In an Order yesterday, Judge Figueredo sanctioned a defendant for failing to show up for his deposition and thereby causing two lawyers for the plaintiff to waste two hours of their time, until they learned he was not coming. The sanction amount is notable for approving the hourly rate of $1,285.50 for a commercial litigation
In a letter endorsement Friday, Judge Failla rejected an attorney’s to re-open a deposition, finding that the attorney making the request was the source of the problem:
[T]he Court observes that Plaintiff’s counsel assumed the role not only of questioner, but of Greek Chorus as to many of [the witness’s] answers, thereby unnecessarily prolonging her deposition. Counsel’s treatment of the witness was also unnecessarily rude, and by the end of the deposition, counsel appeared unwilling or unable to let [the witness] complete her answers to his questions. Accordingly, the Court sees no reason to order the continuation of [the] deposition . . .
A couple of examples from the transcript are below:
Continue Reading Judge Failla: Attorney Who Was a “Greek Chorus” During Deposition Cannot Reopen It
In an opinion today, Magistrate Judge Wang denied a motion for sanctions premised on (among other things) the “sheer volume” of objections during two depositions, including, in one instance, a deposition with an objection on approximately 80% of the transcript pages.
Judge Wang concluded that the number of objections alone was not enough, given that the objections were largely appropriate:
Continue Reading Magistrate Judge Wang: “Sheer Volume” of Deposition Objections Not Enough for Sanctions
In an opinion today, Judge Cote denied a motion to compel brought by the defendants in an SEC enforcement action relating to one of the SEC’s witnesses. The defendants claimed that the witness gave inaccurate deposition testimony about having been disciplined at work for having harassed a former romantic partner, and so wanted more documents about the incident, and an additional deposition. Judge Cote, who chose not to identify the witness by name, emphatically denied the motion:
Continue Reading Judge Cote Rejects SEC Defendants’ Attempt to Delve Into Stale, Highly Personal Affairs of SEC Witness
This week, Judge Furman ordered U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. to sit for a deposition in a case challenging the constitutionality of adding a question about citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. census questionnaire. The question had not appeared on the census questionnaire since 1950; according to the complaint, the question was purposefully added to decrease the response rate among immigrant communities, leading to fewer public services and less Congressional representation in those areas.
Judge Furman had previously found that the plaintiffs had “made a strong preliminary or prima facie showing that they will find material beyond the Administrative Record indicative of bad faith” and allowed discovery into the decision to add the citizenship question back to the census. Judge Furman found that the deposition of Secretary Ross himself was required because of Secretary Ross’s high degree of personal involvement in the decision and the extent to which his credibility and intent was thus at issue
Continue Reading Judge Furman: Secretary of Commerce Must Sit for Deposition Over Census Citizenship Question
In an Order yesterday, Magistrate Judge Ellis blocked the deposition of music mogul Jay Z (Shawn Carter) in a copyright case relating to the logo for Jay Z’s record label, Roc-A-Fella. However, the price to be paid for sparing him from the deposition was that Jay Z would not be allowed to testify at trial:…
In an opinion today, Judge Scheindlin granted the State of Israel’s motion to quash, on sovereign immunity grounds, a subpoena to a former Israeli national security official, Uzi Shaya. The underlying case accuses the Bank of China of aiding and abetting a 2006 suicide bombing in Israel, and Mr. Shaya allegedly had knowledge of the Bank of China funding terrorism. Judge Scheindlin ruled that Israel had standing to object, and that its objections were valid:
Continue Reading Judge Scheindlin Rules That Sovereign Immunity Protects Former Israeli Security Official From Deposition
In an opinion today, Judge Scheindlin ruled that Bank Hapoalim, a non-party Israeli bank, was required to produce a Rule 30(b)(6) witness to testify about information originating in Israel:
Even if Hapoalim is a non-party witness and all of the documents or knowledgeable persons are in Jerusalem, compliance with the 30(b)(6) subpoena is not
In an order dated yesterday, Judge Forrest came down hard on unnamed counsel in Realtime Data v. Morgan Stanley, et al. for their behavior at depositions. The two page order starts, “Stop the shenanigans at depositions. Period.” Judge Forrest goes on to ask to see the videotape, if available, of one particular deposition, and states that “[if] the conduct evidenced by the transcript is shown to be true–and it is as nasty as it appears–this Court will consider sanctions.” Full text of the order after the break.
Continue Reading “Stop the Shenanigans” Says Judge Forrest