The litigation division head at Delaware’s largest legislation agency apologized for what a federal choose referred to as “about as frivolous a movement to seal as I’ve seen,” however mentioned he had requested to file testimony from a YouTube worker underneath seal as a result of he “believed it was justified.”
Frederick L. Cottrell III is a director at Richards, Layton & Finger PA, which represents
The declaration Cottrell sought to maintain sealed was filed in assist of a Google movement to maneuver the case from Delaware’s federal courtroom to the US District Court docket for the Northern District of California.
The legal professional took duty for the movement for go away to file underneath seal in a Dec. 19 letter to Delaware US District Choose
Andrews ordered the agency on Dec. 16 to unmask the legal professional chargeable for it and “submit an evidence of why the lawyer thought this was a justified movement.”
“After I see the reason, I’ll think about whether or not subsequent proceedings are acceptable,” Andrews mentioned.
The choose was direct and unflinching in his criticism of the request.
Google’s motion, in line with Andrews’ order, was primarily based “on the purported have to keep away from disclosing” what the agency had deemed “delicate private info” about staff and “commercially delicate info that, if revealed, would support” opponents and hurt Google and YouTube.
However, what the attorneys had deemed “delicate private info,” Andrews mentioned, was simply retrievable through Google’s personal search engine. The choose mentioned he ran the declarant’s identify via Google’s search engine, and the primary end result was the worker’s LinkedIn web page, which included his job title: senior employees user-experience engineer at YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters.
The redacted model of the declaration blacked out the identify and workplace location of a second worker, Andrews mentioned, “as if he had been a confidential supply for the CIA.” The choose once more used Google to seek for the worker’s identify, and upon including “YouTube” as a search time period, “up got here his Linked In web page, together with his job description.”
“There are not any social safety numbers, financial institution accounts, residence addresses, or something comparable” within the declaration, Andrews mentioned. The LinkedIn profiles, he mentioned, “appear to refute” that figuring out the 2 males’s employers and the locations and nature of their work is “delicate.”
As to the purported “commercially delicate info”—which groups the staff lead, the scale of the groups, and which merchandise the groups work on—Andrews mentioned he’s “definitely unpersuaded by an unsworn movement that revealing this info is prone to work an outlined and concrete hurt to Google or YouTube.”
‘Much less Personal’
Cottrell, whereas calling the movement’s drafting “a staff effort,” mentioned, “I’m the legal professional accountable.”
“I believed that the proposed redactions had been in keeping with efforts to maintain comparable sorts of info confidential in different instances as a way to defend Defendants’ staff’ privateness within the context of litigation,” Cottrell mentioned, citing a unique case through which Google was allowed to maintain some details about staff underneath seal.
“I acknowledge that some info Defendants sought to redact is much less personal than different info,” such because the declarant’s “employment with YouTube, because the Court docket factors out,” Cottrell mentioned. Nonetheless, he cited “the precise sizes and names of various groups inside YouTube or Google” as particulars which are “sometimes handled by Google as confidential in my expertise.”
Cottrell mentioned that “by mentioning this,” the defendants weren’t asking Andrews to revisit his determination, including they “search to completely comply” with the order “and any additional instruction.”
Robocast is represented by Bayard PA, Cantor Colburn LLP, and McKool Smith PC. Google and YouTube are represented by Richards, Layton & Finger PA.
The case is Robocast Inc. v. YouTube LLC, D. Del., No. 22-cv-304, declaration unsealed 12/20/22.