Philip J Berg filed a motion in federal court today, Thursday, October 9, 2008 to dismiss the motion from Obama and the DNC to stay discovery until after the judge rules on a defense motion to dismiss. Jeff Schreiber, a law student, legal writer and blog owner has provided an explanation of Mr. Berg’s motion. Here are some exerpts:
“This morning, Philadelphia attorney Philip Berg filed a response in opposition to the motion for protective order, a measure intended to stay discovery until after the judge rules on a defense motion to dismiss, filed by Barack Obama and the DNC on Monday.
In the response Berg insists, among other things, that he is not seeking the documents specified in his motion for expedited discovery for any improper purpose, that the information requested through discovery is of extreme importance and a matter of public safety, and argues that Barack Obama and the DNC
- have not pointed to any “legitimate privacy concerns.”
- have not pointed out any “substantiated specific examples” showing that disclosure of the information requested through discovery would “cause and defined and serious injury.”
- have not effectively demonstrated “any risk that particularly serious embarrassment will result” from turning over the requested documents.
- have failed to show “good cause” and are not entitled to a protective order.
On the latter, Berg cites a 1994 decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals–the appellate court sitting here in Philadelphia and the natural next step in this case should the losing party in District Court choose to appeal–in which the court held that “good cause” exists when the moving party can specifically demonstrate “that disclosure will cause a clearly defined and serious injury” based upon a seven-factor test:
- Whether disclosure will violate any privacy interests;
- Whether the information is sought for a legitimate purpose or for an improper purpose;
- Whether disclosure of the information will cause a party embarrassment;
- Whether confidentiality is sought over information important to public health and safety;
- Whether sharing information among the litigants will promote fairness and efficiency;
- Whether a party who would benefit from the order of confidentiality is a public entity or official; and
- Whether the case involves issues important to the public.”
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