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Lechner v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

April 9, 2019

TAMERA S. LECHNER, REGINA K. WHITE, and STEVEN D. GIFFORD individually, on behalf of the MUTUAL OF OMAHA 401k LONG-TERM SAVINGS PLAN and on behalf of a class of all those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,



          Cheryl R. Zwart United States Magistrate Judge

         Upon consideration of the parties' joint request for entry of a Protective Order, (Filing. No. 69), the Court hereby enters the following Stipulated Protective Order governing the disclosure and treatment of confidential Discovery Material by a Producing Party to a Receiving Party in this Action.

         1) Purposes and Limitations. Disclosure and discovery activity in this Action is most likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting and defending the Action may be warranted. Accordingly, the Parties hereby stipulate to, and request that the Court enter, the following Stipulated Protective Order (the “Order”). The Parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery, and the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment under applicable law.

         2) Definitions. As used in this Order:

a. Action refers to the above-captioned litigation.
b. Challenging Party: a Party that challenges the designation of information or items under this Order.
c. Counsel: Outside Counsel of Record and In-House Counsel (as well as their support staff).
d. Designating Party: a Party or Non-Party that designates information or items that it produces in disclosures or in responses to discovery as “CONFIDENTIAL”.
e. Discovery Material: includes all information exchanged between the parties, whether gathered through informal requests or communications between the parties or their counsel, or gathered through formal discovery conducted pursuant to Rules 30 through 36, and Rule 45. Discovery Material includes information within documents, depositions, deposition exhibits, and other written, recorded, computerized, electronic or graphic matter, copies, and excerpts or summaries of documents disclosed as required under Rule 26(a).
f. Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in a matter pertinent to the Action who has been retained by a Party or its Counsel to serve as an expert witness or consultant in the Action.
g. In-House Counsel: attorneys who are employees of a Party to this action. In-House Counsel does not include Outside Counsel of Record or any other outside counsel.
h. Non-Party: any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity not named as a Party in this Action.
i. Outside Counsel of Record: attorneys who are not employees of a Party to this action but are retained to represent or advise a Party to the Action or have appeared in the Action on behalf of that Party or are affiliated with or contracted by a law firm which has appeared on behalf of that Party.
j. Party: any party to this Action, including all of its officers, directors, and employees.
k. Producing Party: a Party or Non-Party that produces Discovery Material in this Action.
l. Professional Vendors: persons or entities that provide litigation support services (e.g., photocopying, videotaping, translating, preparing exhibits or demonstrations, and organizing, storing, or retrieving data in any form or medium) and their employees and subcontractors.
m. Protected Material: any Discovery Material designated as “CONFIDENTIAL”.
n. Receiving Party: a Party that receives Discovery Material from a Producing Party in this Action.

         3) Scope. This Protective Order applies to all Protected Material produced or obtained in this case, as well as (1) any information copied or extracted from Protected Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations of Protected Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by Parties or their Counsel that might reveal Protected Material. However, the protections conferred by this Order do not cover the following information: (a) any information that is in the public domain at the time of disclosure to a Receiving Party or becomes part of the public domain after its disclosure to a Receiving Party as a result of publication not involving a violation of this Order; and (b) any information obtained by the Receiving Party from a source who obtained the information lawfully and under no obligation of confidentiality to the Designating Party. Any use of Protected Material at trial shall be governed by a separate agreement or order.

         4) Duration. Even after Final Disposition of the Action, the confidentiality obligations imposed by this Order shall remain in effect until a Designating Party agrees otherwise in writing or a court order otherwise directs. “Final Disposition” shall be deemed to be the later of (1) dismissal of all claims and defenses in the Action, with or without prejudice; and (2) final judgment herein after the completion and exhaustion of all appeals, rehearings, remands, trials, or reviews of the Action, including the time limits for filing any motions or applications for extension of time pursuant to applicable law. This Court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this Order following the Final Disposition of the Action.

         5) Confidential Discovery Material. For the purposes of this Protective Order, confidential Discovery Material shall include:

a. Commercial information relating to any party's business including, but not limited to, tax data, financial information, financial or business plans or projections, proposed strategic transactions or other business combinations, internal audit practices, procedures, and outcomes, trade secrets or other commercially sensitive business or technical information, proprietary business and marketing plans and strategies, studies or analyses by internal or outside experts, competitive analyses, customer or prospective customer lists and information, profit/loss information, product or service pricing or billing agreements or guidelines, and/or confidential project-related information;
b. Personnel data of the parties or their employees, including but not limited to employment application information; the identity of and information received from employment references; wage and income information; benefits information; employee evaluations; medical evaluation and treatment information and records; counseling or mental health records; educational records; and employment counseling, discipline, or performance improvement documentation;
c. Information concerning settlement discussions and mediation, including demands or offers, arising from a dispute between a party and a non-party;
d. Medical or mental health information;
e. Records restricted or prohibited from disclosure by statute; and
f. Any information copied or extracted from the previously described materials, including all excerpts, summaries, or compilations of this information or testimony, and documentation of questioning, statements, conversations, or presentations that might reveal the information contained within the underlying confidential Discovery Material.

         6) Manner and Timing of Confidential Designation. Except as otherwise provided in this Order or as otherwise stipulated or ordered, Discovery Material that qualifies for protection under this Order must be clearly so designated before the material is ...

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