Saturday, December 28, 2013

Public Citizen v. Liggett Group case brief

Public Citizen v. Liggett Group case brief summary
858 F.2d 775 (1988)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants challenged the order of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts that modified a protective order that covered discovery materials produced by appellants.

CASE FACTS
Appellees filed a motion that sought a modification of a protective order such that all discovery materials could be freely disseminated, except for those documents in which appellants had good cause for continued confidentiality. The motion also requested that the parties file all discovery materials in court. The lower court ordered that the documents under the protective order be filed in court and made available to the public.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that, although the lower court lacked the power to impose new discovery-related obligations after dismissing the underlying action on the merits, because the protective order was still in effect, the lower court had the power to make post judgment modifications to the order in light of the changed circumstances. 
  • The court affirmed the modification of the protective order but reversed with respect to the requirement that the parties file discovery materials in court.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the lower court's decision with respect to the modification of the protective order but reversed with respect to the requirement that the parties file discovery materials in court; therefore the parties were entitled to disseminate discovery materials but they were not obliged to make them publicly available.


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