Further to last month’s order requiring discovery to proceed and dismissing the UFC’s attempts to keep their discovery documents from being accessed by one of the key attorney’s in the anti trust lawsuits facing the MMA leader, the terms of the protective order have now been released.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a protective order is a direction from the court spelling out the limits that a party receiving confidential information through a lawsuit’s discovery process is bound by. Given the broad scope of information the UFC will be forced to disclose in the wide sweeping lawsuits this protective order comes as no surprise. This order does not mean Zuffa’s documents will never see the light of day as the order does not limit the use of these documents in open court or during pre trial motions with the order spelling out the following exclusion –
The terms of this Protective Order shall govern in all circumstances except for presentations of evidence and argument at hearings on dispositive motions and at trial. The parties shall meet and confer in advance of such proceedings and seek the guidance of the Court as to appropriate procedures to govern such proceedings.
Don’t expect the documents to leak into public light outside of the formal litigation process as the parties accessing these documents are exposed to a finding of contempt of court if the protective terms are not complied with.
The full protective order can be found here where Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen adopted the following general terms as to access and use of the protected material –
7.1 Basic Principles. A Receiving Party may use Protected Material that is disclosed or produced by another Party or by a Non-Party in connection with this case only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this litigation. Such Protected Material may be disclosed only to the categories of persons and under the conditions described in this Order. When the litigation has been terminated, a Receiving Party must comply with the provisions of paragraph 15 below (FINAL DISPOSITION).
Protected Material must be stored and maintained by a Receiving Party at a location and in a secure manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons authorized under this Order. For purposes of this Order, a secure website, or other internet-based document depository with adequate security, shall be deemed a secure location.
7.2 Disclosure of “CONFIDENTIAL” Information or Items. Unless otherwise ordered by the court or permitted in writing by the Designating Party, Counsel for a Receiving Party may disclose any information or item designated “CONFIDENTIAL” only to:
(a) the Receiving Party’s Outside Counsel of Record in this action, as well as employees of said Outside Counsel of Record to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for this litigation;
(b) the Receiving Party, a Receiving Party’s officers, directors, managers, and employees (including In-House Legal Department Personnel) to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A);
(c) Experts or Consultants (as defined in this Order) of the Receiving Party to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A);
(d) the Court and its personnel;
(e) Professional Vendors to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for this litigation and who have signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A);
(f) during their depositions, witnesses in this litigation to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary and who have signed the “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A), unless otherwise agreed by the Designating Party or ordered by the court. Consistent with paragraph 5.2(b), pages of transcribed deposition testimony or exhibits to depositions that reveal Confidential Information must be marked “CONFIDENTIAL”, and may not be disclosed to anyone except as permitted under this Stipulated Protective Order; and
(g) any other person to whom the Designating Party agrees in writing or on the record, and any other person to whom the Court compels access to the Confidential Information.
7.3 Retention of Exhibit A: Outside Counsel for the Party that obtains the signed “Acknowledgment and Agreement to Be Bound” (Exhibit A), as required above, shall retain them for one year following the final termination of this action, including any appeals, and shall make them available to other Parties upon good cause shown