United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
LOCAL ACCESS, LLC and BLITZ TELECOM CONSULTING, LLC, Plaintiffs,
PEERLESS NETWORK, INC., Defendant.
B. SMITH United States Magistrate Judge
case comes before the Court without oral argument on the
• Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Seal Pursuant to
Court Order their Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's
[sic] Motion to Reopen Case for Further Proceedings or in the
Alternative Dismiss with Prejudice to Enforce Settlement
• Peerless Network, Inc.'s Unopposed Motion to Seal
Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce
Settlement (Doc. 350); and
• Peerless Network, Inc.'s Unopposed Supplemental
Motion to Seal (Doc. 351).
Access and Peerless provide local telephone services, network
connectivity and other related telecommunication products and
services (Doc. 185 at 4). Blitz is a marketing company which
aggregates services from multiple telecommunications carriers
and then markets and re-sells those services to its customers
(Id.). The parties' business dealings with each
other have resulted in the filing of this case and two others
in this Court: Case No. 6:14-cv-307-Orl-40GJK (the “307
Case”), and Case No. 6:17-cv-236-Orl- 40TBS (the
“236 Case”). The 307 Case went to trial,
resulting in a jury verdict in favor of Blitz. This case was
purportedly settled on the eve of trial and the 236 Case is
not yet at issue.
has filed a motion to reopen this case and put it back on the
trial calendar or in the alternative, to dismiss the case
with prejudice (Doc. 338). The Court granted Peerless'
motion to seal information contained in the motion because:
(1) it is confidential and proprietary business information
which includes business plans, pricing information, and
technical capabilities which, if made public, could impact
and injure Peerless' business operations and
relationships with its customers; and (2) Peerless contends
that the parties failed to consummate a settlement (Docs.
Access and Blitz have filed a motion to enforce their alleged
settlement agreement with Peerless (Doc. 340). The Court
granted a motion to seal information contained in the motion
to enforce on the grounds that: (1) it contains the substance
of settlement negotiations that were intended to be kept
strictly confidential; and (2) the information includes trade
secrets and commercially or competitively sensitive
information which, if disclosed, would be detrimental to
Local Access and Blitz (Docs. 341, 345).
has filed a motion alleging that Local Access and Blitz
committed litigation misconduct in this case (Doc. 343).
Based upon these allegations, Peerless seeks sanctions
including the involuntary dismissal of this case with
prejudice (Id.). The Court granted Peerless'
motion to seal portions of this sanctions motion, including
printed versions of an e-mail thread which contains customer
names and other confidential business information including
pricing (Docs. 344, 345).
motions that are the subject of this Order seek leave to file
under seal, information submitted by the parties in response
to the motions to reopen, enforce, and for sanctions; and
information Peerless neglected to include in its motions to
seal filed in connection with its motions to reopen and for
sanctions. The parties represent that the information they
are now asking the Court to seal contain the substance of
settlement negotiations that were, at all times, intended to
be kept confidential; and trade secrets, business plans, and
other proprietary information, the disclosure of which would
give competitors an unfair and improper advantage.
seeking to file information under seal in this district must
first comply with Local Rule 1.09. The rule requires the
moving party to file a motion in which it identifies and
describes each item proposed for sealing. Id. The
motion must include: (1) the reason that filing each item is
necessary; (2) the reason that sealing each item is
necessary; (3) the reason that a means other than sealing is
unavailable or unsatisfactory to preserve the interest
advanced by the movant in support of the seal; (4) the
proposed duration of the seal; and (5) a memorandum of legal
authority supporting the seal. Id. The three motions
to seal now pending before the Court satisfy these
analysis of a motion to seal begins with the recognition that
“‘[t]he operations of the court and the judicial
conduct of judges are matters of utmost public concern, '
and the integrity of the judiciary is maintained by the
public's right of access to court proceedings.”
Romero v. Drummond Co., 480 F.3d 1234, 1245 (11th
Cir. 2007) (citing Landmark Commc'ns, Inc. v.
Virginia, 435 U.S. 829, 839 (1978)). This right
“includes the right to inspect and copy public records
and documents.” Chicago Tribune Co. v.
Bridgestone/Firestone, 263 F.3d 1304, 1311 (11th Cir.
common law right of access may be overcome by a showing of
good cause, which requires ‘balancing the asserted
right of access against the other party's interest in
keeping the information confidential.'”
Romero, 480 F.3d at 1246 (quoting Chicago
Tribune, 263 F.3d at 1313). In balancing these
interests “courts consider, among other factors,
whether allowing access would impair court functions or harm
legitimate privacy interests, the degree of and likelihood of
injury if made public, the reliability of the information,
whether there will be an opportunity to respond to the
information, whether the information concerns public
officials or public concerns, and the availability of a less
onerous alternative to sealing the documents.”
cause is established by showing that disclosure will cause
“a clearly defined and serious injury.” Pansy
v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 786 (3d Cir.
1994). See also Kamakana v. City and County of
Honlulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1181 (9th Cir. 2006) (party
seeking to seal dispositive motion papers “must
‘articulate compelling reasons supported by specific
factual findings.'” (quoting Foltz v. State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir.
2003) (alterations in original)). Indeed, the Eleventh
Circuit has recognized that “[a] ...