eDiscovery Daily Blog

Court Denies Motion to Redact Portions of eDiscovery Teleconference: eDiscovery Case Law

In Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. v. Oxford Nanopore Tech., Inc. et al., Nos. 17-275-LPS, 17-1353-LPS (D. Del. Nov. 4, 2019), Delaware Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Hall denied the defendants’ Motion to Redact Portions of the August 14, 2019 Discovery Teleconference and the related submissions, stating: “The public has an interest in understanding judicial proceedings, even if they have a limited interest in documents submitted in connection with discovery dispute proceedings.”

Judge’s Ruling

In making her ruling, Judge Hall stated that “although there is no presumptive right of public access to discovery motions and supporting documents filed with the court,…the public does have a right of access to hearing transcripts.”  She also quoted Softview LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 10-389, 2012 WL 3061027, at *9 (D. Del. Jul. 26, 2012), which said: “[T]he party seeking the closure of a hearing or the sealing of part of the judicial record bears the burden of showing that the material is the kind of information that courts will protect and that disclosure will work a clearly defined and serious injury to the party seeking closure.”

Ruling on that, Judge Hall stated: “In this case, Defendants have failed to meet their burden to show that disclosure of the unredacted transcript would work a ‘clearly defined and serious injury’ upon them…I have also reviewed each of the proposed redactions, and I think that it is unlikely that the particular information at issue is capable of working the kind of serious injury contemplated by the rule. For example, the proposed redactions do not contain trade secrets, scientific data, strategic plans, or financial information. And merely stating that the proposed redactions contain discussions of documents marked ‘Confidential’ or ‘Highly Confidential’ is insufficient to support a motion to redact a transcript of a judicial proceeding…Finally, any minimal potential harm that disclosure might cause is outweighed by the public interest in having access to judicial proceedings.”

For those reasons, Judge Hall denied the defendants’ motion.

So, what do you think?  Are there situations where parties should be able to have proceedings redacted?  Please let us know if any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Case opinion link courtesy of eDiscovery Assistant.

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