The First Department determined a privilege under Wisconsin Law protected certain emails and documents generated in a Wisconsin action by the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance concerning the payment of insurance claims stemming from the issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities, The decision doesn’t explain the underlying facts:
The Commissioner appointed a Special Deputy Commissioner (SDC) to oversee all activities … from Ambac’s [plaintiffs’] New York offices, and, at the SDC’s direction, plaintiffs commenced this action in New York, asserting claims of fraudulent inducement and breach of contract in connection with the policies Ambac issued on the securitizations sponsored by defendant. When defendant demanded the production of certain emails and other documents maintained by the SDC, plaintiffs responded by claiming the statutory privilege held by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) under Wisconsin law (see Wis Stat § 601.465). Defendant argued that New York law should be applied because, in adjudicating privilege issues, New York courts must apply the law of the place where the evidence will be introduced at trial or where the discovery proceeding is located. Supreme Court, after engaging in an interest-balancing analysis, determined that the Wisconsin statutory privilege was applicable, and denied defendant’s motion to compel. We affirm.
New York courts “routinely apply the law of the place where the evidence in question will be introduced at trial or the location of the discovery proceeding when deciding privilege issues” … . However, there are circumstances in which an interest-balancing analysis is properly undertaken to decide whether another state’s law should govern the evidentiary privilege … . This is a case that presents such circumstances … . Ambac Assur. Corp. v Nomura Credit & Capital, Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 06574, First Dept 9-17-19