United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MAKER'S MARK DISTILLER, INC. PLAINTIFF
SPALDING GROUP, INC., et al. DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
King, Magistrate Judge United States District Court
Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., referred this matter to
Magistrate Judge Lanny King for resolution of non-dispositive
matters. (Docket # 3). This case was reassigned to Judge
Justin R. Walker. (Docket # 41). Judge Justin R. Walker
recused from this matter and it was reassigned to Senior
Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. (Docket # 47). This matter was
then reassigned to Chief Judge Greg N. Stivers. (Docket #
December 17, 2020, the parties filed a Joint Motion for Entry
of Agreed Protective Order (Docket # 45) and tendered an
Agreed Protective Order for review by this Court. (Docket #
46). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies this
Joint Motion without prejudice for failure to comply with the
“good cause” requirement of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 26 and the sealing requirements under the Local
Rules. The Court will consider a timely filed motion that
complies with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, Local Rule
5.7, Local Rule 37.1, and this Order.
Court has increasingly scrutinized stipulated motions for
protective orders that do not make the necessary showing of
good cause required by the Rules of Civil Procedure and case
authority. See Bussell v. Elizabethtown Independent
School Dist., 3:17-cv-00605-GNS (W.D. Ky. Oct. 23, 2018)
(Edwards, J.) (discussing why the Court will enter the second
proposed agreed protective order because it develops why a
protective order is necessary) (Pacer); see also
Wellmeyer v. Experian Info. Sols., 3:18-cv-94-RGJ
(W.D. Ky. May 30, 2018) (Pacer); Middleton v. Selectrucks
of America, LLC, 3:17-cv-602-RGJ (W.D. Ky. Sept. 21,
2018) (Pacer); Mitcham v. Intrepid U.S.A., Inc.,
3:17-cv-00703-CHB (W.D. Ky. Oct. 1, 2018) (Boom, J.) (Pacer);
Roberson v. KentuckyOne Health, Inc.,
3:18-cv-00183-CRS-RSE (Aug. 29, 2018) (Edwards, J.) (Pacer);
Savidge v. Pharm-Save, Inc., 3:17-cv-000186-CHB
(W.D. Ky. July 9, 2018) (Whalin, J.) (Pacer); Effinger v.
GLA Collection Co., 3:17-cv-000750-DJH (W.D. Ky. March
28, 2018) (Lindsay, J.) (Pacer); Fleming v. Barnes,
3:16-cv-264-JHM (W.D. Ky. Feb. 27, 2017) (Whalin, J.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(G), “[t]he
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense, including . . . requiring that a trade
secret or other confidential research, development, or
commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in
a specified way….” Good cause exists when the
party moving for the protective order “articulate[s]
specific facts showing ‘clearly defined and serious
injury' resulting from the discovery
sought….” Nix v. Sword, 11 Fed.
App'x 498, 500 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Avirgan v.
Hull, 118 F.R.D. 252, 254 (D.D.C. 1987)). For example,
in determining whether to grant a protective order in a trade
secret case, the court considered the following factors:
(1) the extent to which the information is known outside of
(2) the extent to which it is known by employees and others
involved in [the] business;
(3) the extent of measures taken . . . to guard the secrecy
of the information;
(4) the value of the information to [the business] and to
(5) the amount of effort or money expended . . . in
developing the information;
(6) the ease or difficulty with which the information could
be properly acquired or duplicated by others.
Williams v. Baptist Healthcare Sys., No.
3:16-CV-00236-CRS, 2018 WL 989546, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 20,
2018) (citing Nash-Finch Co. and Super Food Servs., Inc.
v. Casey's Foods, Inc., 2016 WL 737903, at *2 (E.D.
Ky. Feb. 23, 2016) (citations omitted)). “The burden of
establishing good cause for a protective order rests with the
movant.” Nix v. Sword, 11 Fed. App'x 498,
500 (6th Cir. May 24, 2011); see also In re Skelaxin
Antitrust Litig., 292 F.R.D. 544, 549 (E.D. Tenn. 2013)
(“To show good cause, the moving party must articulate
specific facts that show a clearly defined and serious injury
resulting from the discovery sought; mere conclusory
statements will not be sufficient.”).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure affords the Court
with broad discretion to grant or deny protective orders.
Parker & Gamble Co. v. Banker's Trust Co.,
78 F.3d 219, 227 (6th Cir. 1996). Because entry of a
protective order is contrary to the basic policy in favor of
broad discovery, the party that seeks a protective order has
a heavy burden to show substantial justification for
withholding information from the public. See
Williams, 2018 WL 989546, at *2; see also,
Proctor & Gamble Co. v. Banker's Trust Co.,
78 F.3d 219, 227 (6th Cir. 1996) (“While District
Courts have the discretion to issue protective orders, that
discretion is limited by the careful dictates of Fed.R.Civ.P.
26 and is circumscribed by a long-established tradition which
values public access to court proceedings.”); Meyer
Goldberg, Inc. of Lorain v. ...