We have noticed a troubling trend in recent product liability cases in which plaintiffs' counsel will not agree to a protective order concerning a manufacturer's confidential documents without the inclusion of a so-called "sharing provision". These provisions generally permit plaintiffs' attorneys, or any other parties subject to the protective order, to indefinitely retain a defendant's confidential documents and share them with third parties as they see fit. Opposing counsel often justify such provisions by arguing that the confidential documents will only be shared with parties in other pending or litigation involving the same product. However, many manufacturers understandably view these provisions as defeating the entire purpose of a protective order. ... Continue Reading
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H. Michael Bagley