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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMM. v. BEACON HILL ASSET MGMT.

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

ORDER

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.

  SO ORDERED.

20040225

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