Protecting Confidentiality in Litigation: Responding to Increased Judicial Scrutiny of Rule 26(c) Protective Orders

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, February 11, 2022

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss best strategies for dealing with confidentiality in litigation and the increased scrutiny of protective orders and requests to seal as courts attempt to balance the public's right of access to judicial records and proceedings and litigants' privacy interests in their proprietary information. The panel will discuss the risks that arise when this issue takes center stage and manage counsel's obligations under any protective order.


Confidentiality in litigation is at odds with the public's right to First Amendment, common law, and statutory rights to access material in pretrial and trial proceedings. However, almost every civil litigation now involves a protective/confidentiality order or a request to seal the record.

Federal Rule 26(c), subject to Rule 37(a)((5), permits the court "for good cause" to issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense. Often the parties negotiate the terms of confidentiality, but not always, and what amounts to "good cause" is debatable. More recently, there have been more frequent disputes about whether documents have been properly designated under the order.

Additional issues arise when fewer than all the parties wish to modify a protective order. In such cases, whether the order was stipulated or contested may determine who has the burden of proof to show "good cause." How such disputes are resolved may not be uniformly addressed in lower courts.

Listen as this experienced panel of litigators discusses best strategies for using protective orders, why the order was entered is important, and best strategies for assisting courts in weighing the public's rights against the private interests in the subject materials.



  1. Public vs. private rights in civil discovery
  2. General standards for entry of protective order concerning confidential business information
  3. Stipulated vs. contested protective orders
  4. Challenging classification and compliance
  5. Filing under seal
  6. Modification
    1. During the litigation
    2. Modification after settlement or judgment


The panel will review these and other vital questions:

  • Why are protective orders getting increased scrutiny?
  • What type of showing is needed to modify protective orders, and which party has the burden of proof?
  • Do all courts resolve these issues uniformly?
  • What is the judicial perspective regarding confidentiality in litigation?


Fradette, Jacquelyn
Jacquelyn E. Fradette

Sidley Austin

Ms. Fradette is a complex civil litigator who represents clients in all areas of trial litigation. Her experience...  |  Read More

Gold, Danielle
Danielle Gold

Weitz & Luxenberg

Ms. Gold is an associate attorney in our Drugs & Medical Devices Litigation group. She is based in our...  |  Read More

Schneider, Joel
Honorable Joel Schneider

Of Counsel
Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads

Judge Schneider served as United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey for 14 years. During his tenure,...  |  Read More

Zogby, Michael
Michael C. Zogby

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Mr. Zogby counsels clients in the United States, Asia and Europe on data privacy, governance and security, and crisis...  |  Read More

Attend on March 3

Early Discount (through 02/11/22)

Cannot Attend March 3?

Early Discount (through 02/11/22)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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