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Depositions granted – First department precedent eschewedDecember 28, 2015

Huntington Regional Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Cas. Co., 2015 NY Slip Op 51900(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2015)

“With respect to the branch of defendant’s motion seeking to compel a deposition of plaintiff, CPLR 3101 (a) provides for “full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action, regardless of the burden of proof.” Parties to an action are [*2]entitled to reasonable discovery “of any facts bearing on the controversy which will assist preparation for trial by sharpening the issues and reducing delay and prolixity” (Allen v Crowell-Collier Publ. Co., 21 NY2d 403, 406 [1968]). Here, the deposition of plaintiff was material and necessary to defendant’s defense of the action (see Farshad D. Hannanian, M.D., P.C. v Allstate Ins. Co., 48 Misc 3d 136[A], 2015 NY Slip Op 51133[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2015]; Great Health Care Chiropractic, P.C. v Interboro Ins. Co., 41 Misc 3d 130[A], 2013 NY Slip Op 51737[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2013]). We note that plaintiff’s contention that a deposition was unnecessary because plaintiff had served written responses to defendant’s discovery demands lacks merit (see New Era Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 134[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51396[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]; cf. Ralph Med. Diagnostics, PC v Mercury Cas. Co., 43 Misc 3d 65 [App Term, 1st Dept 2014]).”

Tsatskis v Interboro Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 NY Slip Op 51891(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2015)

“Contrary to the District Court’s determination, defendant’s service of a notice of deposition together with its other discovery demands did not render the notice “procedurally premature.” Defendant was not required to show, as a prerequisite to a deposition of plaintiff, that plaintiff’s discovery responses were inadequate (see New Era Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 134[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51396[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]). Indeed, “defendant is entitled to conduct such [deposition] notwithstanding the fact that it had also served plaintiff with other discovery demands” (New Era Acupuncture, P.C., 24 Misc 3d 134[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51396[U], *3; see CPLR 3102; First Aid Occupational Therapy, PLLC v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 21 Misc 3d 128[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51963[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th [*2]Jud Dists 2008]; Great Wall Acupuncture, P.C. v General Assur. Co., 21 Misc 3d 45, 47 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]; see also Woods v Alexander, 267 AD2d 1060, 1061 [1999]; Iseman v Delmar Med.-Dental Bldg., 113 AD2d 276 [1985]; JMJ Contract Mgt. v Ingersoll-Rand Co., 100 AD2d 291 [1984]). ” The CPLR does not set forth any order of priority as to the use of the various disclosure devices. A party is generally free to choose both the discovery devices it wishes to use and the order in which to use them’ ” (New Era Acupuncture, P.C., 24 Misc 3d 134[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51396[U], *3, quoting Edwards-Pitt v Doe, 294 AD2d 395, 396 [2002]; see Nimkoff v Central Park Plaza Assoc., LLC, 123 AD3d 679 [2014]; Samide v Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, 16 AD3d 482 [2005]). Here, plaintiff failed to establish that defendant’s notice of deposition and other discovery demands constituted an “unreasonable annoyance,” would cause unnecessary expense or would otherwise prejudice plaintiff (see CPLR 3103). Consequently, the District Court erred in striking defendant’s notice of deposition and denying the branch of defendant’s motion seeking to compel plaintiff to appear for a deposition.”

As to depositions: (1) You can request them with an SJ motion; (2) You do not have to show written discovery is deficient; (3) You do not have to show an articulable need to conduct a deposition.

One Response

  1. Rookie says:

    Very clever lawyering here