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Protective Orders To Preserve Confidentiality

Before requesting entry of a protective order to preserve the confidentiality of materials disclosed in discovery, counsel shall carefully review:

  • Rule 26(c) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires, inter alia, that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action; See Citizens First Nat'l Bank v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 178 F.3d 943 (7th Cir. 1999)(Posner, J.); Jepson, Inc. v. Makita Electric Works, Ltd, 30 F.3d 854 (7th Cir. 1994); and Union Oil Co. v. Leavell, 220 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2000).  


  • Counsel shall also review any standing order or instructions regarding protective orders from the District Court making the referral.                                                                 

If the protective order anticipates that any documents or confidential materials submitted to the court are to be filed under seal, the protective order must include, at a minimum a carefully-drafted definition of the materials to be protected, with an explanation of why these documents are entitled to protection.

The proposed protective order must also set forth a procedure under which a party or interested member of the public can challenge the confidential designation of particular documents that have been filed under seal. Cf., Jessup v. Luther, 227 F.3d 993 (7th Cir. 2000); In re Associated Press, 162 F.3d 503 (7th Cir. 1998).

Any designation of materials as "Confidential" must be made in good faith by counsel, and each page of confidential material must be marked "Confidential."

The proposed protective order should set out a procedure for the use of confidential documents at a deposition and identify those who may be given access to confidential materials.

The proposed protective order shall explicitly provide that nothing in the order shall be construed to affect the admissibility, vel non, of any document, material or information at any trial or hearing.


Note: The court does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this information. Neither is it intended to endorse any view expressed nor reflect its importance by inclusion in this site.