New Falls Corporation v. Soni Holdings, LLC et. al.
ORDER: The Court herein supplements its 11/10/2022 Orders in 16-CV-6805 (DE 197 ) and 19-CV-449 (DE 184 ) and ORDERS as follows: (See Order for details and instructions). SO Ordered by Magistrate Judge Lee G. Dunst on 11/17/2022. (CT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NEW FALLS CORPORATION,
16-CV-06805 (HG) (LGD)
OM P. SONI,
NEW FALLS CORPORATION,
19-CV-00449 (HG) (LGD)
SONI HOLDINGS, LLC; KUNAL SONI;
ANJALI SONI; 632 MLK BLVD JR, LLC; OM
P. SONI; SONI CAPITAL RESOURCES, LLC;
WEANONA HUGIE; and RICHARD SPEARS,
LEE G. DUNST, Magistrate Judge:
The Court herein supplements its November 10, 2022 Orders in 16-CV-6805 (DE 197) and 19CV-449 (DE 184) and ORDERS as follows:
The Parties shall address the following in their November 30, 2022 submissions in 16-CV-6805:
1. Each party shall set forth their respective rationale for why the Court should not sua sponte
reject said party’s proposed non-party subpoenas for failing to comply with both Fed. R. Civ.
P. 26(b)(1) and 45. See, e.g., Sheindlin v. Brady, No. 21-CV-1124, 2021 WL 2075483 at *3
n.3 (S.D.N.Y. May 24, 2021) (discussing the court’s authority to “issue a protective order on
its own initiative to limit discovery if it is outside scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1)”), aff'd sub
nom. Scheindlin v. Brady, No. 21-CV-1124, 2021 WL 2689592 at *(S.D.N.Y. June 30, 2021);
Bhatt v. Lalit Patel Physician P.C., No. 18-CV-2063, 2020 WL 13048694 at *1-2 (E.D.N.Y.
Oct. 19, 2020) (discussing legal standard for quashing Rule 45 subpoenas).
2. The parties shall discuss only their own proposed subpoenas and shall not make any arguments
regarding the subpoenas sought by other side.
3. In DE 192, Plaintiff sought permission from the Court to “request that non-party Alan
Grossman, CPA, produce Defendant [Om P. Soni]’s State and Federal Tax Returns, including
all schedules, K-1’s, financial statements, information provided by the Defendant, worksheets,
notes and/or correspondence related thereto during the period 2006 to the date of production.”
On November 10, 2022, the Court (a) denied this request without prejudice because this
proposed subpoena seeking Defendant’s tax records for a 16-year time period was overbroad
on its face and (b) permitted Plaintiff to propose a new subpoena in compliance with Rule 45.
In the event Plaintiff continues to seek Defendant’s tax records, Plaintiff shall address the
ample case law rejecting similar requests for tax records in other cases. See, e.g., Bhatt, 2020
WL 13048694 at *3 (rejecting subpoena for tax records and noting that “[C]ourts have been
reluctant to require disclosure of tax returns because of both the private nature of the sensitive
information contained therein and the public interest in encouraging the filing by taxpayers of
complete and accurate returns”). Further, Plaintiff shall address the prior decision by
Magistrate Judge Kathleen A. Tomlinson in this case rejecting Plaintiff’s prior effort to obtain
tax records from other non-parties in this case. See New Falls Corp. v. Soni, No. 16-CV-6805,
2020 WL 2836787 at *6-9 (E.D.N.Y. May 29, 2020) (rejecting Plaintiff’s subpoenas seeking
(1) tax records for “all trusts within which Om P. Soni and/or Anjali Soni have or had any
interest in,” and (2) “Consent Agreements for Plaintiff to obtain [Defendant Soni and nonparty Anjali Soni’s] Individual Tax Returns ... directly from any tax preparer”). Judge
Tomlinson recognized that “[t]he Court has already permitted Plaintiff to obtain the requested
tax documents directly from Defendant Soni and non-party Anjali Soni as well as the IRS.
Plaintiff has not made an adequate showing that some fraud or other impropriety exists with
respect to the produced tax documents to warrant yet another mechanism for the receipt of the
same documents.” Id. at * 9.
4. Judge Tomlinson’s May 29, 2020 order that “[g]oing forward, the parties are precluded
from filing any further motions in this case without the advance permission of this
Court” remains in effect. New Falls Corp., 2020 WL 2836787 at *15.
The Parties shall address the following in their November 30, 2022 submissions in 19-CV-449:
5. Each party shall set forth their respective rationale for why said party’s own proposed
subpoenas comply with both Rules 26(b)(1) and 45. See, e.g., Bhatt, 2020 WL 13048694 at
*1-2 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2020) (discussion of legal standard for quashing Rule 45 subpoenas);
New Falls Corp., 2020 WL 2836787 at *7 (in rejecting subpoenas in the related case, Judge
Tomlinson noted that “[C]ourts should not grant discovery requests based on pure speculation
that amount to nothing more than a fishing expedition”).
6. The parties shall discuss only their own proposed subpoenas and shall not make any arguments
regarding the subpoenas being sought by other side.
7. Plaintiff shall file a letter of no more than two pages setting forth its position about whether the
undersigned must grant Defendants’ request for a hearing under Local Civil Rule 83.6(b)
concerning the amount of attorneys’ fees Plaintiff claims in DE 127 (submitted to the Court
pursuant to Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein’s order at DE 120).
8. Other than what is explicitly referenced in DE 184, “[g]oing forward, the parties are
precluded from filing any further motions in this case without the advance permission of
The Parties shall address the following in their November 30, 2022 submissions in both 16-CV6805 and 19-CV-449:
9. Counsel for Plaintiff and counsel for Soni Defendants shall submit affidavits advising whether
any federal or state judges in their many other cases involving these parties (including, but not
limited to, 16-CV-6805 and 19-CV-449) previously addressed (orally or in writing) any of the
discovery-related issues now presented to the Court. The affidavits must confirm the absence
of any such prior oral or written ruling (unless the affidavits direct the Court to such a prior
ruling). Failure to submit this mandatory affidavit will result in denial of the requested
discovery relief with prejudice.
10. Counsel for Plaintiff and counsel for Soni Defendants shall submit affidavits confirming that
all of their respective discovery requests, responses, or objections throughout the duration of
both cases comply with the mandatory signature and certification requirement set forth in Fed.
R. Civ. P. 26(g)(1). See, e.g., DR Distributors, LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc., 513 F. Supp.
3d 839, 952-54 (N.D. Ill. 2021) (imposition of sanctions on attorneys for violations under Rule
26(g)). Failure to submit this mandatory affidavit will result in denial of requested discovery
relief with prejudice.
11. “As officers of the court, all attorneys conducting discovery owe the court a heightened duty
of candor.” Travel Sentry, Inc. v. Tropp, 669 F. Supp. 2d 279, 286-87 (E.D.N.Y. 2009);
accord Jianjun Chen v. 2425 Broadway Chao Rest., LLC, 331 F.R.D. 568, 571 (S.D.N.Y.
2019); Kosher Sports, Inc. v. Queens Ballpark Co., LLC, No. 10-CV-2618 JBW, 2011 WL
3471508 at *7 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 5, 2011). In recent weeks, there has been a pattern of
obfuscation by Plaintiff’s counsel in responding to direct and specific inquiries from the Court.
First, in DE 190, Plaintiff’s counsel represented to the Court that “Mr. Mead discussed his
additional demands during the status conference on August 10, 2020 before Judge Feuerstein,
but the Court did not grant his requests,” while Defendant’s counsel argued that “[c]ontrary to
Plaintiff’s position, the District Judge did not address and rule in any manner on defendant’s
remaining discovery and Mr. Giordano presents no proof of the same (i.e., order, transcript,
etc.).” As a result of this dispute, the Court ordered both counsel to submit sworn affidavits
supporting their respective claims about what transpired at the August 10, 2020 conference
with Judge Feuerstein. See DE 191. While Defendant’s counsel provided the Court with such
an affidavit, Plaintiff’s counsel failed to provide any affidavit to support his prior
representations about the 2020 conference with Judge Feuerstein. Compare DE 192 with DE
Second, the Court ordered the parties to advise the Court “how much time remains within the
seven hour limit for the depositions of Peter Barta . . .and Kanwal Kapur (excluding any
formal on-the-record breaks and/or any calls to the Court during those depositions).”
November 7, 2022 Order. In DE 196, Plaintiff’s counsel answered this question about the
Kapur deposition, but represented to the Court that it was “impossible to determine the length
of the [Barta] deposition.” By contrast, Defendant’s counsel and Barta’s attorney each advised
the Court that the Barta deposition lasted approximately 45 minutes. DE 195. At the
November 10, 2022 conference, Plaintiff’s counsel again claimed that he did not know how
long the Barta deposition lasted before he ultimately conceded, only after direct questioning by
the Court, that he would estimate that the Barta deposition lasted approximately 45 minutes.
See FTR Log # 1:14-2:41. Failure to make fulsome representations to the Court is
unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Counsel are on notice that any continued obfuscation
and lack of candor may result in imposition of sanctions by the Court.
12. Other than indicated above, there are no changes to previous limitations on length of
submissions or restrictions on exhibits as previously ordered by the Court on November 10,
s/ Lee G. Dunst
Dated: Central Islip, New York
November 17, 2022
LEE G. DUNST
United States Magistrate Judge
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