United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
CLARENCE VERLON ABRAM, et al. Plaintiff,
SEECO, INC. n/k/a SWN PRODUCTION ARKANSAS, LLC; DESOTO GATHERING COMPANY, L.L.C.; SWN ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY; and SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY COMPANY, Defendants.
Court holds that the following procedures and provisions
apply to discovery in this civil action (the
"Action") in order to protect information of a
sensitive, confidential, proprietary, or legally protected
nature, and the privacy rights of the parties or certain
non-parties. The entry of this Protective Order is not, and
should not be construed as, a waiver by any party or
non-party of any privilege or objection to any particular
"Party" means any current plaintiff or defendant in
this Action, and any plaintiff, defendant, or other party
that may be joined in this Action.
"Non-Party" means any person or entity not a Party
who produces documents or other information or provides
testimony in response to a subpoena or other process in this
"Material" is defined as documents, electronically
stored information, records, tangible materials, testimony,
responses to discovery, and other information produced by a
Party or Non-Party in discovery in this Action.
"Confidential Material" is defined as Material that
any Party or Non-Party considers in good faith to be
information relating to: trade secrets, research,
development, strategic planning, financial, commercial,
confidential, sensitive or proprietary business, or personal
information which, if disclosed, might adversely affect the
competitive position or business operations of the Party or
Non-Party producing the materials, or invade the privacy
rights of any person. Each Party or Non-Party that designates
information or items for protection under this Protective
Order must take care to limit any designation to specific
material that qualifies under the appropriate standards.
"Designator" is any Party or Non-Party who produces
Material in this Action and designates any such Material as
"CONFIDENTIAL" in conformity with Section II.
DESIGNATION OF MATERIALS AS "CONFIDENTIAL"
Party or Non-Party who produces Material in the course of
discovery in this Action may designate such Material as
Confidential Material if that Party or Non-Party believes in
good faith that the Material satisfies the definition of
Confidential Material, as set forth in Paragraph ID.
Designator will mark the word "CONFIDENTIAL" on the
face of each document and each page so designated at the time
it is produced or served, or, in the case of Confidential
Material contained in or on media other than paper, by
affixing such a label to the information or by using its best
efforts to identify the information as Confidential Material.
the event that a Party or Non-Party desires to designate
specific answers or responses to interrogatories or requests
for admission as Confidential Material, the Party or
Non-Party will insert the word "CONFIDENTIAL" in
brackets at the beginning of the specific answer or response.
the case of depositions, designation of the portion of the
transcript (including exhibits) which contains Confidential
Material will be made within fifteen business days after
receipt of the transcript by stamping
"CONFIDENTIAL" on the pages that contain
Confidential Material and notifying all Parties and the
deponent in writing of the page and line numbers which have
been designated as Confidential Material. In the absence of
an agreement on the record or in writing, or an order of the
Court to the contrary, all deposition testimony will be
deemed Confidential Material until the expiration of the
purposes of this Action, no Party concedes that any Material
designated by any other Designator as Confidential Material
should be treated as Confidential Material. A Party will not
be obligated to challenge the propriety of the designation of
Material as "CONFIDENTIAL" at the time made, and
the failure to do so will not preclude a later challenge in
this or any other action. If a Party challenges a
designation, it will give written notice to the Designator,
and the Party and the Designator must attempt to resolve any
challenge in good faith on an informal basis ("meet and
confer"). If the challenge cannot be informally
resolved, the Party challenging the designation may seek
appropriate relief from the Court; however, the burden of
proof will be on the Designator. The Material will continue
to be treated as Confidential Material until the issue
relating to the propriety of the designation has been
Designator may, at any time, withdraw the
"CONFIDENTIAL" designation of any Material produced
by that Designator.
inadvertent failure to designate or withhold any Material as
confidential will not be deemed to waive a later claim as to
its confidential nature, or to preclude the producing Party
or Non-Party from designating the Material as confidential at
a later date in writing and with particularity. The Material
will be treated by the receiving Party as Confidential
Material from the time the receiving Party is notified in
writing of the change in the designation.
USE AND HANDLING OF ...