In a case that had been filed and then stayed in a New York federal district court in connection with an ongoing arbitration involving alleged violations of federal securities laws, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce two subpoenas issued by the arbitrators. The arbitral subpoenas were issued to two non-party witnesses who were refusing to appear to testify at the arbitration hearings. The defendants and the non-parties did not challenge the subpoenas as being invalid, improperly issued by the arbitrators, or improperly served. Instead, they argued that the court should apply its discretion and determine that the requested testimony would be improper rebuttal, duplicative, and overly burdensome. The court rejected defendants’ and the non-parties’ arguments and found that if the arbitration panel, which had sat through more than thirty days of hearings over two years, believed that the non-parties’ testimony was appropriate, the court could find no basis to quash either subpoena. Notwithstanding that the court had the authority to assess the value of the requested testimony, it was not obligated to make that assessment and was not sufficiently informed to do that here. The court found that the arbitrators were best-suited to do so, and ordered compliance with the subpoenas. , Case No. 1:14-cv-09989 (USDC S.D.N.Y. July 5, 2018).
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