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Case 3:16-cv-00246-CWR-FKB Document 380 Filed 07/16/19 Page 1 of 4

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
NORTHERN DIVISION

JEFFERY A. STALLWORTH PLAINTIFF

VS. CIVIL NO.: 3:16-cv-246-CWR-FKB

GOVERNOR DEWEY PHILLIP “PHIL” BRYANT, DEFENDANTS


ET AL.

and

TONY T. YARBER, Mayor of the City of Jackson, PLAINTIFFS


Mississippi, on behalf of the Citizens of the City of
Jackson, et al.

VS. CIVIL NO.: 3:16-CV-246-CWR-FKB

PHIL BRYANT, in his official capacity as governor of DEFENDANTS


the State of Mississippi, et al.

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER


SEALING CERTAIN TESTIMONY OF CARL NEWMAN

Plaintiffs, the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (“JMAA”), the Board of

Commissioners of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, and each of the Board members in

their official capacities (collectively, “JMAA”), file this Memorandum in Support of their

Motion to Seal Certain Parts of Carl Newman’s Deposition state the following in support:

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

On June 21, 2019, Mr. Carl Newman, former Chief Executive Officer of the JMAA, was

deposed in Chandler, Arizona. Consistent with the parties’ stipulation at the outset of the

deposition and with JMAA’s position as expressed during the June 19, 2019, telephone

conference with the Court regarding the deposition of Mr. Newman and certain testimony being

placed under seal, JMAA seeks an order sealing certain portions of Mr. Newman’s deposition

testimony. As explained below, the subject testimony from Mr. Newman’s deposition contains

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information that is either privileged and protected from disclosure or that is patently irrelevant to

the parties’ claims and defenses in this case. Consequently, JMAA seeks an order sealing these

portions of Mr. Newman’s deposition.

II. LEGAL ARGUMENT

Looking first to Mr. Newman’s deposition testimony related to communications and

discussions during executive sessions of the JMAA Board, that testimony is privileged from

disclosure. “[T]he attorney-client privilege protects communications made during the executive

sessions.” Rush v. Columbus Mun. Sch. Dist., No. 99-60910, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 39647, at

*8 (5th Cir. Sep. 28, 2000). Newman has no authority to waive that privilege. See id. (noting

that “[a] corporate client has a privilege to refuse to disclose . . . confidential communications

between its representatives and its attorneys when the communications were made to obtain legal

services.”) (quoting Nguyen v. Excel Corp., 197 F.3d 200, 206 (5th Cir. 1999)); see also

Commodity Futures Trading Com v. Weintraub, 471 U.S. 343, 348-49 (1985) (“[T]he power to

waive the corporate attorney-client privilege rests with the corporation’s management and is

normally exercised by its officers and directors. . . . Displaced managers may not assert the

privilege over the wishes of current managers . . . .”). As a result, JMAA requests that this

testimony be sealed.

Looking next to Mr. Newman’s testimony regarding his departure from JMAA, this

testimony has no relevance or probative value to the parties’ claims and defenses in this case and

its availability to the public would do nothing more than unfairly prejudice JMAA and confuse

the issues before the Court. As a result, JMAA requests that it be sealed. See generally Fed. R.

Evid. 403 (providing that a court “may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is

substantially outweighed by a danger of . . . unfair prejudice[ or] confusing the issues”).

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Should any Defendant desire to submit to the Court any of Mr. Newman’s testimony

identified above and for which the JMAA requests an order sealing that testimony, JMAA

requests that the Court’s protective order require the Defendant to first move to submit the

testimony to be filed under seal pursuant to the Court’s local rules, and move to have the

testimony admitted into evidence, consistent with the procedure set forth in the Court’s [239]

Stipulated Order at ¶ 10. Consistent with that same procedure, the JMAA will have the right to

respond pursuant to the local rules and brief the confidentiality and relevance issues, along with

the testimony’s admissibility. See [239] Stipulated Order at ¶ 10.

III. CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the JMAA respectfully request the Court to enter an order

sealing the portions of Mr. Carl Newman’s deposition as set forth above.

Dated: July 16, 2019.


Respectfully submitted,

BY: /s/ LaToya C. Merritt _


Fred Banks, Jr., Bar No. 1733
LaToya C. Merritt, Bar No. 100054
Nicholas F. Morisani, Bar No. 104970
Phelps Dunbar LLC
4270 I-55 North
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6391
Post Office Box 16114
Jackson, Mississippi 39236-6114
Telephone: (601) 352-2300
Facsimile: (601) 360-9777
fred.banks@phelps.com
latoya.merritt@phelps.com
nick.morisani@phelps.com

John L. Walker, Bar No. 6883


Kevin B. Bass, Bar No. 103968
Walker Group, PC
1410 Livingston Lane, Suite A
Post Office Box 22849
Jackson, Mississippi 39225-2849

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Telephone: (601) 948-4589


Facsimile: (601) 354-2507
jwalker@walkergrouppc.com
kbass@walkergrouppc.com

Attorneys for the JMAA

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, LaToya C. Merritt, certify that the foregoing document has been filed with the Clerk of

Court using the Court’s ECF system, which provides service of the foregoing to all counsel of

record who have entered an appearance in this case as of the date below.

Date: July 16, 2019.


/s/ LaToya C. Merritt
LaToya C. Merritt

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