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Cases of Interest: Discovery
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ALASKA: Gallant v. Gallant, 945 P.2d 795 (Alaska 1997).
The wife's actions during the parties' divorce case did not prevent the parties from litigating on an equal plane so as to require an award of attorney's fees to the husband.
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CALIFORNIA: Babcock v. Superior Court, ___ Cal. App. 4th ___, 35 Cal. Rptr. 2d 462 (1994).
The wife made a sufficient showing to overcome the privacy interests of the husband's cohabitant in her financial records; however, the trial court abused its discretion when it did not conduct an in camera review of the documents and issue a protective order.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: McDiarmid v. McDiarmid, 649 A.2d 810 (D.C. 1994).
The good will of a law practice acquired during a marriage is marital property, but good will could not be included in the value of the husband's law partnership interest because the governing partnership agreement would preclude him from realizing a share of the firm's good will if he terminated his employment or sold his partnership interest.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Bonneau, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 691 N.E.2d 123 (1998).
A state statute shielded the husband from being required in the parties' equitable distribution proceedings to produce records relating to his possible testing for or infection with HIV.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Meerdink, 530 N.W.2d 458 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995).
The wife was entitled to discover the husband's current net worth even though the parties had been separated for nine years and the husband had provided discovery seven years earlier.
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MICHIGAN: Draggoo v. Draggoo, ___ Mich. App. ___, 566 N.W.2d 642 (1997).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted a default judgment in the wife's favor as a sanction for the husband's refusal to comply with discovery orders, or when it denied the husband permission to participate in the adjudication of the property division.
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NEW YORK: Robustelli v. Robustelli, ___ A.D.2d ___, 691 N.Y.S.2d 159 (1999).
The husband's delay in responding to the wife's discovery demands and his failure to object to those demands supported an inference that his failure to comply with the court-ordered demands was willful, so as to preclude him from introducing evidence of his finances at trial.
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NEW YORK: MacKinnon v. MacKinnon, ___ A.D.2d ___, 665 N.Y.S.2d 123 (1997).
A five-year time limitation on the wife's demand for disclosure of the husband's financial holdings and financial transactions was not an abuse of discretion.
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NEW YORK: Byrne v. Byrne, ___ Misc. 2d ___, 650 N.Y.S.2d 499 (Sup. Ct. 1996).
Files on a notebook computer which the husband's employer permitted him to use at home were discoverable by the wife, subject to the attorney-client privilege.
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NEW YORK: Wurtzel v. Wurtzel, ___ A.D.2d ___, 642 N.Y.S.2d 967 (1996).
The husband was not entitled to broad disclosure from a company owned by the wife's father, where the wife was a mere employee of the company and did not own any interest in it, the husband had failed to first obtain discovery from the wife, and the husband had failed to establish the existence of special circumstances justifying disclosure from nonparty witnesses.
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NEW YORK: Burns v. Burns, 84 N.Y.2d 369, 618 N.Y.S.2d 761 (1994).
The wife's proof of the value of the husband's interest in his law firm partnership should not have been limited to the value of his capital account, and she should have been allowed discovery to evaluate the value of his interest.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Sharp v. Sharp, ___ N.C. App. ___, 449 S.E.2d 39 (1994).
The trial court did not err when it valued the husband's partnership interest in his law firm by adopting a valuation methodology that averaged the result of several different methodologies, where the wife had not presented evidence of an alternative methodology or valuation.
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OHIO: Getter v. Getter, 90 Ohio App. 3d 1, 627 N.E.2d 1043 (1993).
The decision to impose sanctions against husband for failing to produce business records was not an abuse of discretion, but sanctions were overbroad to the extent that they excluded evidence on issues unrelated to the amount of his income.
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WEST VIRGINIA: State ex rel. Erickson v. Hill, ___ W. Va., ___, 445 S.E.2d 503 (1994).
Order requiring wife to compile three separate lists of property with a value in excess of $50 that she currently owned, that she owned in 1984, and that she disposed of after 1982 was oppressive and burdensome on its face.
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