November 22, 2016

The Commission voted 3-2 to approve the “Guidance” relating to protective orders in private litigation.  I generally welcome any additional safety information the agency can get, but I have serious concerns about how this Guidance will be portrayed to courts considering requests for protective orders.  I am particularly concerned about our ability to protect any information that comes our way because of it. 

Despite my concerns, I was prepared to approve publication of the Guidance as a proposal for public comment.  Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle refused to accept that approach.  Therefore, I could not vote for adoption of the Guidance.

Although the Commission declined to allow public comment on this Guidance, I am still interested in hearing any thoughts and reactions from our stakeholders.  Please provide comments to me by e-mail at