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Judge rules Mohegan Sun, Northeast Realty can't keep some documents private in Palmer dispute

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SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — Mohegan Sun has lost its bid to have certain documents kept out of the public eye in a civil lawsuit over its failed Palmer casino plan.

The Connecticut-based casino operator and its partner in the failed Palmer venture, Northeast Realty Associates, will not be allowed to designate materials "attorneys' eyes only" during the case's discovery process, Hampden Superior Court Judge Richard Carey ruled Friday.

But the judge also ruled that the two sides do not have the right to provide state gambling regulators copies of discovery materials, as Northeast Realty sought.

The judge said the types of materials expected to be the focus of the lawsuit would be "adequately protected" without such confidentiality agreements, which he said are sometimes needed to protect trade secrets and other sensitive information.

Northeast Realty, based in Longmeadow, said in a statement that it was pleased with the decision, which it said will "lead to the production of documents by Mohegan without delay."

Northeast Realty alleges Mohegan Sun violated an exclusivity agreement preventing the casino from pursuing a gambling license anywhere else in Massachusetts other than the 150-plus acres it leased from Northeast. It's seeking monetary damages, an amount to be determined at trial.

Mohegan Sun, which has declined to comment on the lawsuit on previous occasions, denies violating the agreement in its legal filings.

Voters in Palmer rejected Mohegan Sun's casino plan in November 2013. Within weeks, the horse racing track Suffolk Downs announced it reached a deal with Mohegan Sun to operate a casino on the Revere side of its property.

That more than $1 billion proposal is one of two plans vying for the lucrative Boston-area casino license.

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