In Uncategorized on 08/21/2020 at 17:28

IRS wants info more than ten (count ’em, ten) years old made public, but Medtronic, Inc. & Consolidated Subsidiaries, Docket No. 6911-14, filed 8/21/20, says that’s trade secret stuff. And Judge Kathleen Kerrigan, having been assigned trial duty by 8 Cir, buys at least some of Medtronic’s tale.

I’m sure you remember that 8 Cir bounced Medtronic back to Judge Kerrigan, with her 144 (count ’em, 144) pages of carefully-wrought opinion eviscerated in just 13 pages of appellate disdain. No? What a pity! Then see my blogpost “Cut Uncut,” 8/17/18.

Expert testimony will be required, and IRS wants the existing Rule 103 order modified to take the wraps off any info more than 10 years old. Medtronic says no, the stuff is still classified. But Judge Kerrigan having sent the parties off to a play-nice, they agree to some unwrapping.

“Rule 103(a) provides that, upon motion and for good cause, ‘the Court may make any order which justice requires’ to ensure that ‘a trade secret or other information may not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way.’ A protective order is appropriate where the material is the type of information that courts will protect and the requesting party shows good cause for protecting it. Publicker Indus., Inc. v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1071 (3rd Cir. 1984); Estate of Murphy v Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1990-346, 60 T.C.M. (CCH) 73, 75. The goal of this Court is to provide as robust a record as possible while protecting petitioner’s proprietary information.” Order, at p. 2. (Footnote omitted).

Age does not wither nor custom stale what Medtronic wants suppressed from view. Judge Kerrigan crafts cut-outs and overlays, which would be helpful if we had some idea what was covered. But the public should mind its own business when it comes to Medtronic’s secret  business.

Judge Kerrigan knows her every move is being eyeballed from on high. “Taking into consideration the Court’s opinion in this case (T. C. Memo. 2016-112), the Eighth Circuit’s opinion, and the Court’s May 3, 2019 Order, the Protective Order will be modified appropriately, including modifications related to the Pacesetter Agreement.” Order, at p. 3.

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