Discovery

O’Halloran v Metropolitan Transp. Auth., 2019 NY Slip Op 01318 [1st Dept. 2019]

The court providently exercised its discretion in granting in part plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery and ordering defendants to run searches of electronic mailboxes of defendants’ employees and to produce those documents responsive to plaintiffs’ requests (CPLR 3101[a]; 148 Magnolia, LLC v Merrimack Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 62 AD3d 486, 487 [1st Dept 2009]; see also Andon v 302-304 Mott St. Assoc., 94 NY2d 740, 745 [2000]; GoSMILE, Inc. v Levine, 112 AD3d 469 [1st Dept 2013]). The record demonstrates that plaintiff’s requests seek material and necessary information, and that her search terms, all of which were to be combined with her name or nickname or the name or nickname of a coworker she alleges was discriminated or retaliated against on similar grounds, would result in the disclosure of relevant evidence, and are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant information.

Plaintiff’s second Supplemental Request for Production of Documents, dated November 30, 2017, seeking all complaints, discrimination-related or not, involving defendant George Menduina’s conduct from 2010 to present, sought information material and necessary to this particular lawsuit because such information was relevant not only to whether Menduina, plaintiff’s supervisor, discriminated against plaintiff, but also to whether Menduina was more qualified than plaintiff to hold the very position that plaintiff alleges she was denied for discriminatory reasons.

Fowler v Buffa, 2019 NY Slip Op 01306 [1st Dept. 2019]

The trial court did not err in precluding a disability insurance form alleged to contain a statement against interest from defendant Anurag Shrivastava, M.D. The imposition of sanctions for discovery misfeasance is a matter better left to the sound discretion of the trial court (see Gomez v New York City Hous. Auth., 217 AD2d 110, 114 [1st Dept 1995]). CPLR 3101 provides that there shall be full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action, including a party’s own statements (see also Sands v News Am. Publ., 161 AD2d 30, 42 [1st Dept 1990]). Plaintiff’s disclosure of the document less than two days prior to trial was an unfair surprise for which no reasonable excuse was proffered (see Curbean v Kibel, 12 AD3d 206, 207 [1st Dept 2004]; Ward v Mehar, 264 AD2d 515, 516 [2d Dept 1999]).

Social Media

Vasquez-Santos v Mathew, 2019 NY Slip Op 00541 [1st Dept. 2019]

Private social media information can be discoverable to the extent it “contradicts or conflicts with [a] plaintiff’s alleged restrictions, disabilities, and losses, and other claims” (Patterson v Turner Const. Co., 88 AD3d 617, 618 [1st Dept 2011]). Here, plaintiff, who at one time was a semi-professional basketball player, claims that he has become disabled as the result of the automobile accident at issue, such that he can no longer play basketball. Although plaintiff testified that pictures depicting him playing basketball, which were posted on social media after the accident, were in games played before the accident, defendant is entitled to discovery to rebut such claims and defend against plaintiff’s claims of injury. That plaintiff did not take the pictures himself is of no import. He was “tagged,” thus allowing him access to them, and others were sent to his phone. Plaintiff’s response to prior court orders, which consisted of a HIPAA authorization refused by Facebook, some obviously immaterial postings, and a vague affidavit claiming to no longer have the photographs, did not comply with his discovery obligations. The access to plaintiff’s accounts and devices, however, is appropriately limited in time, i.e., only those items posted or sent after the accident, and in subject matter, i.e., those items discussing or showing defendant engaging in basketball or other similar physical activities (see Forman v Henkin, 30 NY3d 656, 665 [2018]; see also Abdur-Rahman v Pollari, 107 AD3d 452, 454 [1st Dept 2013]).

Discovery

Harris v Kay, 2019 NY Slip Op 00044 [1st Dept. 2019]

The court did not abuse its discretion in striking the complaint, given plaintiff’s repeated, willful and contumacious refusals to provide discovery and to comply with court’s orders over an approximately eight-year period (see McHugh v City of New York, 150 AD3d 561, 562 [1st Dept 2017]; Fish & Richardson, P.C. v Schindler, 75 AD3d 219, 221-222 [1st Dept 2010]; see generally Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner Smith, Inc. v Global Strat Inc., 22 NY3d 877, 880 [2013]). Even if plaintiff’s response to defendants’ first set of interrogatories could be considered “timely” pursuant to the court’s August 28, 2013 order, despite that the interrogatories were served more than six years prior, the response certainly does not “evince[] a good-faith effort to address the requests meaningfully” (Kihl v Pfeffer, 94 NY2d 118, 123 [1999]).

Brown v Montefiore Med. Ctr., 2019 NY Slip Op 00226 [1st Dept. 2019]

The court’s September 28, 2015 order was predicated on the motion and cross motion by the defendants, the underlying issues of which had already been fully resolved by the parties’ so-ordered stipulation, dated August 4, 2015, issued after a preliminary conference. At the time of the court’s September 28th conditional preclusion order, there was no motion pending, and no request for any relief from the defendants. Given the circumstances, the court should have granted plaintiff’s motion to vacate the judgment. However, this in no way condones plaintiff’s counsel’s clearly dilatory behavior, which, based on the pattern evinced by the record, was willful.

The bold is mine.

Hopkins v City of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 00388 [1st Dept. 2019]

The parties suspended scheduling of the deposition of the City’s witness on January 14, 2014 when plaintiff withdrew its request for an EBT while other discovery disputes were resolved. Thus, the court orders prior to January 14, 2014 do not support the imposition of sanctions. We agree with Supreme Court that the City’s noncompliance with subsequent disclosure orders did not give rise to an inference of willful and contumacious conduct. Given that there does not appear to be an actual prejudice to plaintiff, the court was within its discretion to provide defendant with one additional opportunity to submit to depositions before striking its answer (Figueroa v City of New York, 129 AD3d 596, 597 [1st Dept 2015]).

We further note that at the time this motion was pending, the City offered to produce the witness at issue.

Williams v Suttle, 2019 NY Slip Op 00163 [2d Dept. 2019]

The drastic remedy of dismissing a complaint for a plaintiff’s failure to comply with court-ordered discovery is warranted where a party’s conduct is shown to be willful and contumacious (see Harris v City of New York, 117 AD3d 790Almonte v Pichardo, 105 AD3d 687, 688; Arpino v F.J.F. & Sons Elec. Co., Inc., 102 AD3d 201, 210). The willful and contumacious character of a party’s conduct can be inferred from either (1) the repeated failure to respond to demands or comply with court-ordered discovery, without a reasonable excuse for these failures, or (2) the failure to comply with court-ordered discovery over an extended period of time (see Candela v Kantor, 154 AD3d 733, 734; Pesce v Fernandez, 144 AD3d 653, 654; Gutman v Cabrera, 121 AD3d 1042, 1043; Arpino v F.J.F. & Sons Elec. Co., Inc., 102 AD3d at 210).

Here, the willful and contumacious character of the plaintiffs’ actions can be inferred from their repeated failures to comply with the defendant’s notices to appear for depositions and the deadlines set forth in the compliance conference orders over an extended period of time (see Wolf v Flowers, 122 AD3d 728, 729; Matone v Sycamore Realty Corp., 87 AD3d 1113, 1114). Furthermore, the plaintiffs failed to provide an adequate explanation for their repeated failures to comply with court-ordered discovery. While the plaintiffs established that the medical condition of Lawrey, who is a resident of the State of Georgia, required her to avoid travel and that her deposition could be conducted via live video conferencing (see Duncan v 605 Third Ave., LLC, 49 AD3d 494, 496), they did not provide any explanation for their failure to produce Williams, a resident of Westchester County, for a deposition.

Contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, the defendant, who had first noticed depositions after serving her answer, had priority of depositions (see CPLR 3106[a]; Scalone v Phelps Mem. Hosp. Ctr., 184 AD2d 65, 76-77), and the filing of an amended complaint did not automatically stay discovery.

In any event, when the plaintiffs failed to appear for depositions within the time specified in the conditional order of dismissal, the conditional order became absolute (see Corex-SPA v Janel Group of N.Y., Inc., 156 AD3d at 602; Wei Hong Hu v Sadiqi, 83 AD3d 820, 821; Matter of Denton v City of Mount Vernon, 30 AD3d 600). To be relieved of the adverse impact of the conditional order directing dismissal of the complaint, the plaintiffs were required to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for their failure to appear for depositions and that their cause of action was potentially meritorious (see Gibbs v St. Barnabas Hosp., 16 NY3d 74, 80; Kirkland v Fayne, 78 AD3d 660, 661; Lerner v Ayervais, 16 AD3d 382Smith v Lefrak Org., 96 AD2d 859, affd 60 NY2d 828). The plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for their failure to appear for depositions on or before February 29, 2016.

Overbroad Discovery

Doe v Bronx Preparatory Charter Sch., 2018 NY Slip Op 02898 [1st Dept. 2018]

The court providently exercised its discretion in declining to impose sanctions on plaintiffs or to compel further disclosure of the infant plaintiff's social media and cell phone history, since defendant failed to submit papers necessary to determine whether plaintiffs had not complied with a prior discovery order (see Nyadzi v Ki Chul Lee, 129 AD3d 645 [1st Dept 2015]; Ventura v Ozone Park Holding Corp., 84 AD3d 516, 517—518 [1st Dept 2011]). Further, there was no showing that plaintiffs wilfully failed to comply with any discovery order, since they provided access to the infant plaintiff's social media accounts and cell phone records for a period of two months before the date on which she was allegedly attacked on defendant's premises to the present, which was a reasonable period of time. Defendant's demands for access to social media accounts for five years prior to the incident, and to cell phone records for two years prior to the incident, were overbroad and not reasonably tailored to obtain discovery relevant to the issues in the case (see Forman v Henkin, 30 NY3d 656, 665 [2018]).

discovery and a retaining lien

Andrade v Perez, 2018 NY Slip Op 02126 [1st Dept 2018]

The motion court should have granted plaintiffs' motion to vacate the sua sponte order directing them to produce disclosure to defendants, as defendants' answer had been stricken by prior order of the court. Accordingly, defendants were not entitled to any further discovery, including discovery in preparation for an inquest (see Servais v Silk Nail Corp., 96 AD3d 546, 547 [1st Dept 2012]).

To the extent the motion court ordered plaintiffs to provide disclosure already submitted to defendants' former counsel, a different result is not warranted. Assuming defendants are unable to access their case file due to a retaining lien, the court improperly facilitated a "work around" of such lien (see Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C. v Rabinowich, 77 AD3d 532 [1st Dept 2010]; Warsop v Novik, 50 AD3d 608 [1st Dept 2008]; see also Artim v Artim, 109 AD2d 811, 812 [2d Dept 1985]). If there is no retaining lien, defendants should seek an order to compel former counsel's production of the discovery.

Court is not a weedwhacker

Sears Roebuck & Co. v Vornado Realty Trust, 2018 NY Slip Op 01421 [1st Dept 2018]

Nothing in the record suggests that defendants acted willfully, contumaciously, or in bad faith, warranting the drastic remedy of striking the answer (see Henderson—Jones v City of New York, 87 AD3d 498, 504 [1st Dept 2011]). Indeed, defendants produced responsive documents to requests that were the subject of plaintiff's motion, as shown by their affirmation in support of the first cross motion, of which this Court takes judicial notice (see Yuppie Puppy Pet Prods., Inc. v Street Smart Realty, LLC, 77 AD3d 197, 202 [1st Dept 2010]). Plaintiff is not entitled to confidential information about the interrelationship and ownership of defendants. Moreover, defendants submitted responses to plaintiff's 86 interrogatories, and, as the majority of their responses to the interrogatories in dispute were proper, the court was not obligated to "prune" the interrogatories for plaintiff (see Lerner v 300 W. 17th St. Hous. Dev. Fund Corp., 232 AD2d 249, 250 [1st Dept 1996]).

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]).

3001: Declaratory Judgment

CPLR § 3001 Declaratory Judgment

found an older post on it 

Big Four LLC v Bond St. Lofts Condominium, 2012 NY Slip Op 02421 1st Dept., 2012)

In August 2010, plaintiff moved for an order, pursuant to CPLR 3126(3), striking defendant's pleading, or, alternatively, to compel production of requested information under CPLR 3124.
By notice of cross motion, defendant moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, and for summary judgment on its counterclaim for legal fees. The court granted defendant's cross motion for summary judgment, dismissing the declaratory judgment claim on the ground that "no justiciable controversy has been presented." It dismissed the breach of contract claim on the ground that plaintiff asked for an "advisory opinion" from the board, and the board provided such opinion. The court also initially granted summary judgment to defendant on its counterclaim for legal fees, but later denied it when plaintiff moved for reargument. This appeal followed.

Supreme Court's dismissal of the first cause of action on the ground that a declaratory judgment would be merely "advisory" was an improvident exercise of its discretion. "[W]hen a party contemplates taking certain action a genuine dispute may arise before any breach or violation has occurred" (New York Pub. Interest Research Group v Carey, 42 NY2d 527, 530 [1977]). Defense counsel's November 23, 2009 letter and defendant's subsequent expression of its intent, constituted "past conduct" creating a genuine dispute for which a declaration would have had an "immediate and practical effect of influencing [the parties'] conduct" (id. at 531; see M & A Oasis v MTM Assoc., 307 AD2d 872 [2003]).

We, however, affirm the dismissal of the complaint's first cause of action for a declaratory judgment as to whether plaintiff may lease to nonparty 7-Eleven, on the ground that plaintiff conceded below that 7-Eleven is no longer interested in such a lease. Accordingly, the dispute is moot, and there is no longer a "justiciable controversy" within the meaning of CPLR 3001 (see Matter of Ideal Mut. Ins. Co., 174 AD2d 420 [1991]). Furthermore, there is no basis to find that the exception for cases where the issue presented "is likely to recur, typically evades review, and raises a substantial and novel question" is applicable (Zuckerman v Goldstein, 78 AD3d 412 [2010]) lv denied 17 NY3d 779 [2011]).

Similarly, the second cause of action – asserting a bad faith breach of contract by defendant – was properly dismissed. The defendant condominium established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that the actions it took by objecting to the proposed intended use of the commercial space by 7-Eleven were "taken in good faith and in the exercise of honest judgment in the lawful and legitimate furtherance of corporate purposes" (Matter of Levandusky v One Fifth Ave. Apt. Corp., 75 NY2d 530, 537—538 [1990] [internal quotations omitted]). Aside from some conclusory, unsupported and self-serving conjecture, plaintiff has failed to raise any triable issues regarding defendant's alleged bad faith in objecting to 7-Eleven's use of the commercial space.

BLT Steak, LLC v 57th St. Dorchester, Inc.,2012 NY Slip Op 02159 (1st Dept., 2012)

Defendant's withdrawal of the notice to cure rendered moot that branch of plaintiff's motion for declaratory relief as to the validity of the notice to cure, as there was no longer any controversy with respect to the notice (see CPLR 3001). Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief was also rendered moot by the withdrawal of the notice, because there was no longer any threat that plaintiff's leasehold would be terminated as a result of its alleged breach of the lease (see Mannis v Jillandrea Realty Co., 94 AD2d 676, 677 [1983]).

Plaintiff is not entitled to summary judgment declaring that it did not breach the parties' lease; the conflicting expert affidavits have raised issues of fact with respect to the damage to the steel and slab underlying plaintiff's kitchen. Contrary to plaintiff's contention, defendant's withdrawal of the notice to cure does not constitute an "adjudication on the merits," as it is undisputed that defendant never filed an action based on the allegations in the notice in a court of any state or the United States (CPLR 3217[c]).

The court properly dismissed plaintiff's third cause of action, for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and/or breach of contract. The "American rule" precludes plaintiff from recovering its attorney's fees as damages in the event it prevails on its cause of action, and plaintiff has failed to show that any exception is applicable (see Gotham Partners, L.P. v High Riv. Ltd. Partnership, 76 AD3d 203, 204 [2010], lv denied 17 NY3d 713 [2011]). Moreover, plaintiff has failed to plead any damages other than attorney's fees (see Gordon v Dino De Laurentiis Corp., 141 AD2d 435, 436 [1988]).

Discovery

Moore v Federated Dept. Stores, Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 03112 (1st Dept., 2012)

Any right of direct appeal from the intermediate orders terminated with entry of the final judgment dismissing this wrongful termination action for failure to prosecute (see Matter of Aho, 39 NY2d 241, 248 [1976]). Plaintiff did not appeal from the final judgment, and there is no basis for deeming his appeals from the intermediate orders as having been taken from the subsequent judgment (cf. CPLR 5501[c]; 5520[c]).

Were we to consider plaintiff's arguments on appeal, we would nonetheless find them unavailing. The court properly denied plaintiff's motions to strike and compel, as there was no basis in the record to find defendants' conduct in the discovery process to be willful, contumacious, or in bad faith (see Ayala v Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center, 92 AD3d 542 [2012]). With respect to the court's imposition of sanctions upon plaintiff's counsel, counsel did not appeal from the order or the subsequent judgment awarding sanctions, and plaintiff was not aggrieved by the award and lacks standing to challenge it (see generally CPLR 5511[a]; Matter of Kyle v Lebovits, 58 AD3d 521 [2009], lv dismissed in part and denied in part 13 NY3d 765 [2009], cert denied __ US __ , 130 S Ct 1524 [2010]). Plaintiff was also not aggrieved by the grant of defendant Macy's motion to compel discovery, as plaintiff did not oppose the motion (see Darras v Romans, 85 AD3d 710, 711 [2011]). To the extent plaintiff challenges the denial [*2]of his motion for a stay of enforcement of the order entered July 16, 2010 pending his appeal from the order, his argument is moot (see Diane v Ricale Taxi, Inc., 26 AD3d 232, 232 [2006]).

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v Global Strat Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 02598 (1st Dept., 2012)

In granting the motion to dismiss as against Albert Nasser for lack of personal jurisdiction, Supreme Court stated that it was vacating the judgment as against him. However, the judgment in the record on appeal names Albert Nasser as a defendant from whom plaintiffs have recovery, and it is that judgment that we affirm. We find that plaintiffs made a prima facie showing that Albert is subject to jurisdiction in New York through evidence that in the first three months of 2008, he actively traded in the New York-based Merrill Lynch accounts of Inversiones, his personal holding company, and that he participated by telephone in a March 2008 meeting with Merrill Lynch in New York concerning the trading activities at issue in this case (see Kreutter v McFadden Oil Corp., 71 NY2d 460, 467 [1988]; compare OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co. v Newmont Min. Corp., 82 AD3d 554, 555 [2011] [no evidence that defendant exercised control over the corporation that purchased insurance policies issued by insurers with principal places of business in New York]).

The Nassers' repeated failure to comply with discovery deadlines or offer a reasonable excuse for their noncompliance with discovery requests, as well as their counsel's [*2]misrepresentations in open court as to the cause of one of their violations, give rise to an inference of willful and contumacious conduct warranting the entry of judgment against them (see Turk Eximbank-Export Credit Bank of Turkey v Bicakcioglu, 81 AD3d 494 [2011]). The Nassers were appropriately warned that judgment would be entered against them if their discovery responses were found by the Special Referee to be noncompliant with plaintiffs' requests (see id.; cf. Corner Realty 30/7 v Bernstein Mgt. Corp., 249 AD2d 191, 194 [1998]).

Zimbardi v City of New York, 2012 NY Slip Op 02574 (1st Dept., 2012)

Contrary to plaintiff's contention, the City produced documents relevant to its knowledge of the alleged dangerous condition and, in any event, it was plaintiff's burden to show that the City had prior written notice of the alleged defect, which she failed to do. Nor did she move for sanctions based on the City's alleged wilful failure to produce documents (see CPLR 3126).

Zinger v Service Ctr. of N.Y., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 02591 (1st Dept., 2012)

Plaintiff's requests for vehicular insurance policies and governmental filings were irrelevant to his alter-ego claim against the individually named defendant. However, the requests concerning the corporate defendant's bank accounts and credit cards seek documents and information of the type that would yield evidence of misuse of the corporate form (see e.g. Horizon Inc. v Wolkowicki, 55 AD3d 337 [2008]). Accordingly, we find that such records and information, to the extent limited to the period of plaintiff's employment plus one year, are "material and necessary" for the prosecution of the action (CPLR 3101[a]).

Carnegie Assoc. Ltd. v Miller, 2012 NY Slip Op 02422 (1st Dept., 2012) (note the dissent)

The motion court erred in striking the complaint and reply to defendants' counterclaims since neither CPLR § 3126 nor 22 NYCRR 202.26(e) authorizes this sanction under the circumstances. While CPLR § 3126 authorizes the striking of a party's pleadings, this extreme sanction is only authorized when a party "refuses to obey an order for disclosure or willfully refuses to disclose information which the court finds ought to have been disclosed" (CPLR § 3126) (emphasis added). Thus, by its express terms the sanction prescribed by CPLR § 3126 is warranted only upon a party's failure to comply with discovery requests or court orders mandating disclosure (Bako v V.T. Trucking Co., 143 AD2d 561, 561 [1988]; Henry Rosenfeld, Inc. v Bower & Gardner, 161 AD2d 374, 374-375 [1990] [dismissal of a party's pleading appropriate when a party "disobeys a court order and by his conduct frustrates the disclosure scheme provided by the CPLR"]; Bassett v Bando Sangsa Co., 103 AD2d 728, 728 [1984]). Here, where plaintiff had already been sanctioned for its failure to provide discovery and where defendants premised the instant motion to strike plaintiff's pleadings primarily on plaintiff's [*2]failure to proceed with court-ordered mediation, CPLR § 3126 simply does not apply.

Similarly, despite plaintiff's conceded failure to proceed with the court-ordered mediation, it was also error to strike its pleadings pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.26(e). While 22 NYCRR 202.26 authorizes the trial court to schedule pretrial conferences, a mediation, pursuant to Rule 3 of the Rules of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court (22 NYCRR 202.70[g]), is not a pretrial conference. More importantly, even if this rule did apply, the only sanction authorized by 22 NYCRR 202.26(e) for a party's failure to appear at a pretrial conference is "a default under CPLR § 3404," which initially only authorizes the striking of the case from the court's trial calendar. Accordingly, here, striking plaintiff's pleadings, which by operation of law resulted in dismissal of this action is not warranted pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.26(e).

While we agree with the dissent that plaintiff's conduct was egregious, we nevertheless find that the sanction imposed by the motion court, namely, dismissal of plaintiff's complaint and the striking of its reply to defendant's counterclaims was simply not permitted. We further note that, here, plaintiff was in fact penalized for its conduct inasmuch as the motion court granted defendants' motion for costs and fees incurred as a result of plaintiff's failure to proceed to mediation.

In support of its argument that the motion court's order was appropriate, the dissent partly relies on Rule 8(h) of the Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York County, Rules of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. However, the dissent alone raises this argument, one which has never been advanced by any of the parties, either on appeal or below. Therefore, we should not consider it (Misicki v Caradonna, 12 NY3d 511, 519 [2009] ["We are not in the business of blindsiding litigants, who expect us to decide their appeals on rationales advanced by the parties, not arguments their adversaries never made"]). Moreover, contrary to the dissent's remaining position, 22 NYCRR 202.70(g) Rule 12 does not avail plaintiff since like 22 NYCRR 202.26(e), the dismissal promulgated by Rule 12, which is made more clear by its reference to 22 NYCRR 202.27, is for the failure to appear at a conference and not for the failure to proceed to mediation.

Filatava v Rome Realty Group LLC, 2012 NY Slip Op 02261 (1st Dept., 2012)

Defendant appeals from the striking of its answer as a discovery sanction pursuant to CPLR 3126. It is undisputed that defendant violated three express orders to produce documents responsive to plaintiffs' requests. More egregiously, defendant knew it had no business records of the subject premises, as it failed to retain any records when it sold the premises two months after the instant complaint was filed. Yet, it concealed this information from the court and plaintiffs for some two years. As such, there was ample evidence to support the IAS court's [*2]finding that defendant had wilfully delayed and failed to fulfill its obligations in discovery (cf. Banner v New York City Hous. Auth., 73 AD3d 502, 503 [2010]).

Ellis v Park, 2012 NY Slip Op 01864 (1st Dept., 2012)

Dismissal of the complaint was an improvident exercise of discretion, since defendants failed to "show[] conclusively that [plaintiff's] failure to disclose was wilful, contumacious or in bad faith" (Christian v City of New York, 269 AD2d 135, 137 [2000]; see also Mateo v T & H Enters., 60 AD3d 411 [2009]). Contrary to the motion court's findings, the record does not support the view that plaintiff repeatedly refused to comply with orders regarding disclosure. The argument that plaintiff responded only to defendant Prudential's demand for a bill of particulars and not the demand of defendants Parks, is belied by plaintiff's responses to the demand.

Moreover, the November 16, 2009 preliminary conference order directed plaintiff to be deposed on January 6, 2010. However, during a subsequent telephone conference with the court, plaintiff and the Parks agreed to postpone the deposition to a mutually convenient date. Thus, the fact that plaintiff was not deposed by January 6, 2010 does not constitute disobedience of a court order. Plaintiff appeared and was deposed on two dates set by the court and although it is [*2]true that on the third day of her deposition she said she could not stay beyond 11:45 A.M., she provided a reasonable explanation for having to leave and her counsel was actually engaged later that day.

Rosario v Vasquez, 2012 NY Slip Op 01874 (1st Dept., 2012)

Contrary to the motion court's finding, depositions are not needed, since Guzman-Sosa had personal knowledge of the facts (see Avant, 74 AD3d at 534).

Accent Collections, Inc. v Cappelli Enters., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 03121 (2nd Dept., 2012)

" The Supreme Court has broad discretion in the supervision of discovery, and its determinations should not be disturbed on appeal unless improvidently made'" (Foster v Herbert Slepoy Corp., 74 AD3d 1139, 1140, quoting Casabona v Huntington Union Free School Dist., 29 AD3d 723, 723). Here, the Supreme Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in denying that branch of the plaintiff's motion which was to vacate the trial readiness order based upon its determination that, pursuant to a compliance conference order, the additional discovery sought by the plaintiff was waived (see Provident Life & Cas. Ins. Co. v Brittenham, 284 AD2d 518; cf. Summers v Kardex Sys., 210 AD2d 216; see generally Foster v Herbert Slepoy Corp., 74 AD3d at 1140; Casabona v Huntington Union Free School Dist., 29 AD3d at 723).

Crawford v Village of Millbrook, 2012 NY Slip Op 03128 (2nd Dept., 2012)

The Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion on the eve of trial to admit the testimony of a newly identified witness. The plaintiff failed to disclose this witness until six years after commencing the action, and failed to provide a reasonable explanation for his delay in disclosing the identity of the witness (see CPLR 3101; Spectrum Sys. Intl. Corp. v Chemical Bank, 78 NY2d 371, 376; Mayorga v Jocarl & Ron Co., 41 AD3d 132, 134; Ortega v New York City Tr. Auth., 262 AD2d 470).

Colandrea v Choku, 2012 NY Slip Op 03127 (2nd Dept., 2012)

In opposition, the defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff was at fault in the happening of the accident (see Vainer v DiSalvo, 79 AD3d at 1024; Yelder v Walters, 64 AD3d 762, 764). To the extent the defendants suggest the possibility that the accident might have been avoided, or that the plaintiff may have been speeding, such assertions, upon this record, are completely speculative and inadequate to withstand summary judgment (see Socci v Levy, 90 AD3d 1020; Loch v Garber, 69 AD3d at 816; Berner v Koegel, 31 AD3d 591, 592; Jacino v Sugerman, 10 AD3d 593, 595). Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability.

The Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion, however, in denying those branches of the defendants' timely motion which were to (a) vacate the note of issue and certificate of readiness for trial, (b) strike the matter from the trial calendar, and (c) direct the plaintiff to appear for a deposition and submit to an independent physical examination. "While discovery determinations rest within the sound discretion of the trial court, the Appellate Division is vested with a corresponding power to substitute its own discretion for that of the trial court, even in the absence of abuse" (Andon v 302-304 Mott St. Assoc., 94 NY2d 740, 745). Here, although the defendants may have waived their right to conduct a deposition and independent physical examination of the plaintiff by their failure to schedule and complete the deposition and examination by the dates set forth in a preliminary conference order, the circumstances of this case warranted relieving the defendants of the waiver, particularly since there was no prejudice to the plaintiff (see Barbosa v Capolarello, 52 AD3d 629, 629; High Point of Hartsdale I Condominium v AOI Constr., Inc., 31 AD3d 711; Venia v 18-05 215th St. Owners, 288 AD2d 463; Poltorak v Blyakham, 225 AD2d 600). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted those branches of the defendants' motion which were to (a) vacate the note of issue and certificate of readiness for trial, (b) strike the matter from the trial calendar, and (c) direct the plaintiff to appear for a deposition and submit to an independent physical examination.

33

Discovery

Denver Employees Retirement Plan v JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2012 NY Slip Op 00639 (1st Dept., 2012)

The motion court providently exercised its discretion by refusing to compel plaintiff to respond to an untimely document request for "All Documents Concerning investments by or for the benefit of [plaintiff], direct or indirect, in securities issued by Lehman" (see Kingsgate Assoc. v Advest, Inc., 208 AD2d 356, 357 [1994]). The circumstances presented herein do not warrant exercise of our own independent discretion to reverse this order.

Likewise, we find no reason to disturb the exercise of the court's "broad discretion" in denying defendant's deposition notice (see Brooklyn Union Gas Co. v American Home Assurance Co., 23 AD3d 190, 190 [2007]). This notice called for the production of "a person designated by [plaintiff] regarding any and all investments in securities issued or guaranteed by Lehman . . . that were purchased, held, and/or sold by or for the benefit of [plaintiff] from January 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008, excluding investments made through the JPMorgan Securities Lending Program," i.e., the program at issue in this litigation. Defendant essentially attempted to obtain the same material that the court previously found to be untimely and irrelevant. Plaintiff's litigation concerns investments with defendant in Lehman medium term notes (MTNs). Defendant seeks information about plaintiff's investments in other Lehman securities that plaintiff made at different times and that are unrelated to the MTNs. The court correctly determined that investment decisions concerning other, unrelated investments [*2]purchased for different accounts that have different investment goals, are not relevant to the account in question (cf. Matter of Clark, 257 NY 132, 135 [1931]).

VOOM HD Holdings LLC v EchoStar Satellite L.L.C., 2012 NY Slip Op 00658 (1st Dept., 2012)

This case requires us to determine the scope of a party's duties in the electronic discovery context, and the appropriate sanction for failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI). We hold that in deciding these questions, the motion court properly invoked the standard for preservation set forth in Zubulake v UBS Warburg LLC (220 FRD 212 [SD NY 2003]; Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v Banc of Am. Sec., LLC., 685 F Supp 2d 456, 473 [SD NY 2010]), which has been widely adopted by federal and state courts. In Zubulake, the federal district court stated, "Once a party reasonably anticipates litigation, it must suspend its routine document retention/destruction policy and put in place a litigation hold' to ensure the preservation of relevant documents" (Zubulake, 220 FRD at 218). The Zubulake standard is harmonious with New York precedent in the traditional discovery context, and provides li tigants with sufficient certainty as to the nature of their obligations in the electronic discovery context and when those obligations are triggered.

W & W Glass Sys., Inc. v Admiral Ins. Co., 2012 NY Slip Op 00307 (1st Dept., 2012)

Defendants' argument that further discovery is warranted and that the motion is therefore premature, is unavailing. Defendants participated in lengthy discovery in the underlying action. Admiral had all of the relevant policies of insurance and had ample opportunity to gather evidence.

No proof was offered demonstrating that wrap-up coverage may have been in effect, and Admiral's bare affirmation raising speculative defenses is insufficient to defeat a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment (see Gilbert Frank Corp. v Federal Ins. Co., 70 NY2d 966 [1988]). Defendants cannot avoid summary judgment based on speculation that further discovery may uncover something.