User's Guide To Recent Revisions In The Commercial Division Rules

Author:Ms Michelle Cohen, Adeel A. Mangi, Saul B. Shapiro and Stephen P. Younger
Profession:Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
 
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[A complete list of the Rules of the Commercial Division can be found here]

  1. INTRODUCTION

    In 1995, the Commercial Division was formed in New York. Since its formation, the Commercial Division has seen an increase in the number and complexity of cases being filed. In response to this change, New York's Chief Judge created a Task Force on Commercial Litigation. In 2012, the Task Force issued a series of reform proposals aimed at better managing judicial resources, encouraging the use of non-judicial personnel and alternative dispute resolution, and increasing engagement with the corporate and academic communities and the Bar. Thereafter, the Chief Judge formed a Commercial Division Advisory Council which recommended various rules changes to implement the Task Force's report. From these recommendations, the following new rules and amendments have been enacted in 2014 or will be enacted in 2015.

    This guide contains a summary of some important new rules and amendments to existing rules that have been enacted recently. For a complete list of the rules of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, please follow the link found here.

  2. CASE INITIATION

    Section 202.70 of the Commercial Division Rules

    (a) Monetary thresholds. (AMENDED)

    Goal: To raise monetary thresholds in order to ease heavy dockets.

    The new monetary thresholds for the Commercial Division, exclusive of punitive damages, interests, costs, disbursements and counsel fees claimed, are as follows:

    Albany County $50,000

    Eighth Judicial District $100,000

    Kings County $150,000

    Nassau County $200,000

    New York County $500,000

    Onondaga County $50,000

    Queens County $100,000

    Seventh Judicial District $50,000

    Suffolk County $100,000

    Westchester County $100,000

    (d) Assignment to the Commercial Division. (AMENDED)

    Goal: To (1) reduce the delay and (2) involve a judicial officer early on in the case.

    Within 90 days after service of a complaint, any party may seek assignment of a case to the Commercial Division by filing a Request for Judicial Intervention ("RJI") that attaches a completed Commercial Division RJI Addendum certifying that the case meets the jurisdictional requirements for Commercial Division assignment. Failure to file an RJI pursuant to this time deadline precludes a party from seeking assignment of the case to the Commercial Division absent good cause for the delay pursuant to subdivision (e) below.

    (e) Transfer into the Commercial Division. (AMENDED)

    If an RJI is filed within the specified 90-day period and the case is assigned to a noncommercial part because the filing party did not designate the case as "commercial" on the RJI, any other party may apply to the Administrative Judge, within ten days after receipt of the RJI, to transfer the case into the Commercial Division. Notwithstanding these time deadlines, any party may apply to the Administrative Judge to transfer a case to the Commercial Division by showing good cause for the delay. In addition, a non-Commercial Division justice to whom a case is assigned may sua sponte request that the Administrative Judge transfer a case meeting the jurisdictional requirements into the Commercial Division.

  3. SANCTIONS

    (g) Rules of practice for the Commercial Division. (AMENDED, effective April 1, 2015)

    Goal: To discourage dilatory conduct. Preamble. The judges in the Commercial Division will impose appropriate sanctions and other remedies and orders as is warranted by the circumstances. This includes sanctions for lawyers who engage in dilatory tactics, fail to appear for hearings or depositions, unduly delay in producing relevant documents, or otherwise cause the other parties in a case to incur unnecessary costs.

  4. COURT APPEARANCES

    Rule 8...

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