Disclosing Confidential Sources

A recent district court decision discusses whether a lead plaintiff should be required to disclose its confidential sources as part of the discovery process. The court in In re CIGNA Corp. Sec. Litig., 2006 WL 263631 (E.D.Pa. Jan. 31, 2006) held that the defendants were entitled to the names of all individuals known by the plaintiff to have relevant knowledge, but the plaintiff was not required to specifically identify the confidential sources relied upon in the complaint. The court did note, however, that it would consider revisiting its decision if the defendants were presented with an overwhelming list of names.

Quote of note: “Of course, the recent identification of ‘Deep Throat,’ whose provision of information to the Washington Post led to the infamous Watergate scandal, also reminds us of the value of the free flow of information in a democratic society without fear of disclosure or retribution. However, as the D.C. Circuit’s decision in the case of Judith Miller shows, the ability to avoid disclosing a confidential informant is not absolute; in most instances there is indeed a balancing test. How should the optimal balance be determined in this case?”

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