Rule 508 Trade secrets. A person has a privilege, which may be claimed by the person or the person's agent or employee, to refuse to disclose and to prevent other persons from disclosing a trade secret owned by the person, if allowance of the privilege will not tend to conceal fraud or otherwise work injustice. When disclosure is directed, the judge shall take such protective measure as the interests of the holder of the privilege and of the parties and the furtherance of justice may require. [L 1980, c 164, pt of 1; gen ch 1985]

 

RULE 508 COMMENTARY

 

This rule is similar to Uniform Rule of Evidence 507. Unlike the other privileges in this section, the rule provides a qualified right against disclosure, subject to broad judicial discretion. Hawaii courts have not addressed the issue at the appellate level; however, HRCP 26(c)(7) provides qualified protection against such disclosure during pre-trial discovery, investing the court with discretion to order "that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way." This rule extends that protection to the trial stage.

 

 

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