Third Circuit adopts new procedures for sensitive documents

The Third Circuit yesterday entered a new standing order adopting procedures to protect highly sensitive documents. A link to the order is here. Going forward, such documents are filed differently (hard copy only or on a secure electronic device) and stored by the court differently (in a secure paper file or offline). The order states that this move is made “[i]n response to recent disclosures of wide-spread breaches of private sector and government computer systems.”

The order defines “highly sensitive documents” as those involving

(1) Title III applications; (2) initial applications for search warrants; (3) matters of national security; (4) foreign sovereign interests, or cybersecurity; (5) terrorism; (6) investigation of public officials; (7) intellectual property or trade secrets likely to be of interest to foreign powers; or (8) the reputational interests of the United States.

That’s a fairly narrow set, certainly not everything that previously would have been filed under seal on ECF. But if you’re litigating an appeal that involves such materials, be sure you’re up speed on the new procedure.