Tax Returns. Deposition of non-party attorney.

Weingarten v Braun, 2018 NY Slip Op 01130 [1st Dept 2018]

While New York has a broad policy of discovery, favoring disclosure, disclosure of tax returns is disfavored because of their confidential and private nature, requiring the party seeking to compel production to make "a strong showing of necessity and demonstrate that the information contained in the returns is unavailable from other sources" (Williams v New York City Hous. Auth., 22 AD3d 315, 316 [1st Dept 2005] [internal quotation marks omitted]). Here, plaintiff failed to identify the particular information the tax returns of Braun will contain and its relevance to the claims made here. How Braun put the allegedly improperly obtained property to use, e.g., by allegedly claiming a loss on his personal taxes, is extraneous to whether the property was, in fact, improperly obtained. Similarly, plaintiff has failed to detail what information the nonparty attorney could offer in the proposed deposition that would be relevant to this claim (see Ortiz v Rivera, 193 AD2d 440 [1st Dept 1993]).

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