United States District Court, S.D. New York
February 25, 2004.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Plaintff, -against- BEACON HILL ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC, et al., Defendants; ALTERAM S.A., et al., Plaintffs, -against- BEACON HILL ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC, et al., Defendants; BANG ONE OPPORTUNITY, Plaintiff, -against- BANC ONE CAPITAL, et al., Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge Page 2
The United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey has moved
to continue a stay of certain discovery, which expired on January 31,
2004, through May 31, 2004. Although filed only in 02 Civ. 8855 (LAK),
the proposed stay would affect all of the captioned cases. The Court
initially entered a temporary stay to permit briefing of the motion. The
matter now is ripe for decision.
Beacon Hill Asset Management ("BHAM") opposes the application, arguing
principally that the stay, if extended, would endure too long and that
the government is not entitled to rely upon an ex parte submission it has
made to the Court in support of its application.
BHAM's complaint about delay rings hollow. It seems entirely likely
that dissolution of the stay would result in BHAM's principals using
civil discovery to their advantage in the criminal investigation while
taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying in these civil cases. In
any case, they have made no serious showing of prejudice. While the
Court itself is concerned about the possibility of undue delay by the
government, it notes that the government has represented that, "absent
criminal charges or some extraordinary new development, the government
will not seek any further stays of discovery in the matters before this
Court." Reply Mem. 5.
The government's ex pane submission was appropriate where, as
here, it was necessary in order to protect grand jury secrecy. See In
re Doe, 711 F.2d 1187, 1194 (2d Cir. 1983); SEC v. Downe,
1993 WL 22126, at *11 n.7 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 25, 1993).
Accordingly, the motion of the United States Attorney for the District
of New Jersey is granted. The stay of certain discovery previously
entered is continued to and including May 31, 2004.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.