United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
IN RE AMERICAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS, INC. PELVIC REPAIR SYSTEM PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
American Medical Systems, Inc. Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-07551 THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: Nielson et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. GOODWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is the Motion to File Under Seal, filed under seal
by plaintiffs' counsel on January 11, 2018 [ECF No. 7].
As stated in the motion, plaintiffs' counsel request the
attached Motion to Withdraw as Plaintiffs' Counsel [ECF
No. 7-1] be considered and remain under seal through its
adjudication as it contains potentially privileged
together, these documents represent two separate requests
that remain provisionally under seal, which the court will
construe as: (1) a Motion to Seal, and (2) a Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel. There has been no response filed and the
motions are now ripe for adjudication.
Motion to Seal In support of their motion seeking
leave to file under seal, plaintiffs' counsel state that
the justifications for seeking withdrawal may contain
privileged information. Plaintiffs' counsel neither
elaborates further nor attaches a memorandum in support of
filing under seal.
the local rules, a motion to seal must be accompanied by a
memorandum of law filed pursuant to the Administrative
Procedures for Electronic Case Filing that contains the
(A) the reasons why sealing is necessary, including the
reasons why alternative to sealing, such as redaction, are
(B) the requested duration of the proposed seal; and
(C) a discussion of the propriety of sealing, giving due
regard to the parameters of the common law and First
Amendment rights of access as interpreted by the Supreme
Court and our Court of Appeals.
S.D. W.Va. L.R. Civ. P. 26.4(c)(2). Public inspection of
court documents “is necessary to allow interested
parties to judge the court's work product in the cases
assigned to it.” Id. 26.4(c)(1). “The
right of public access to documents filed in a district court
derives from two independent sources: the common law and the
First Amendment.” Virginia Dep't State Police
v. Washington Post, 386 F.3d 567, 575 (4th Cir. 2004).
common law right affords presumptive access to all judicial
records and documents. Stone v. Univ. Md. Med. Sys.
Corp., 855 F.2d 178, 180 (4th Cir. 1988). Materials that
fall within the common law right may be sealed only if
competing interests outweigh the public's right of
First Amendment right of access-when it applies-offers even more
protection to the public and can only be overcome “on
the basis of a compelling governmental interest, and only if
the denial is narrowly tailored to serve that
interest.” Virginia Dep't Police, 386 F.3d
at 575 (citing Stone, 855 F.2d 180); see also
Press-Enterprise Co. v. Sup. Ct. Cal., 464 U.S. 501,
510 (1984) (access may be denied if “closure is
essential to preserve higher values”).
result, the court may only seal documents when
“exceptional circumstances” are present. S.D.
W.Va. L.R. Civ. P. 26.4(c)(1).