This post come from the non-Reed Smith side of this blog.

Courthouses are public buildings filled with publically-paid employees and courtrooms run by public officials who are often publically elected. Litigating in a court of law is a public event.  As the 7th Circuit put it:

People who want secrecy should opt for arbitration.  When they call on the courts, they must accept the openness that goes with subsidized dispute resolution by public (and publicly accountable) officials.  Judicial proceedings are public rather than private property.

Union Oil Co. v. Leavell, 220 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2000). And so our clients often find themselves engaged in difficult court battles to protect confidential, business-sensitive information from public disclosure.  The difficulty increases in mass torts, which involve multiple courthouses and jurisdictions.

We recently saw a decision in a mass tort that addressed one such battle.  In Beavers v. Medtronic, Inc., 2014 WL 7882099 (D. Hi. June 20, 2014), an Infuse Bone Graft plaintiff refused to agree to a confidentiality order that would restrict her use of Medtronic confidential material to only that litigation.  She wanted to “share” the material with other plaintiffs in collateral litigation in other courts.  Id. at *2.


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We know we put you to sleep with the title of this post, but we promise: The post will be a short one, and you might actually be interested.

For large corporations that are repeat litigants, the cost of litigation document management is a big issue. Defense counsel must identify, gather,