It seems as though defense attorneys are filing for protective orders on behalf of their clients on a more regular basis. Why is this? Well, there are several reasons, and none of them make a lot of sense realistically.
We currently have a case against Mercedes Benz. It’s not a products case. It’s an accident. They have filed for a protective order on any information they give us due to their classifcation as trade secrets, etc. Trade secrets? What, are we going to take that information and publish it? Give it to BMW? Porsche? I think not.
So, why do they file for these? I have a few theories. One, they actually believe we will distribute this information, and as a result, their business will be harmed. Two, they are trying to paper us to death and make us work harder by having us keep up with the documents and return them when the case is concluded. Three, the defense attorneys are adding to their work so they can bill more hours and make more money.
With tort reform, plaintiff cases are down. What happens when plaintiff cases are down? Defense firms have less cases to bill for work. So, what do they do? They figure out ways to bill more on the same files. It is doubtful that these companies are really concerned about their “trade secrets”. If they were, why weren’t they filing so many of these a couple of years ago?