United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
Charlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge.
cause comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's Unopposed
Motion to Seal Unredacted Summary Judgment Exhibits (Doc.
140), Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Seal Summary
Judgment Filings (Doc. 143), Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion
to Seal Unredacted Response to Summary Judgment and Exhibits
(Doc. 147), and Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion to Seal
Portions of the Parties' Joint Stipulation of Facts (Doc.
175). By their motions, the parties seek to file under seal
various summary judgment filings and exhibits. Specifically,
it appears from a comparison of the redacted and
unredacted filings and exhibits that the parties generally
seek to file under seal those documents which include or
refer to certain retainer agreements, joint partnership
agreements, and information related to Defendant David
Oppenheim's compensation. In addition, the parties seek
to file under seal those documents that refer to certain
mediation-privilegeddiscussions in separate class action
lawsuits. Doc. 195, p. 6.
consideration, the Court will deny-in-part and grant-in-part
the motions. As indicated in the Case Management and
Scheduling Order (Doc. 70), motions to seal are disfavored
and will be denied unless they comply with Local Rule 1.09.
Middle District of Florida Local Rule 1.09 requires that a
motion to seal include, among other things, “the reason
that sealing each item is necessary” and “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.” Local Rule 1.09(a).
the motions all suffer the same defects: they (1) wholly fail
to explain why means other than sealing are unavailable or
unsatisfactory and (2) fail to adequately explain why sealing
each item is necessary. The only argument advanced in support
of the necessity of sealing is that the relevant documents
were deemed confidential pursuant to the parties' agreed
confidentiality and protective order. However, just because the
parties have designated documents produced in discovery as
“confidential” does not mean that they should be
sealed. Doc. 70, p. 6; Local Rule 1.09.
discussed at the April 2, 2018 hearing on the parties'
cross-motions for summary judgement, the Court is concerned
with limiting the public's common law right of access to
court operations and to inspect and copy public records and
documents. “[T]he courts of this country recognize a
general right to inspect and copy . . . judicial records and
documents.” Nixon v. Warner
Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978);
see also Romero v. Drummond Co., Inc., 480 F.3d
1234, 1245 (11th Cir. 2007). In some limited circumstances, a
court has the discretion to permit materials to be filed
under seal. Romero, 480 F.3d at 1246. However, such
relief is to be granted only upon a showing of “good
cause, ” which requires balancing the asserted right of
access against the party's interest in keeping the
information confidential. See Id. (describing
careful consideration, the Court finds good cause to file
under seal only those specific portions of documents, if any,
to which the statutory mediation privilege applies. Fla.
Stat. § 44.405. The Court finds the parties have not
established good cause to file under seal any other documents
or portions of documents, and the parties have failed to
overcome the presumption in favor of public right of access
to these documents.
it is hereby ORDERED:
1. Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion to Seal Unredacted
Summary Judgment Exhibits (Doc. 140) is
2. Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Seal Summary Judgment
Filings (Doc. 143) is GRANTED-IN-PART and
3. Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion to Seal Unredacted
Response to Summary Judgment and Exhibits (Doc. 147) is
4. Plaintiff s Unopposed Motion to Seal Portions of the
Parties' Joint Stipulation of Facts (Doc 175) is
5. The parties are permitted to file under seal or by
redaction the specific portions of documents, if any, to
which the statutory mediation privilege applies. The motions
are otherwise DENIED, without prejudice. The
remaining documents, or parts thereof, shall be filed
un-redacted on or before June 18, 2018.