Delaware Court: Redactions in Court Filings Should Not Be an Afterthought
Last week US District Court Judge Richard Andrews rejected two separate parties’ filings in the District of Delaware because portions were redacted in their entirety. This practice applies universally to all District of Delaware Judges and Delaware Courts, especially the Delaware Court of Chancery.
One filing was a discovery dispute letter and another a reply brief in support of a motion for summary judgment. Judge Andrews noted, “Absent a compelling reason, supported by a statement under oath by a party, redactions in their entirety are impermissible; redactions must be done so as to redact the least possible amount of the material submitted. Failure to make a good faith attempt at such redactions may result in sanctions, the most common of which would be simply unsealing the entire filing. Redacting in its entirety a document that contains publicly available material is prima facie evidence of bad faith.”
This is an important reminder for practice in all Delaware courts to consider redactions well before the deadline. Also, especially in IP cases where there is a lot of propriety information, parties need to make clear to the Court that the redactions have been applied according to the Court Rules.