Judge to decide documents dispute in lawsuit against Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News

Judge to decide documents dispute in lawsuit against Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A citizens group opposes what it sees as an overly restrictive protective order for documents in its ongoing lawsuit against Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers.

The Utah Newspaper Project/Citizens for Two Voices filed a brief in federal court Friday fighting a motion by the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News to allow them to designate entire documents and depositions confidential even if only a word or sentence is confidential.

Karra Porter, an attorney for the group, said that would leave the plaintiffs guessing about which part of a document is confidential and open them to sanctions for inadvertently disclosing information.

Attorneys for the newspapers contend they need to protect sensitive business matters that would seriously harm their interests if they became public.

In a brief supporting the protective order, the newspapers say that the sharing of documents isn't meant to facilitate public dissemination but to lead the parties to a just resolution of their claims.

The newspapers have produced and reviewed about 500,000 documents in the case, according to the brief.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups will settle the records dispute.

Citizens for Two Voices, a group of Tribune supporters and former staffers, contend in the lawsuit filed in June that revisions to the two newspapers' joint operating agreement violates interstate trade and various antitrust laws, leaving the Tribune in danger of shutting down.

The Tribune and the News say they made the changes to maintain the viability of both newspapers.

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Dennis Romboy


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