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UNITED STATES v. ATLANTIC CONTAINER LINE

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.


February 3, 1981.

United States
v.
Atlantic Container Line, Ltd., et al. United States v. Philip E. Bates, et al.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN

Report

GREEN, D.J.: Pursuant to Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol Stops Northwest, 441 U.S. 211 (1979), this Court undertook in its December 19, 1980 order to determine the need, if any, for continued secrecy of the Grand Jury testimony and documents in the above-captioned matter. The Court employed the standard procedure of the Justice Department. The Justice Department wrote to each person who testified and/or produced documents or his counsel and to each company that produced documents. The letters explained the status of the civil antitrust cases and the request for disclosure of the Grand Jury materials, and instructed those individuals or companies who objected to the disclosure of their testimony or documents to write to this Court and outline the reasons for their objections. The time period for reply has expired and the Court has received objections to disclosure. This Court, of course, will keep all of the replies confidential.

 The objections before the Court are valid and compelling ones.The objecting parties describe how disclosure would cause strain in and adversity to their careers, possibly creating intolerable job situations and job loss. Further, the parties emphasize and the Court recognizes the chilling effect which disclosure would have on future Grand Jury testimony because of the reliance of the parties on the secrecy of the Grand Jury proceedings. Accordingly, the evidence before the Court indicates that disclosure would not be appropriate at this time for those parties who have objected and the Court will withhold their Grand Jury materials at this time.

 Having completed its determination of the need for continued secrecy, this Court will transfer the rest of the Grand Jury materials to the Southern District of New York for a determination by that Court as to the particularized need for disclosure.

19810203

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