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Uchytil v. Avanade Inc.

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

July 9, 2018

MARIA UCHYTIL, on behalf of the United States of America, Plaintiff/Relator,
v.
AVANDE INC., a Washington corporation, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the following stipulated motions by the parties:

(a) Relator's stipulated motion to seal (Dkt. No. 160) exhibits supporting her responses to Defendants' motions to exclude testimony of Robert Zeidman and Christina Tapia (“Daubert motions”) (Dkt. Nos. 164, 167);
(b) Relator's stipulated motion to seal (Dkt. No. 176) exhibits supporting her opposition to and cross-motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 180);
(c) Defendants' stipulated motion to seal (Dkt. No. 184) an unredacted version of their opposition to Relator's cross-motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 188) and five supporting exhibits (Dkt. No. 189).

         I. DISCUSSION

         When considering these motions to seal, the Court starts from the position that “[t]here is a strong presumption of public access to [its] files.” W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 5(g). This presumption applies particularly to “dispositive pleadings, ” which include motions for summary judgment and attached exhibits. Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006). To overcome this presumption in the context of briefing and exhibits on a motion for summary judgment, litigants must provide a “compelling reason” for sealing that is “sufficient to outweigh the public's interest in disclosure.” Id. However, where exhibits are attached to a motion unrelated to determining the merits of a case, a showing of good cause is sufficient to support a motion to seal. Center for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1097 (9th Cir. 2016).

         A. Stipulated Motion to Seal Relator's Exhibits in Response to Defendants'Daubert Motions (Dkt. No. 160)

         The parties originally sought to seal 16 exhibits to the declaration of Mark P. Walters in support of Relator's opposition to Defendants' Daubert motions.[1] (Dkt. No. 160 at 2.) The Court found the parties had not complied with Local Civil Rule 5(g)(3)(B) and ordered a showing of good cause to seal the documents. (Dkt. No. 181 at 2.) Defendants responded to this order, identifying eight exhibits to Relator's opposition briefs that could be unsealed (Zeidman B, C, E, G, H; Tapia D, G, K), six that could be redacted (Zeidman D, I; Tapia B, H, I, J), and one that should remain under seal in its entirety (Zeidman F). (Dkt. No. 190 at 4-6.) The Court has reviewed these exhibits, as well as Defendants' proposed redactions, and agrees that they contain confidential and sensitive business, financial, and technical information, providing good cause to redact or seal. (See id. at 3.) The Court accordingly GRANTS in part Relator's stipulated motion to seal (Dkt. No. 160) as follows:

• Exhibits B-I to the Declaration of Mark P. Walters in support of Relator's opposition to the Zeidman Daubert motion may be sealed and redacted as indicated by Defendants. (See Dkt. No. 190 at 4-6.)
• Exhibit J regarding the Zeidman Daubert motion-Robert Zeidman's expert report- was produced by Relator, who has made no showing of good cause to seal the document. (See Dkt. Nos. 160, 164 at 2, 183); W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 5(g). This document must therefore be publically filed in its entirety or redacted and filed with a motion to seal the unredacted version.
• Exhibits B, D, G, H, I, J, and K to the Declaration of Mark P. Walters in support of Relator's opposition to the Tapia Daubert motion may be sealed and redacted as indicated by Defendants. (See Dkt. No. 190 at 4-6.)

         Because the initial exhibits were filed collectively under seal (Dkt. Nos. 164, 167), it is not practicable for the Court to individually seal/unseal exhibits. Therefore, Relator is ORDERED to refile a public and a sealed version of exhibits supporting her opposition to Defendants' Daubert motions and to link the filings to the briefing they support.[2] The refiled versions should seal and redact exhibits as indicated herein and in Defendants' response to the Court's prior order. (See Dkt. No. 190 at 4-6.)

         B. Stipulated Motion to Seal Relator's Exhibits in Response to Defendants' Motion for ...


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