U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


Cert. Denied


Questions Presented

Whether “good cause” is sufficient to maintain under seal discovery documents governed by a Rule 26 protective order and filed with the court.

Case Updates

Cert. petition denied

October 03, 2016

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief urging review of standard for unsealing documents governed by a protective order

April 28, 2016

The U.S. Chamber asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify whether “good cause” is sufficient to maintain under seal discovery documents governed by a Rule 26 protective order and filed with the court. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that, even after a court has entered a protective order, a showing of “good cause” is not sufficient to maintain the confidentiality of documents attached to a pleading that is “more than tangentially related to the merits of the case.

The Chamber’s amicus brief explains that discovery is often costly and contentious, but the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure include measures to protect those interests by authorizing district courts to limit the use and dissemination of discovered materials. However, the Ninth Circuit decision “eviscerates” the benefits of protective orders, as explained by dissenting Judge Ikuta. The Chamber argues that the Ninth Circuit’s dangerous and misguided decision conflicts with decisions of several other courts of appeals, and should be overturned.

Ashley C. Parrish, Julie A. Stockton, and Adam M. Conrad of King & Spalding served as co-counsel with the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Case Documents