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Protective order issued in National Guard suit

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A magistrate judge has issued a protective order to preserve and maintain the confidentiality of certain documents in a lawsuit filed by members of the Indiana National Guard against a contractor working in Iraq. Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. of the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, handed down the protective order Wednesday following competing motions for protective order by the soldiers and the contractor in the case Mark McManaway, et al. v. KBR, Inc., et al., No. 3:08-CV-186.

The soldiers in the case filed a motion for a protective order Feb. 26; the contractor filed its motion on March 9. In his order on the competing motions, Magistrate Hussmann determined the protective order tendered by KBR should be put into place because its order pertains to disclosure by both parties. The magistrate noted the protective order will have no bearing on whether there are congressional investigations into the contractor's conduct.

Before designating any material as subject to the protective order, the designating party in good faith has to make a bona fide determination the materials include information which would result in disclosure of proprietary, business, technical, trade secret information, or information regarding the security and protection of operations in Iraq and/or Kuwait or other confidential research protected from disclosure under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(c).

Sixteen members of the Indiana National Guard initially filed suit Dec. 3, 2008, against KBR for exposing them to a toxic chemical known to increase the risk of developing cancer. The suit claims the company downplayed and ignored the danger of site contamination of sodium dichromate at a water plant in Iraq where the soldiers worked and seeks compensation for their personal injuries and damages they currently have or will likely have in the future.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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