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Confidentiality Orders

Before requesting entry of a confidentiality order to preserve the confidentiality of materials disclosed in discovery, counsel shall carefully review Rule 26(c) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires, among other things, 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).

For agreed confidentiality orders in civil cases, to the extent possible, counsel should use the model confidentiality order developed by the Northern District of Illinois which is located on the Northern District's website.  If the proposed agreed confidentiality order differs from the model, in addition to a clean Word or WordPerfect version of the revised model order counsel must provide a red-lined copy showing the differences.  The clean and red-lined copies shall be submitted to Judge Johnston's proposed order inbox:  If the confidentiality order anticipates that any documents or confidential materials submitted to the court are to be filed under seal, the confidentiality 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.  No document shall be filed under seal unless counsel secures a court order allowing the filing of a document under seal.  The parties are to refer to this Court's standing order on sealed documents for further guidance.

Any designation of materials as "Confidential" must be made in good faith by counsel, and each page of confidential material must be marked "Confidential."  If all confidential matters such as Social Security numbers have been redacted from a document, then it should not be marked "Confidential."  When parties receive redacted documents they should not attempt to "unredact" the documents.  For directions on the proper methods to redact a document that will prevent such attempt, several useful articles are available on the internet.

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.