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Stinson v. City of New York

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 24, 2014

SHARIF STINSON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Defendants.

COHEN & FITCH LLP Joshua P. Fitch, Esq., Gerald M. Cohen, Esq. New York, NY.

THE LAW OFFICES OF JON L. NORINSBERG Jon L. Norinsberg, Esq., New York, NY.

Stephen R. Neuwirth, Esq., Steig D. Olson, Esq., Elinor C. Sutton, Esq., QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP, New York, NY, Attorney for the Plaintiff.

MICHAEL A. CARDOZO, CORPORATION COUNSEL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, New York, NY, Qiana C. Smith-Williams, Esq., Zachary W. Carter, Esq., Steven M. Silverberg, Esq., Of Counsel, Attorney for the Defendants.

OPINION

ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.

Defendants have moved, pursuant to Local Civil Rule 6.3, for reconsideration of the Court's Order of February 11, 2014 ("Feb. 11 Hearing"), directing the City of New York (the "City") to provide a limited set of CompStat meeting videos to be designated by Plaintiffs. ( See Transcript of Proceedings, dated Feb. 11, 2014 ("Feb. 11 Trans.").)

Because the Defendants have failed to identify any controlling law or facts that the Court overlooked, the motion is denied. However, Plaintiff's alternative proposal, which was not previously raised, to redact privileged portions of the videos, is granted in order to appropriately balance the competing concerns involved.

Plaintiff have also moved to disqualify Corporation Counsel from representing non-party officers, or in the alternative requiring the City to provide a written statement to all non-party officers of potential conflict involved the City's representation, and the ability of the officers to seek independent counsel. Plaintiffs' request for the requirement of a written statement is granted.

Prior Proceedings and Facts

A detailed recitation of the prior proceedings and facts of this case is provided in the April 23, 2012 Opinion granting Plaintiffs' motion for ass Certification. See Stinson v. City of N.Y., No. 10 Civ. 4228 (RWS), 2012 WL 1450553, at *25 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 23, 2012) ("April 23 Opinion").

Familiarity with these prior proceedings and facts is assumed. Facts re to the instant motions are set forth below.

A. Proceedings Surrounding the Feb. 11 Hearing Relating to the CompStat Video Production

In 2010, the City produced minutes of the CompStat meetings, which had en redacted based on relevance, the deliberate process privilege, individual privacy concerns, and the law enforcement privilege. ( See City's Letter, dated Feb. 7, 2014 ("City Feb 7, 2014 Ltr.").) At this time, the City object to Plaintiffs' demand for the videotaped CompStat meetings based on privilege concerns, and because the confidential agreements in this case allegedly offered insufficient production. ( See id. )

On January 31, 2013, Plaintiffs again moved to compel disclosure of all videos of CompStat meet pertaining to six precincts for the period of May 2007 through December 2010, given the inadequacy and illegibility of the accompanying meeting notes. ( See Silverberg Decl. at ΒΆ 3; Plaintiffs' Letter, dated Jan. 31, 2014, ("Pl. Jan 31, 2013 Ltr.").) On February 11, 2014, this motion was heard and marked fully submitted. To address the competing relevancy and privilege concerns, Plaintiffs were ordered to designate a limited subset of the, which based on the notes were especial relevant to the litigation and which the City could still object to on privilege grounds, to be viewed attorneys' eyes only:

Okay. Well this is what I think we'll do. The plaintiffs will designate which videos they want. The videos will be produced attorneys' eyes only. The plaintiffs will indicate any ions of videos that they believe have an evidentiary value, and the defendants will then have an opportunity to assert ...

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