Citing new deposition testimony, actor Justin Theroux in a recent motion asked the New York Supreme Court to reconsider its December 2020 denial of Theroux’s motion to compel production of emails that his neighbor, Norman Resnicow, a law firm partner, sent to his personal lawyer about the parties’ quarrel (related to the New York City co-op where they both reside) using his law firm email account.
New York City apartment living can spawn interesting legal disputes when neighbors fail to resolve their grievances amicably and resort to the courts. Sometimes these disputes bring fanfare as well as opportunities to observe traditional rules of law in action. A recent decision in the ongoing dispute between actor Justin Theroux and his neighbors (Theroux v. Resnicow) is just that.
The global pandemic has brought about countless changes, including, for many households, increased reliance on online retail and delivery services, such as Amazon.
When consumers sign up for these services or place their orders, they are likely to see a notice regarding terms and conditions, which may include an arbitration agreement pursuant to which the consumer agrees to arbitrate disputes arising from the use of the service, rather than pursue their claims in court. Recent decisions underscore the importance of the terms of these agreements and the challenges consumers may face if they wish to avoid arbitration of disputes with service providers, especially when they continue to rely on those services.
On June 6, 2017, the First Department had an opportunity to apply—and reaffirm—last month’s decision in Peerenboom v. Marvel Entm’t, LLC, where the Court held that use of a company email system for personal purposes “does not, standing alone, constitute a waiver of attorney work product protections” even if the user lacked reasonable assurance of confidentiality necessary to bring the documents within the attorney-client or marital privileges. In Miller v. Zara USA, Inc., plaintiff, the former general counsel of Zara USA, Inc., sought a protective order precluding the company from accessing personal documents on a company-owned laptop, claiming the documents to be protected by the attorney-client and work-product privileges. The Supreme Court issued the protective order and Zara appealed.
Amended in December alongside many other rules in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 34(b)(2)(B) now requires that objections to document requests be stated with “specificity.” The early applications of the amended rule demonstrate that boilerplate objections will not stand, but courts have yet to answer more nuanced questions regarding the level of specificity the amended rule requires.
Amended Rule 34(b)(2)(B) reads in pertinent part: “For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state with specificity the grounds for objecting to the request, including the reasons.” (By contrast, the old rule required only that a party “state an objection to the request.”)