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Sabinsa Corp. v. Herbakraft, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 25, 2018

SABINSA CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
HERBAKRAFT, INC. and PRAKRUTI PRODUCTS PVT. LTD., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION TO SEAL AND REDACT TRANSCRIPT

          KAREN M. WILLIAMS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER having been brought before the Court upon the joint motion of Plaintiff Sabinsa Corp. ("Sabinsa") and Defendant Prakruti Products Pvt. Ltd. ("Prakruti"), pursuant to L. Civ. R. 5.3(c), to permanently seal portions of the transcript of the Discovery and Status Conference Before Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams on April 17, 2018 (ECF No. 158), which is currently under temporary seal ("the Confidential Materials"); and the Court having considered the papers submitted in support of that Motion; and the Court noting that pursuant to L. Civ. R. 5.3(c) the Court may restrict public access to any materials or judicial proceedings upon request by any party; and for the reasons set forth in the record of the proceedings, and for other and good cause having been shown; The Court adopts the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

         I. The Nature of the Materials or Proceedings at Issue

         A. Findings of Fact

         1. Sabinsa and Prakruti jointly seek to permanently seal the Confidential Materials.

         2. L. Civ. R. 5.3(c) requires the moving party to show the following:

a. The nature of the materials or proceedings at issue;
b. The legitimate private or public interests which warrant the relief sought;
c. The clearly defined and serious injury that would result if the relief sought is not granted; and
d. Why a less restrictive alternative to the relief sought is not available.

         3. The Confidential Materials contain and/or reference information which Sabinsa, Prakruti, and subpoenaed third parties have designated as "Confidential Information" or "Attorneys' Eyes Only Information" pursuant to L. Pat. R. 2.2 and the Discovery Confidentiality Order in this matter (ECF No. 92), as well as other Prakruti confidential business information. Such Confidential Materials disclose sensitive commercial documents regarding sales, product information, customer lists, business operations, and a confidential settlement agreement that, if not sealed, could diminish Sabinsa's, Prakruti's, or third parties' business and competitive advantages in the marketplace. Release of the Confidential Materials would pose a financial and competitive risk because it would reveal information regarding the sales, customers, product information, business operations, and the settlement agreement. See Christensen Decl. ¶ 7; see also Davis Decl. ¶ 7.

         B. Conclusions of Law

         4. There exists in civil cases a common law public right of access to judicial proceedings and records. See Goldstein v. Forbes (In re Cendant Corp.), 260 F.3d 183, 192 (3d Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). The party seeking to seal any part of a judicial record bears the burden of demonstrating that "the material is the kind of information that courts will protect." Miller v. Ind. Hosp., 16 F.3d 549, 551 (3d Cir. 1994) (citation omitted).

         5. This Court has the power to seal where confidential information may be disclosed to the public. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(G) allows the Court to protect materials containing "trade secret[s] or other confidential research, development, or commercial information," upon motion by a party, to prevent harm to a litigant's competitive standing in the ...


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