That didn’t take long. A panel of the Appellate Division, First Department in People of the State of New York v. Harris, Index No. 080152/2011 has denied Twitter’s motion for a stay of enforcement of the Trial Court’s order requiring the production of Mr. Harris’s tweets. On Tuesday September 11, the Trial Court warned Twitter during a hearing on the District Attorney’s motion to hold Twitter in contempt that Twitter must produce the information in question by Friday September 14 or face a finding of contempt. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Sciarrino further warned that he would review Twitter’s most recent quarterly financial statements in determining the appropriate financial penalty if Twitter does not obey the order. Denial of the stay and the Trial Court’s expected insistence on compliance puts Twitter in a difficult position as production of the tweets will effectively moot their appeal of Judge Sciarrino’s order. Twitter’s next move should be interesting. We will continue to keep you apprised.
Paul A. Saso is Director in the Gibbons Business & Litigation Department and a member of the Gibbons E-Discovery Task Force.