MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SUR MOTION OF DEFENDANT CHARLES J. HODGE FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER
JOSEPH S. LORD, III, Chief Judge.
Defendant Charles J. Hodge has moved pursuant to F.R. Civ. P. 26(c) for a protective order staying and continuing the taking of his deposition until the termination of the criminal case now pending against him in the Municipal Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County (Commonwealth v. Hodge, M.C. 72-01-383). Hodge claims that the taking of his deposition at this time would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Hodge was a financial advisor to Penn Central and a director and advisor to certain of the Penn Central subsidiaries. The civil complaint against Hodge for breaches of fiduciary duties, mismanagement and fraud and the charges in the criminal action of conspiracy to cheat and defraud and fraudulent conversion of Penn Central funds are based on Hodge's activities in and relationship with the Penn Central complex.
A court in its discretion may issue orders for the protection of parties in the taking of depositions. Several courts, when faced with a request similar to the one before us, have chosen to stay discovery of defendants pending the disposition of the criminal cases against them in order to protect defendants' right against self-incrimination. Dienstag v. Bronsen, 49 F.R.D. 327 (S.D.N.Y. 1970); Perry v. McGuire, 36 F.R.D. 272 (S.D.N.Y. 1964); Paul Harrigan & Sons v. Enterprise Animal Oil Co., Inc., 14 F.R.D. 333 (E.D. Pa. 1953); National Discount Corp. v. Holzbaugh, 13 F.R.D. 236 (E.D. Mich. 1952).
It is well settled that the privilege against self-incrimination applies in civil cases and pretrial proceedings. McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34, 40, 45 S. Ct. 16, 69 L. Ed. 158 (1924). It is also well settled that "[the] privilege against self-incrimination may not be asserted in advance of questions actually propounded." United States v. Harmon, 339 F.2d 354, 359 (C.A. 6, 1964).
"The privilege * * * is merely an option of refusal, not a prohibition of inquiry." 8 Wigmore, Evidence § 2268 at 402 (McNaughton rev. 1961).