Confidential Documents

News & Analysis as of

Congress Releases Unclassified Summary on Snowden/NSA Leak

On September 15, 2016, the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee released its summary findings of a two-year investigation concerning the unauthorized disclosures made by former National Security Agency (NSA)...more

CPUC Cracks Down on Secrecy of Utility Data

For California utilities, ensuring their information stays confidential just got harder. On August 25, 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision updating the process for submitting potentially...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act — Implications for Private Funds

On May 11, 2016, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) became law. The DTSA provides trade-secret protections on the federal level that are similar to those available through the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA)...more

New York’s Commercial Division Requires Motion to Seal When Redacted Documents are Filed

The Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York recently adopted a new form of confidentiality order that eliminates the option to e-file documents redacted for confidentiality without a motion to seal....more

The Case for a Comprehensive 360° IP Strategy: Step 1 - Assessment

This article is the first entry in a multi-part series on the critical need for businesses to extract total value from their IP assets by developing and applying a comprehensive, consistent and efficient IP strategy. An...more

Really? Viable Retaliation Claim for MA Employee Terminated For Secretly Searching Company Files

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employer terminated an employee for secretly searching for confidential documents on her employer’s computer system to use against the employer as part of a discrimination complaint. Massachusetts’...more

Employee’s Self-Help Discovery May Be Protected Activity Under Massachusetts Anti-Retaliation Law

On May 31, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held in Verdrager v. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. that an employee’s accessing, copying and forwarding of an employer’s confidential documents...more

Xarelto’s Approval by the FDA

The controversy over Xarelto’s approval by the FDA and alleged irregularities in the conduct of the ROCKET-AF clinical trial continue to hang over the heads of Bayer and Janssen (a division of Johnson & Johnson), the...more

Proposed Changes to the Part 2 Regulations: Another Example of Necessary Flexibility in the Wake of Changes to Health Care...

On February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations governing...more

SAMHSA Proposes Changes to Substance Use Disorder Treatment Confidentiality Regulations

On February 5, 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) released a long-awaited proposed rule to modify the confidentiality rules that apply to patient identifying information generated by federally...more

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: Proposed Changes to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Confidentiality Rule

On Feb. 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule putting forth amendments to the Alcohol...more

SAMHSA Proposes Updates to Substance Abuse Records Security and Confidentiality Regulations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released proposed changes to the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records...more

New Jersey Federal Judge Says It’s Not So Easy to Preserve Confidentiality of Discovery Documents

Today’s case is about a second chance. We are talking about the dismal topic of document confidentiality. Many -- definitely too many -- documents are produced in mass tort litigations. Almost all those documents are...more

Court Denies Counsel’s Attempt To Use Confidential Documents Obtained In Reinsurance Arbitration In Separate Litigation

A reinsurer that was engaged in a London arbitration against a captive insurer of a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy had obtained documents from the Navy subject to a an agreed confidentiality protective order limiting...more

California PUC Set to Address Handling of Confidential Records

On August 14, 2015 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Rafael Lirag extended the deadline for public comment in the CPUC Confidentiality/Public Records Act rulemaking proceeding. This...more

Federal Circuit Review | August 2015

Online Banking Patents Based On “Abstract Ideas” Held Patent Ineligible Under Alice - In Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Capital One Bank (USA), NA, Appeal No. 2014-1506, the Federal Circuit held that claims directed to...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Stealing Documents to Support Discrimination Claims Can Be Prosecuted as Theft

In State v. Saavedra (A-68-13, June 23, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the criminal indictment of a public sector employee who stole confidential documents to support her discrimination and retaliation claims. As...more

Former In-House Attorney Cannot Duck Trade Secrets Allegations with Anti-SLAPP Motion

On July 17, 2015, a California appellate court affirmed the denial of an intellectual property attorney’s anti-SLAPP motion against his former employer. Terrence Wyles, the defendant and former in-house counsel for medical...more

Provider Fights Back Against Whistleblower's Taking of Provider's Documents

Among the challenges for health care providers facing whistleblower lawsuits is the discovery that a whistleblower has secretly taken the provider’s documents or data. What options are available to the provider? In the recent...more

FOIA Lawsuit Filed Challenging CFPB Research Methodology

The law firm Covington & Burling LLP has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CFPB in Washington, D.C. federal district court seeking  information relating to the CFPB’s report on, “Consumer Voices on...more

Confidential Documents Potentially Safer From Employee Misappropriation Says New Jersey's Supreme Court

On the heels of an appellate decision providing employees a virtual how-to manual to misuse and exploit confidential employer documents and safely provide them to a competitor, New Jersey's Supreme Court reversed course last...more

Quinlan Revisited: Employees Who Steal Personnel Records May Not Necessarily Be Fired, But At Least They May Be Prosecuted

Five years ago, in Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a trusted employee's act of stealing and using her employer's confidential personnel documents in furtherance of her...more

Self-Help Discovery Does Not Immunize Employee from Prosecution, Says NJ Supreme Court

On June 23, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation, 204 N.J. 239 (2010), does not bar criminal prosecutions arising from an employee’s removal of confidential company documents to...more

ECF Fail: You Have to Read the Order

We’ve all done it: Read the docket description in the notice of electronic filing (“NEF”) and have your paralegal download the order and add it to the pleadings file. But you have to read the order: The clerk’s...more

Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

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