e) medical records.

         4. SCOPE

         The protections conferred by this agreement cover not only confidential material (as defined herein), but also (1) any information copied or extracted from confidential material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations of confidential material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by parties or their counsel that might reveal confidential material. However, the protections conferred by this agreement do not cover information that is in the public domain or becomes part of the public domain.

         5. ACCESS TO AND USE OF CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL

         5.1 Basic Principles.

         A receiving party may use confidential material that is disclosed or produced by another party or by a non-party in connection with this case only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this litigation. Confidential material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the conditions described in this agreement. Confidential material must be stored and maintained by a receiving party at a location and in a secure manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons authorized under this agreement.

         5.2 Disclosure of Confidential Information or Items.

         Unless otherwise ordered by the court or permitted in writing by the designating party, a receiving party may disclose any confidential material only to:

(a) the receiving party's counsel of record in this action, as well as employees of counsel and its firm to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for this litigation;
(b) experts and consultants to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement ...

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