United States District Court, S.D. New York
July 12, 2005.
TVT RECORDS and TVT MUSIC, INC., Plaintiffs,
THE ISLAND DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP and LYOR COHEN, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR MARRERO, District Judge
DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs TVT Records and TVT Music, Inc. ("TVT") appeal an
order dated June 15, 2005 (the "June 15 Order") by Magistrate
Judge Debra Freeman denying a request for additional discovery
and an evidentiary hearing in connection with TVT's contemplated
motion for sanctions against defendant Lyor Cohen ("Cohen"), an
executive of defendant The Island Def Jam Music Group ("Def Jam")
at the time the events in the underlying action occurred.
Magistrate Judge Freeman entered a subsequent Order on June 22,
2005 (the "June 22 Order") after the parties failed to agree upon
a briefing schedule with respect to the motion. The June 22 Order
imposed a deadline of July 20, 2005 for TVT to file its sanctions
motion. TVT asks for additional time to submit the motion. As
grounds for its request TVT asserts that its counsel recently
changed firms and is simultaneously preparing a petition for
rehearing by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of that court's ruling reversing the judgment entered on the jury
verdict in favor of TVT in the underlying action. The Court has
reviewed the parties' correspondence opposing and supporting
Magistrate Judge Freeman's Orders.
The Court finds no basis to overturn the June 15 Order closing
discovery and denying an evidentiary hearing. Nothing in the
record suggests that the ruling was clearly erroneous or contrary
to law, or that the substantial deference due to the resolution
of discovery disputes by a Magistrate Judge should not be
accorded in the instant matter. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a);
Tylena M. v. Heartshare Children's Servs., 220 F.R.D. 38, 39
(S.D.N.Y. 2004) (citing Thomas Hoar, Inc. v. Sara Lee Corp.,
900 F.2d 522, 525 (2d Cir. 1990)). The Court finds that
Magistrate Judge Freeman has been exceptionally patient and
generous with time deadlines in her consideration of this matter.
She has allowed the parties more than ample opportunities to
develop a sufficient record to permit a fair assessment of the
merits of the proposed sanctions motion. Whether, upon review of
the final motion papers, additional evidentiary proceedings and
submissions may be necessary is a matter for Magistrate Judge
Freeman to determine in the first instance.
With regard to TVT's request for an extension to file the
sanctions motion, the Court finds the time demands on TVT's counsel sufficiently compelling under the circumstances to
warrant a reasonable enlargement of the deadline for filing the
motion. Accordingly, the Court grants an extension of TVT's time
to file to August 12, 2005. Any response shall be due by
September 12, 2005 and any reply by September 22, 2005. No
further extensions of this schedule will be considered.
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