United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
TRAFFICWARE GROUP, INC., INDIVIDUALLY AND AS SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO NAZTEC, INC.
SUN INDUSTRIES, LLC, SUN ELECTRICAL & INSTRUMENTATION, LLC AND MERCHANTS BONDING COMPANY
D. DICK JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for
Reconsideration filed by Sun Electrical &
Instrumentation, LLC (“Sun”). Sun moved the Court
for reconsideration of its Order granting the
motion by Command Construction Industries, LLC
(“Command”) to file its motion for attorneys'
fees and to tax costs under seal.
on an allegation that Command's billing records contained
billing privilege and work product information and, following
an opposition to the Seal by Sun, the Court Ordered that:
Considering that these matters should generally be part of
the public record unless good cause is shown to be filed
under seal, the Court will grant Sun's Motion for
Reconsideration, and Command is hereby ordered to direct
the Court to the specific portions of the exhibits that it
seeks to be maintained under seal.
filed a Response indicating that the Parties have agreed
that Command's Motion for Attorney's Fees may remain
under seal. The Parties apparently misunderstood the
Court's wishes. The Court, not the Parties, “has
supervisory authority over its records.” The general rule
is that Court records are to be open and accessible to the
public. “The right to public access ‘serves to
promote trustworthiness of the judicial process, to curb
judicial abuses, and to provide the public with a more
complete understanding of the judicial system, including a
better perception of its fairness.'” The Fifth Circuit
instructs that District Courts “must use caution in
exercising its discretion to place records under seal”,
a discretion which must be “used
charily”. “Public confidence [in our judicial
system] cannot long be maintained where important judicial
decisions are made behind closed doors and then announced in
conclusive terms to the public, with the record supporting
the court's decision sealed from public
Parties fail to demonstrate good grounds to overcome the
“strong presumption” that all filings and
proceedings be open to the public. Command contends that the
legal invoices attached in support of its Motion for
Attorney's Fees contain attorney client privilege
information and attorney work product. However, Command has
agreed to provide un-redacted legal invoices to Sun, under
the proviso that they not be disseminated to any third
parties. If indeed the legal invoices contain information
subject to the attorney client privilege or the work product
doctrine, the privilege has been waived by production of the
invoices to counsel for Sun.
Command's Motion for Leave to File Motion for
Attorneys' Fees and Motion to Tax Costs Under Seal
(Rec. Docs. 146 and 150) is DENIED. Command's Motion
for Oral Argument (Rec. Doc. 147) is DENIED. The
Court's ORDER Granting Command's Sealed Motion
for Leave to File Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Motion
to Tax Costs Under Seal (Rec. Doc. 147) is hereby
VACATED and the Seal is hereby Lifted.
 Rec. Doc. No. 152.
 Rec. Doc. No. 149.
 Rec. Doc. No. 146. 39354