CPLR § 3101 Scope of disclosure
Foster v Herbert Slepoy Corp., 2010 NY Slip Op 05509 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)
CPLR 3101(a) requires "full disclosure of all matter material and
necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action." "The phrase
material and necessary' should be interpreted liberally to require
disclosure, upon request, of any facts bearing on the controversy which
will assist preparation for trial by sharpening the issues and reducing
delay and prolixity. The test is one of usefulness and reason'" (Friel
v Papa, 56 AD3d 607, 608, quoting Allen v Crowell-Collier Publ.
Co., 21 NY2d 403, 406). A party, however, does not have the right to
"uncontrolled and unfettered disclosure" (Gilman & Ciocia, Inc. v
Walsh, 45 AD3d 531, 531; see Barouh Eaton Allen Corp. v
International Bus. Machs. Corp., 76 AD2d 873). " It is incumbent on
the party seeking disclosure to demonstrate that the method of discovery
sought will result in the disclosure of relevant evidence or is
reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on
the claims'" (Vyas v Campbell, 4 AD3d 417, 418, quoting Crazytown
Furniture v Brooklyn Union Gas Co., 150 AD2d 420, 421).
"The Supreme Court has broad discretion in the supervision of
discovery, and its determinations should not be disturbed on appeal
unless improvidently made" (Casabona v Huntington Union Free School
Dist., 29 AD3d 723, 723; see Andon v 302-304 Mott St. Assoc., 94
NY2d 740, 746; Milbrandt & Co., Inc. v Griffin, 19 AD3d 663;
Provident Life & Cas. Ins. Co. v Brittenham, 284 AD2d 518).
Here, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in
concluding, inter alia, that the additional discovery sought by the
appellants was neither material nor necessary to the prosecution or
defense of any claim (see CPLR 3101[a]; Casabona v Huntington
Union Free School Dist., 29 AD3d 723; Vyas v Campbell, 4 AD3d
417; Palermo Mason Constr. v Aark Holding Corp., 300 AD2d 460).
The bold is mine.
[updated 6/27/10: I added links to Vyas and Crazytown].