United States District Court, D. New Jersey
EZAKIGLICO KABUSHIKI KAISHA d/b/a EZAKI GLICO CO., LTD. and EZAKI GLICO USA CORPORATION, Plaintiffs,
LOTTE INTERNATIONAL AMERICA CORP. and LOTTE CONFECTIONERY CO., LTD., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION TO
Leda Dunn Wettre, United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER having come before the Court by way of the
unopposed Motion to Seal portions of filings related to
Plaintiffs' Application for Attorneys' Fees and Costs
(ECF No. 312); and having considered the Declaration of
Lauren Beth Cury in support of the Motion to Seal, as well as
the factors contained in Local Civil Rule 5.3(c)(3), the
Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of
Plaintiffs seek to seal portions of (1) the Certification of
Aaron S. Oakley in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for
Attorneys' Fees and Costs, (2) Exhibit A to the Oakley
Certification, (3) Lotte's Response to Glico's
Application for Attorneys' Fees and Costs, and (4) Reply
in Support of Plaintiffs' Application for Attorneys'
Fees and Costs. (ECF Nos. 302-1, 302-2, 304, 308, public
redacted versions filed at ECF Nos. 303-1, 303-2, 305, 310).
documents sought to be sealed contain the hourly billing
rates of attorneys at Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP and Lerner,
David, Littenberg, Krumholz & Mentlik LLP and the number
of hours they devoted to certain legal tasks on behalf of
party seeking "the sealing of part of the judicial
record bears the burden of showing that the material is the
kind of information that courts will protect and that
disclosure will work a clearly defined and serious injury to
the party seeking closure." In re Cendant
Corp., 260 F.3d 183, 194 (3d Cir. 2001) (quotations
omitted); see also Local Civ. R. 5.3(c)(3).
"[T]here is a presumptive right of public access to
pretrial motions of a nondiscovery nature, whether
preliminary or dispositive, and the material filed in
connection therewith." Lencadia v. Applied Extrusion
Techs.. Inc., 998 F.2d 157, 164 (3d Cir. 1993). To
overcome this presumption, a party must demonstrate that good
cause exists for sealing. However, "[b]road allegations
of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated
reasoning, do not support a good cause showing."
Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 786
(3d Cir. 2004) (quotation omitted).
Plaintiffs' counsel's generic assertion that
disclosure of billing arrangements and the number of hours
worked "will cause injury to the business standing and
ability to compete in the marketplace of all concerned"
falls short of establishing a clearly defined or serious
injury constituting good cause for sealing. Cury Decl. ¶
have plaintiffs established that mis material is the kind
that courts will protect. Several courts have held that
"attorney rates and hours are generally not considered
privileged information that is sealable." Aylus
Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., Civ. A. No. 13-4700, 2016
WL 1252778, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 30, 2016); see
Aleynikov v. Goldman Sachs Grp., Inc., Civ. A. No.
12-5994, 2014 WL 12623701, at *1 (D.N.J. June 30, 2014)
(sealing descriptive entries in attorney time records, but
not billing rates or hours worked).
Attorneys seeking discovery sanctions and other fee awards in
this Circuit routinely disclose their billing arrangements
and billable hours, and Courts rely on that information in
publicly filed orders awarding attorneys' fees. See,
e.g., Tracinda Corp. v. DaimlerChrysler AG, 502 F.3d
212, 245 (3d Cir. 2007) (disclosing range of billing rates
and hours worked in affirmance of discovery sanction);
Doe v. Bank of Am., N.A., Civ. A. No. 16-3075, 2018
WL 5005004, at *4 (D.N.J. Oct. 15, 2018); Hioutakos v.
SimplexGriimell LP, Civ. A. No. 10-4505, 2014 WL
1255197, at *2 (D.N.J. Mar. 26, 2014) (disclosing flat fee
billing arrangement in application for discovery sanction).
Indeed, the rates charged and hours billed by other attorneys
at the Hogan Lovells law firm have been publicly disclosed in
connection with fee award applications. See, e.g., KB.
Auto. Grp., Inc. v. Kia Motors Am., Inc., Civ. A. No.
13-4441, 2018 WL 4017698, at *3-4 (S.D.N.Y. July 25, 2018)
(disclosing discounted and standard billing rates for Hogan
Lovells partners, mid-level associates, and paralegals as
well as hours worked); Georgia State Conference of the
NAACP v. Kemp, Civ. A. No. 17-1397, 2018 WL 2271244, at
*2-3 (N.D.Ga. Apr. 11, 2018) (same).
Court having considered the foregoing facts and legal
authority; and for good cause shown;
IS on this day, April 26, 2019, ORDERED
Motion to Seal portions of Plaintiffs' Application for
Attorneys' Fees and Costs is DENIED WITHOUT
Plaintiffs may refile the Motion to Seal with a memorandum of
law setting forth relevant authority for the relief sought,
as well as a declaration stating with particularity how each
of the factors in ...