Courtesy of the New York Law Journal comes news of discovery delays resulting in attorney fee sanctions in two Commercial Division cases: 135 East 57th Street LLC v. 57th Street Day Spa and Vladeck, Waldman Elias & Engelhard v. Paramount Leasehold.
In 135 East 57th Street, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos found that, for nearly a year, the defendant had delayed the production of emails between defendants. A unanimous appellate panel agreed that while the plaintiff was entitled to attorneys’ fees in the thousands, the judicial hearing officer had relied on the improper evidence of a spreadsheet. The unsigned ruling stated:
“The document was prepared by plaintiff’s counsel for use at the hearing, and was not supported by a proper business record foundation.”
In Vladeck, Waldman Elias & Engelhard, Justice Eileen Bransten issued sanctions against Rosenberg & Estis for a delay in discovery. In addition to delaying document production for two years, the justice found other causes for sanctions. Per her ruling:
“Defendant’s counsel failed to direct its clients to implement a litigation hold, failed to produce relevant documents until depositions were underway, and improperly included relevant non-privileged emails on its privilege log.”
Also per the New York Law Journal’s coverage of these two cases, to help streamline the resolution of discovery disputes, the Commercial Division has amended its rules twice in the last six months.