Rubis et al v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company
ORDER granting 43 Motion to Quash; granting 43 Motion for Conference; denying 43 Motion for Sanctions. Signed by Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons on 3/23/12. (Esposito, A.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
GEORGE RUBIS, ET AL
HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE
CIV. NO. 3:11CV796 (WWE)
RULING ON PLAINTIFFS’ EMERGENCY MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENAS
AND MOTION FOR SANCTIONS [DOC. #43]
Oral argument was held on March 21, 2012, on plaintiffs’
Emergency Motion to Quash and for Sanctions. [Doc. #43].
Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash [Doc. #43]
Plaintiffs move to quash three subpoenas served on
plaintiffs’ counsel, William Madsen and Kera Paoff, to appear and
testify at an evidentiary hearing on March 28, 2012, and the
records custodian for plaintiffs’ law firm, Madsen, Prestley &
Parenteau, to provide documents in connection with defendant’s
pending motion to disqualify counsel. [Doc. #24].
Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash [doc. #43] is GRANTED on the
current record. Since depositions of opposing counsel are
disfavored, see United States v. Yonkers Board of Ed., 946 F.2d
180, 185 (2d Cir. 1991), information regarding communications
with the defendant’s former employee, Gary Kemp should be sought
in the first instance from Mr. Kemp. See Tucker v. American
Intern. Group, Inc., No. 3:09CV1499 (CSH), 2012 WL 314866, *14
(D. Conn. Jan. 31, 2012) (applying the “flexible approach” taken
by the Second Circuit with respect to lawyer depositions “taking
into account all relevant facts and circumstances to determine
whether the proposed deposition would entail an inappropriate
burden or hardship.”) (quoting In Re Subpoena Issed to Dennis
Friedman, 350 F.3d 65, 76 (2d Cir. 2003). “Courts are
understandably ‘leery of turning trial counsel in the case before
them into subpoenaed witnesses, because too often it is an effort
to harass and intimidate and make trouble for a party by going
after the lawyer.” Tucker, 2012 WL 314866, *13.
Since there may
be less disruptive means of getting the information that
defendant seeks, defendant has made an insufficient showing that
it pursued alternate means to get this information without
infringing on the attorney client privilege and work product
protection afforded plaintiffs and their counsel.
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Sanctions [Doc. #43] is DENIED on
Oral argument, (and a hearing, if necessary),
Defendant’s Motion to Disqualify Counsel will be held on
Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 10:00AM.
This is not a recommended ruling.
This is a discovery
ruling and order which is reviewable pursuant to the "clearly
erroneous" statutory standard of review.
28 U.S.C. § 636
(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), 6(e) and 72(a); and Rule 2 of
the Local Rules for United States Magistrate Judges.
As such, it
is an order of the Court unless reversed or modified by the
district judge upon motion timely made.
SO ORDERED at Bridgeport this 23rd day of March 2012.
HOLLY B. FITZSIMMONS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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