Judge orders Oregon newspaper not to publish documents related to Nike lawsuit


Portland, Ore. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered an Oregon newspaper not to publish documents it obtained in connection with a gender discrimination lawsuit against sports giant Nike.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported A lawyer representing the plaintiff in the case sent the documents to one of its correspondents on January 19 and then asked for them back. When the news outlet refused, the lawyer petitioned the court to return them.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie Russo granted the motion on Friday and ordered the news outlet to return the documents.

"The court is aware that certain documents marked 'confidential' and 'attorneys view only' may have been inadvertently disclosed by plaintiff's attorney via e-mail to The Oregonian," Russo said in returning the records to the outlet. Ordered and "agreed not to" disseminate that information in any way; And any copies in his possession must be destroyed."

Russo said the documents fall under a protective order in the case, which prevents some material from public view.

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The Oregonian/OregonLive said it planned to appeal.

"The government's pre-emptive ban goes against every principle of a free press in this country," said Therese Bottomley, editor and vice president of content. "This is extremely unusual, and we will defend our First Amendment rights in court."

Neither lawyers nor Nike immediately responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

The gender discrimination lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleges that Nike's workplace is hostile toward women and that the Oregon-based company pays female employees less.

The Oregonian/OregonLive said it had previously intervened in the lawsuit as part of a media coalition that requested the court open certain legal records.

The news outlet said it was working on a separate article based on independent reporting when it received the documents.

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