This column addresses recent noteworthy decisions of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. This installment discusses a recent decision by Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart granting a defendant’s motion to quash a deposition subpoena issued to the company’s former in-house counsel as well as a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe denying a motion to dismiss a preliminary injunction he previously entered enjoining certain aspects of New York state’s retail cannabis licensing program.
Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart Grants Defendant’s Motion to Quash Subpoena Issued to Former In-House Counsel. The first decision addressed in this installment explores the circumstances under which a defendant’s former in-house counsel can be deposed in an ongoing litigation. In In re Hoosick Falls PFOA Cases, No. 1:19-MC-00118 (LEK/DJS), 2013 WL 1858081 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 9, 2023), plaintiffs sought to depose the former in-house counsel, Lauren Alterman, of defendant Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. (Saint-Gobain) in ongoing litigation concerning Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York. Alterman served as in-house counsel to Saint-Gobain until 2008, when she accepted a new role as vice president of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) at the company. The PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls was discovered in 2014.