Anthony v. Bitler, No. 95 C 3820.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
Writing for the CourtNORGLE
Citation911 F. Supp. 341
Decision Date22 January 1996
Docket NumberNo. 95 C 3820.
PartiesMark ANTHONY, Plaintiff, v. Carl BITLER, et al., Defendants.

911 F. Supp. 341

Mark ANTHONY, Plaintiff,
v.
Carl BITLER, et al., Defendants.

No. 95 C 3820.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.

January 22, 1996.


911 F. Supp. 342

Peter J. Segal, Segal & Segal, Chicago, IL, for plaintiff.

OPINION AND ORDER

NORGLE, District Judge:

Before the court is the Motion to Enforce Subpoena Duces Tecum of Plaintiff Mark Anthony. Anthony is attempting to subpoena documents from a law firm and use the documents in his civil case in the Southern District of New York, Anthony v. Bitler, No. 93 6917. The law firm, McBride, Baker & Coles ("MBC"), contends that it need not honor the subpoena because it has an attorney retention lien over the documents. For the reasons that follow, the motion is denied.

As a preliminary matter, although not disputed, the court marks that it has jurisdiction to decide the matter. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(a)(2) provides that "a subpoena for production or inspection shall issue from the court for the district in which the production or inspection is to be made." And, in order to quash or modify the subpoena, a party must seek relief from the issuing court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A); see Federal Subpoena Practice, 139 F.R.D. 197, 205 (discussing subpoenas generally). The subpoena in question issued from the Northern District of Illinois. The court notes that, in some circuits, it is an abuse of discretion to force production of documents under a retaining lien. See Pomerantz v. Schandler, 704 F.2d 681, 683 (2nd Cir.1983); Lucky-Goldstar v. Int'l Mfg. Sales Co., 636 F.Supp. 1059, 1061-62 (N.D.Ill.1986). The parties request that the court resolve whether the subpoena requires disclosure of protected matter in violation of Rule 45(c)(3)(A)(iii).

The court takes the following from MBC's Response. Both Anthony and Bitler were directors and shareholders of First American Holding Corporation ("Holding"), a Delaware corporation, and allegedly shareholders of First American Capital Resources ("Capital"), an Illinois corporation. The New York litigation upon which underlies this subpoena, relates to Anthony's claim that Bitler ousted Anthony as a director of Capital without authority. MBC has served as counsel to both Anthony and Bitler personally, and to both Capital and Holding as corporations. All clients owe MBC for past legal services, which aggregate approximately $300,000. MBC has secured an attorney retention lien over the files and corporate records in its possession which relate to the representation. Anthony does not dispute the validity of the lien, but argues that it should not be enforced.

Attorney liens come in two flavors: retaining liens, and charging (or special) liens. See Lucky, 636 F.Supp. at 1061 n. 4. This motion involves the former. A retaining lien...

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3 practice notes
  • TWIN SEWER & WATER v. Midwest Bank & Trust, No. 1-98-2407
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • October 29, 1999
    ...agrees to pay outstanding attorney fees in exchange for files "out of embarrassment or inconvenience"); see also Anthony v. Bitler, 911 F.Supp. 341, 342 (N.D.Ill.1996), quoting Annotation, Attorney's Retaining Lien as Affected by Action 720 N.E.2d 643 to Collect Legal Fees, 45 A.L.R.4th 198......
  • Johnson v. Cherry, No. 04-3562.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 6, 2005
    ...in law firm's possession in order to facilitate complete discovery and equitable administration of justice); but see Anthony v. Bitler, 911 F.Supp. 341, 343 (N.D.Ill.1996) (denying former client's motion to compel production of documents in attorney's possession that client alleged were nec......
  • Alessi Family Ltd. P'ship v. Centurion Dev., LLC (In re Alessi Family Ltd. P'ship), CASE NO. 17–61379–CIV–COOKE/GOODMAN
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • July 19, 2017
    ...issue a protective order under Rule 26, to protect a valid retaining lien. Persuasive case law shows otherwise. See Anthony v. Bitler , 911 F.Supp. 341, 343 (N.D. Ill. 1996) (denying motion to enforce subpoena of documents under retaining lien without security); Lucky–Goldstar Intern. (Am.)......
3 cases
  • TWIN SEWER & WATER v. Midwest Bank & Trust, No. 1-98-2407
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • October 29, 1999
    ...agrees to pay outstanding attorney fees in exchange for files "out of embarrassment or inconvenience"); see also Anthony v. Bitler, 911 F.Supp. 341, 342 (N.D.Ill.1996), quoting Annotation, Attorney's Retaining Lien as Affected by Action 720 N.E.2d 643 to Collect Legal Fees, 45 A.L.R.4th 198......
  • Johnson v. Cherry, No. 04-3562.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 6, 2005
    ...in law firm's possession in order to facilitate complete discovery and equitable administration of justice); but see Anthony v. Bitler, 911 F.Supp. 341, 343 (N.D.Ill.1996) (denying former client's motion to compel production of documents in attorney's possession that client alleged were nec......
  • Alessi Family Ltd. P'ship v. Centurion Dev., LLC (In re Alessi Family Ltd. P'ship), CASE NO. 17–61379–CIV–COOKE/GOODMAN
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • July 19, 2017
    ...issue a protective order under Rule 26, to protect a valid retaining lien. Persuasive case law shows otherwise. See Anthony v. Bitler , 911 F.Supp. 341, 343 (N.D. Ill. 1996) (denying motion to enforce subpoena of documents under retaining lien without security); Lucky–Goldstar Intern. (Am.)......

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