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Gabriel v. Colorado Mountain Medical, P.C.

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

December 18, 2013

CHERI GABRIEL, Plaintiff,
v.
COLORADO MOUNTAIN MEDICAL, P.C., and Dr. BROOKS BOCK, Defendant.

Robert M. Liechty, Cross Liechty Lane, P.C., Greenwood Village, CO, Attorney for Plaintiff.

Laurie J. Rust, Gordon & Rees LLP, Denver, CO, Attorney for Defendant.

STIPULATION AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

ROBERT E. BLACKBURN, District Judge.

Each Party and each Counsel of Record stipulate and move the Court for a Protective Order pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure concerning the treatment of Confidential Information (as hereinafter defined), and, as grounds therefor, state as follows:

1. In this action, at least one of the Parties has sought and/or is seeking Confidential Information (as defined in paragraph 2 below). The Parties also anticipate seeking additional Confidential Information during discovery and that there will be questioning concerning Confidential Information in the course of depositions. The Parties assert the disclosure of such information outside the scope of this litigation could result in significant injury to one or more of the Parties' business or privacy interests. The Parties have entered into this Stipulation and request the Court enter the within Protective Order for the purpose of preventing the disclosure and use of Confidential Information except as set forth herein.

2. "Confidential Information" means any document, file, portions of files, transcribed testimony, or response to a discovery request, including any extract, abstract, chart, summary, note, or copy made therefrom - not made available to the public as containing: medical records.

3. All medical records will be treated by the Parties as confidential without the need to designate them as confidential.

4. Where Confidential Information is discussed or otherwise disclosed by a Party in response to any discovery request, it will be designated in the following manner:

a. By imprinting the word "Confidential" next to or above any response to a discovery request; and
b. With respect to transcribed testimony, by giving written notice to opposing counsel designating such portions as "Confidential" no later than ten calendar days after receipt of the transcribed testimony.

5. All Confidential Information produced to a Party in response to a release for medical records or provided by a Party in response to a discovery request or transcribed testimony shall be subject to the following restrictions:

a. It shall be used only for the purpose of this litigation and not for any business or other purpose whatsoever;
b. It shall not be communicated or disclosed by any Party's counsel or a Party in any manner, either directly or indirectly, to anyone except for purposes of this case.

6. The Party's counsel who discloses Confidential Information shall be responsible for assuring compliance with the terms of this Protective Order with respect to persons to whom such Confidential Information is disclosed.

7. It is understood and agreed by the Parties that the Confidential Information may be discussed with and between healthcare providers, the Parties, counsel for the Parties, and with any experts retained for purposes of this litigation.

8. No copies of Confidential Information shall be made except by or on behalf of counsel in this litigation and such copies shall be made and used solely for purposes of this litigation.

9. During the pendency of this litigation, counsel shall retain custody of Confidential Information, and copies made therefrom pursuant to paragraph 8 above.

10. If opposing counsel objects to the designation of certain information as Confidential Information, he or she shall promptly inform the other parties' counsel in writing of the specific grounds of objection to the designation. All counsel shall then, in good faith and on an informal basis, attempt to resolve such dispute. If after such good faith attempt, all counsel are unable to resolve their dispute, opposing counsel may move for a disclosure order consistent with this order. Any motion for disclosure shall be filed within 14 days of receipt by counsel of notice of opposing counsel's objection, and the information shall continue to have Confidential Information status from the time it is produced until the ruling by the Court on the motion.

11. Use of Confidential Information in Court Proceedings: In the event Confidential Information is used in any court filing or proceeding in this action, including but not limited to its use at trial, it shall not lose its confidential status as between the parties through such use. Confidential Information and pleadings or briefs quoting or discussing Confidential Information will not be accepted for filing "under seal" or otherwise kept out of the public record in this action, however, except by court order issued upon motion of the party seeking to file the documents under seal. Any motion requesting leave to file documents under seal shall comply with the requirements of D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.2 and demonstrate that the Confidential Information at issue is entitled to protection under the standards articulated in Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598-602 (1978)(applied in United States v. Hickey, 767 F.2d 705, 708 (10th Cir. 1985) and Crystal Grower's Corp. v. Dobbins, 616 F.2d 458, 461 (10th Cir. 1980)).

12. The termination of this action shall not relieve counsel or other persons obligated hereunder from their responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of Confidential Information pursuant to this Protective Order, and the Court shall retain continuing jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this Protective Order.

13. By agreeing to the entry of this Protective Order, the Parties adopt no position as to the authenticity or admissibility of documents produced subject to it.

14. Upon termination of this litigation, including any appeals, each Party's counsel shall immediately destroy all Confidential Information and all extracts, abstracts, charts, summaries, notes or copies made therefrom in their possession.

15. Nothing in this Protective Order shall preclude any Party from filing a motion seeking further or different protection from the Court under Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or from filing a motion with respect to the manner in which Confidential Information shall be treated at trial.


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