The opinion of the court was delivered by: FULLAM
This is a civil treble damages action alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1. Additional actions have been filed in various districts throughout the nation, and pursuant to the Multidistrict litigation statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1407, all the cases have been consolidated for discovery purposes in the Northern District of Illinois.
These civil actions arise out of indictments returned in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Pleas of nolo contendere were accepted and sentence imposed in November of 1967. In connection with the sentencing, the Antitrust Division submitted two memoranda to the Probation Department and one to the Court. All three documents contain excerpts and summaries of testimony before the indicting grand jury.
Plaintiff in the present case has served a notice of deposition on Donald G. Balthis, Esq., Chief of the Middle Atlantic Office of the Antitrust Division, and a subpoena duces tecum requiring Mr. Balthis to bring the three sentencing memoranda to the deposition. Presently before the Court are the motions of the government and Globe Ticket Co. to quash this subpoena.
The government's primary contention is that since the memoranda contain excerpts and summaries of grand jury testimony, disclosure is precluded by Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e).
"(e) Secrecy of Proceedings and Disclosure. Disclosure of matters occurring before the grand jury other than its deliberations and the vote of any juror may be made to the attorneys for the government for use in the performance of their duties. Otherwise a juror, attorney, interpreter, stenographer, operator of a recording device, or any typist who transcribes recorded testimony may disclose matters occurring before the grand jury only when so directed by the court preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding . . . ."
However, it is clear that Rule 6(e) on its face does not operate as a complete bar to disclosure. Rather, disclosure is authorized upon court order.
In United States v. Procter & Gamble, 356 U.S. 677, 2 L. Ed. 2d 1077, 78 S. Ct. 983 (1958), the Supreme Court articulated the controlling principle:
"The 'indispensable secrecy of grand jury proceedings' must not be broken except where there is a compelling necessity. There are instances when that need will outweigh the countervailing policy. But they must be shown with particularity." Id. at 682.
The Court reversed a lower court's order directing disclosure of the entire grand jury testimony, holding that good cause was not shown by the defendants since the only purpose served by production of the documents would be to assist the defendants in preparing for trial.
The only showing of need in the present case is that disclosure will expedite discovery. This has been held to be insufficient to constitute a compelling and particularized need. United States v. Proctor & Gamble, supra ; City of Philadelphia v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 210 F. Supp. 486 (E.D. Pa. 1962).
The case of United States Industries v. United States District Court, 345 F.2d 18 (9th Cir. 1965), relied upon by plaintiff, is not apposite here, since the key factor of disclosure to the opposing side is not present in our case. The minimal disclosures which have occurred all related to the ...