A New York State Court allowed the issuance of judicial subpoenas to non-parties at the request of Petitioner corporations in a pre-arbitration discovery action. The Petitioners and Respondents had agreed to arbitrate under FINRA rules, but the arbitration had not yet commenced, as Petitioners sought discovery to determine if other parties should be joined in the arbitration.
The Court noted that FINRA provides a comprehensive discovery scheme, and allows for the issuance of arbitral subpoenas, but is ambiguous as to pre-arbitral discovery. The Court also noted a general judicial reluctance to order discovery where the parties have agreed to arbitrate, but ruled that it was nonetheless appropriate for the limited purpose of determining whether any other parties exist that should be brought into the arbitration. VP Trader Pro, LLC v. Joseph Azevedo Pires, No 102334-09 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. April 21, 2009).