United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on:
Motion to Unseal Trial Transcript (Dkt. 776)
Regions Bank moves for an order unsealing a portion of the
trial transcript (Dkt. 776), the morning session of trial on
Thursday, May 12, 2016, consisting of 53 pages containing
oral argument on Regions' Third Motion to Compel
financial worth discovery of Defendants Kaplan Parties
(Marvin I. Kaplan, R1A Palms, LLC, Triple Net Exchange, LLC,
MK Investing, LLC, BNK Smith, LLC) for purposes of punitive
damages. Plaintiff Regions Bank argues that there is nothing
highly confidential during that session to warrant continued
Regions Bank filed Plaintiffs Third Motion to Compel
Financial Worth Discovery on April 30, 2016, seeking all
information concerning the net worth of the assets of Marvin
I. Kaplan, assets, liabilities, and the net worth of the
entities that are at issue in this case (R1A Palms, LLC,
Triple Net Exchange, LLC, MK Investing, LLC, BNK Smith, LLC),
assets, liabilities and the net worth of the 19 LLCs that are
listed on Kap Reg 3856, for the Court's consideration in
determining an award of punitive Case No.
7 of the trial, May 11, 2016, Plaintiff Regions Bank brought
the pending Third Motion to Compel Financial Net Worth
Discovery to the Court's attention, having learned of the
sale of assets owned in part by Defendant Marvin Kaplan from
an article that appeared in the Bradenton Herald.
Regions Bank argues that there is nothing in the trial
transcript that would justify continued sealing. At the
hearing, the Parties discussed the identity of entities in
which the Kaplans have an interest in whole or in part, all
of which is already public information, and certain
transactions by which the Kaplan Entities moved money to
Kathryn Kaplan for no value during this case, which is also
public information. (Case No. 8:16-CV-2867-T-23AAS, Dkts. 48,
93). The Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 93) is directed to
transfers of funds and assets from R1A Palms, LLC, Triple Net
Exchange, LLC and BNK Smith, LLC to Kathryn Kaplan between
January, 2015 and October, 2015, and from MK Investing, LLC
to MIK Advanta, LLC between August, 2012 and October, 2012.
Kaplan Parties oppose Plaintiffs Motion to Unseal Trial
Transcript. Defendants argue that the issue at the May 12,
2016 hearing was whether non-party information, including K.
Kaplan's personal financial stake in non-party companies
owned as tenants by the entirety with Defendant Marvin I.
Kaplan, was discoverable pursuant to the Court's
directives on punitive damage net worth discovery, which is a
different issue from the issues raised in Case No.
8:16-CV-2867-T-23AAS, which focuses on two sets of alleged
fraudulent transfers from the Kaplan Entities (R1A, Triple,
BNK) to K. Kaplan.
Kaplan Parties further argue that this Court has already
ruled that compelling reasons-non-party privacy
concerns-existed to seal that portion of the trial
transcript, and Plaintiff Regions has presented no compelling
argument as to why the privacy concerns are no longer at
Kaplan Parties argue that the allegations in Case No.
8:16-CV-2867-T-23AAS do not directly concern Defendant Marvin
I. Kaplan's net worth or the various unrelated entities
in which Defendant Kaplan maintains a tenancy by the
entireties interest with K. Kaplan. Defendants Kaplan Parties
further argue that K. Kaplan's status as a defendant in
Case No. 8:16-CV-2867-T-23AAS does not automatically make
public record the unrelated information disclosed in the
sealed May 12, 2016 hearing, or as to the non-party entities
discussed at the hearing, which are not implicated in Case
Kaplan Parties contend that Plaintiff Regions has not
advanced a compelling basis for the Court to vacate and
overturn its previous ruling that the transcript of May 12,
2016 be sealed. Defendants argue that the information
contained therein remains sensitive and should not be in the
oral argument was sealed in accordance with the Amended
Agreed Protective Order Regarding Confidential Information
previously entered in this case (Dkts. 83, 90). All Parties
agreed to the form of the Protective Order, with the
exception of Defendant Starr, who took no position. The
Agreed Protective Order allows a Party to designate as
"Confidential" any Discovery Material that the
designating Party reasonably believes contains confidential
information, and restricts the use of Discovery Material to
use solely for the prosecution or defense of this action. The
hearing on Plaintiff Regions Case No. ...