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The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section was established in 1988, and Robert L. Haig served as the first chair. The Section’s Bylaws state:
The purpose of this section is to improve the quality of representation of clients, provide a forum for the improvement of law and procedure and enhance the administration of justice in the areas of commercial and federal litigation. These purposes are met by:
a) Developing relationships and sharing practice experiences with fellow commercial and federal litigators, state and federal judges, and regulatory and administrative bodies;
b) Establishing committees for the purpose of promoting research, analysis, and discussion on relevant current issues affecting commercial and federal litigation;
c) Influencing and proposing legislation affecting commercial and federal litigation;
d) Developing continuing legal education programs on topics relevant to commercial and federal litigation; and
e) Providing networking opportunities for its members.
Membership in the Section and participation in our events affords litigators a unique opportunity to interact with the judiciary and to keep abreast of developments in our courts. Judges regularly address our monthly Executive Committee Meetings, and many judges attend our Annual Meeting in January and our destination Spring Meeting in May. At our Annual Meeting, we confer the Fuld Award on a member of the legal profession who has significantly contributed to the practice of commercial law and litigation in New York. At our Spring Meeting we confer the Haig Award, named in honor of our first Section Chair, given to a long-standing member of the legal profession who has rendered distinguished public service. The Section holds Bench and Bar meetings throughout the State to bring our members together with the Judges of the Commercial Divisions and federal District Courts. Members of the Section typically can meet all of their CLE requirements by attending Section events.
While the Section and its Committees comment on many different issues facing the courts in which we practice, one of our most timely and noted contributions has been the Section’s Social Media Ethics Guidelines. The Section’s Guidelines have been quoted in opinions by ethical bodies throughout the nation and have been widely followed by other bar associations.
The Section has been integrally involved with the establishment of the Commercial Division in New York Supreme Courts around the state, and with the development of rules of practice in the Commercial Divisions. Justices assigned to Commercial parts regularly participate in our meetings and events.
The Section is committed to diversity and inclusion. The Section’s Women’s Initiative Task Force has authored two ground-breaking reports about women attorneys in New York State courtrooms. In 2017, the Task Force published “If Not Now, When? Achieving Equity in the Courtroom and in ADR,” and in 2020 published “The Time is Now: Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR.” The leadership of the Section has publicly committed to supporting the recommendations of the Task Force in law firms, in-house legal departments, the judiciary and the public sector.
The Section honors its commitment to diversity and inclusion through awards and scholarships. Each year, the Section awards the Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom to a female litigator who has distinguished herself in the courtroom in the Federal or State courts. The Award is named for our former Section Chair, the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (Ret.). The Section also awards the George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award to recognize legal excellence, community commitment and mentoring. The Section awards the Judith S. Kaye Commercial and Federal Litigation Scholarship to female attorneys who have practiced commercial litigation for between two and ten years and a Diversity Fellowship to a diverse first year law student to work in a litigation position in the public sector.
The Section is particularly interested in involving more young attorneys. Membership in the Section provides younger attorneys with the opportunity to network with more senior litigators and to meet members of the judiciary in informal settings. Membership on Section Committees offers younger attorneys the opportunity to work with some of the most noted attorneys in our profession on issues facing litigators in the Commercial and Federal courts of New York.
Commercial Division Introduction Video
The Commercial Division Advisory Council has produced a new version of its short film about the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. The film features eleven General Counsel of major corporations speaking about the Commercial Division.
The film portrays some of the recent improvements to the Commercial Division’s rules, procedures, and operations which have been designed to be responsive to the needs and concerns of the business community. The ultimate goal of these changes is to make the business litigation process in New York more cost‑effective, predictable, and expeditious, and to thereby provide a more hospitable and attractive environment for business litigation in New York State.
Contact the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Liaison
To learn more about this Section, please contact Catherine Carl
Jonathan B. Fellows
Jonathan Fellows graduated from Hamilton College, cum laude, in 1980. Following graduation, he worked two years for the United States Department of Energy, Office of Hearings and Appeals, where he was an economic analyst on cases involving petroleum pricing. He then entered the Cornell Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1985. At Cornell, he was elected Editor-In-Chief of the Cornell Law Review and to the Order of the Coif.
After graduating from Cornell, Jonathan served as Law Clerk for the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
In 1986 Jonathan joined Bond, Schoeneck & King in Syracuse, New York, and was named a partner of the Firm in 1994. He previously served as General Counsel of the Firm, as a member of the Firm’s Management Committee and Chair of the Firm’s Associate Committee. He currently serves on the Firm’s Compensation Committee.
Jonathan has handled a wide array of cases as a litigator. He has tried both civil and criminal cases to verdict in both federal and state court. His clients include colleges and universities, major corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, religious institutions, municipalities and school districts. He has represented clients under investigation by numerous different agencies. He has argued appeals in the New York Court of Appeals, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Sixth and Eighth Circuits, and dozens of appeals in the Appellate Divisions.
In 2009, Jonathan represented the claimant in a case against Merrill Lynch which resulted in a $40 million dollar award, one of the largest FINRA arbitration awards in history. He has handled numerous high profile cases, including several landmark cases in the New York Court of Appeals. He has handled many free speech cases, including several reported cases in the United States Courts of Appeal. He represented the Episcopal Church in several cases against parishes that attempted to leave the denomination in protest of the consecration of an openly gay Bishop. He currently serves as General Counsel (Chancellor) of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. He also serves as General Counsel of Hamilton College. Jonathan is active in the New York State Bar Association and the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the NYSBA.
In 1982, Jonathan married Dr. Maureen O’Neill Fellows, who has been employed at SUNY-ESF since 1986. Jonathan and Maureen have lived in Cazenovia since 1992, and have three children, Sarah, Samuel and William. Jonathan is active in the Cazenovia community, where he has served as Vestry member and Warden of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, taught Church School for 20 years, and coached Cazenovia Youth Baseball for many years. Jonathan enjoys outdoor activities and has completed over thirty marathons, including 15 Boston Marathons. In 2006, he completed the Lake Placid Ironman. He enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks, and is on his way to completing the 46 High Peaks.
Ignatius A. Grande
Ignatius Grande, Vice-Chair of the Section, is a consultant with Berkeley Research Group LLC. Ignatius graduated from Yale University, with distinction in Political Science in 1996, and he received his J.D. from Georgetown Law Center in 1999. Ignatius started his career as a law clerk for the Honorable James M. Munley of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and then worked as a litigation attorney for Clifford Chance US LLP. More recently Ignatius served as Senior Discovery Attorney for Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.
Ignatius is a founding co-chair of the Section’s Social Media Committee and serves on the Section’s eDiscovery Committee. He also serves on the NYSBA Committee on Communications and Publications and the NYSBA Strategic Communications Committee. In his role as co-chair of the Section’s Social Media Committee, Ignatius oversaw the publication of the Section’s Social Media Ethics Guidelines, which have been quoted and referenced by ethical bodies and bar associations throughout the nation.
Ignatius has been advising clients on issues relating to electronic discovery, information management, and data privacy for more than 15 years. He works with both law firms and companies to guide them through eDiscovery and forensic investigation processes. Ignatius has served as formal eDiscovery liaison for clients and has represented parties in eDiscovery disputes before a variety of regulators. He also works with companies on their data privacy practices and advises companies on how they can comply with data privacy laws in the U.S. and abroad. Ignatius has performed compliance risk assessments that addressed cybersecurity readiness, records retention and data remediation compliance issues.
Ignatius is a frequent writer and speaker on topics relating to eDiscovery, information governance and data privacy. He also serves as president of the New York Metro Association of eDiscovery Specialists (“ACEDS”) chapter and he has taught at St. John’s University School of Law.
The NYLitigator features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of commercial and federal litigation on various topics, including discovery; mediation; settlements; corporate liability; and due process. Section Reports, written by various Commercial and Federal Litigation Committees, are often featured in each issue. Edited by Orna Artal, Esq. of Ramos & Artal LLC, the NYLitigator is published by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.
The NYLitigator is published as a benefit for members of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association. The copying, reselling, duplication, transferring, reproducing, reusing, retaining or reprinting of this publication is strictly prohibited without permission.
© New York State Bar Association. All rights reserved. ISSN 1085-4193 (print) ISSN 1933-8589 (online)
The NYLitigator encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise in such areas as ADR; settlements; depositions; discovery; and corporate liability.
MCLE credit may also be earned for legal-based writing directed to an attorney audience upon application to the CLE Board. NYSBA Guidelines for Obtaining MCLE Credit for Writing as well as a Publication Credit Application are available.
If you have written an article and would like to have it considered for publication in the NYLitigator, please send it in electronic document format (pdfs are NOT acceptable), along with biographical information to its Editor:
Orna Artal, Esq.
Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter
The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter features updates on Section activities, programs and events; recent legislation; and information about current issues. Edited by Prof. Mark L. Davies, the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter is published three times per year by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.
The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter is published as a benefit for members of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association. The copying, reselling, duplication, transferring, reproducing, reusing, retaining or reprinting of this publication is strictly prohibited without permission.
© New York State Bar Association. All rights reserved. ISSN 1530-4043 (print) ISSN 1933-8570 (online)
If you have material to submit for publication in the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter, please send it in electronic document format (pdfs are NOT acceptable), to its Editor:
Prof. Mark L. Davies
Please view the current newsletter here:
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
- March 30, 2020
- March 3, 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- 2019 Minutes (Comprehensive)
- 2018 Minutes (Comprehensive)
- 2017 Minutes (Comprehensive)
- THE TIME IS NOW: Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR
- Proposal to Revise Commercial Division Rule 31
- Proposed Amendment to Commercial Division Rule 17, Relating to Word Limits in Papers Filed With the Court
- Proposed Amendment to Commercial Division Rule 11-e, to Address Technology Assisted Review in Discovery
- Proposed Amendment to Rule 3 regarding Selection of Mediators
- Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section In Support of Repeal of Judiciary Law Section 470
- If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality For Women Attorneys In The Court Room and In ADR (Adobe PDF File)
- Proposed Amendment of Commercial Division Practice Rules 10 and 11 to Address Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Proposed Revised Model Compliance Conference Stipulation and Order Form for Use in the Commercial Division
- Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section in Support of the ABA Resolution Concerning 28 USC§ 1332
- Proposed Amendment to Rule 26 of the Rules of the Commercial Division Addressing the Limitation of Total Hours of Trial
- Proposed Diversity and Inclusion and Elimination of Bias CLE Requirement for New York State Attorneys (Committee on Continuing Legal Education)
- Proposed Amendment to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Commercial Division Regarding Applications for Temporary Restraining Orders
- Proposed Amendment to Rule 6 of the Commercial Division to Permit the Court to Require Hyperlinking in Electronically-Filed Documents
- Pilot ADR Project (Civil Practice Law & Rules Committee)
- Proposed Commercial Division Rule Permitting the Court to Require Certain Direct Testimony to be Submitted in Affidavit Form (Commercial Division Committee)
- Revised Agency Jury Instructions(Pattern Jury Instruction Committee)
- Use of Expert Affidavits in Summary Judgment Motions (Committee on Civil Practice Laws and Rules)
- Proposed Revised Model Preliminary Conference Form for Use in the Commercial Division (Commercial Division Committee)
- Proposed Amendment of Commercial Division Rules (22 NYCRR 202.70(g)) Regarding Memorialization of Rulings in Disclosure Conference (Commercial Division Committee)
- Proposes Amendment to Commercial Division Rules (22 NYCRR 202.70(g)) Regarding Settlement Conferences Before a Justice Other Than the Justice Assigned to Hear the Case (Commercial Division Committee)
- Rule 19 Report (Federal Procedure Committee Report)
- Social Media Jury Instructions Report (Adobe PDF File)
- Threatening Disciplinary Action Against Attorneys in New York (Adobe PDF File)
- Rule 68 Report and Rule 68 Addendum (Adobe PDF File)
- 2015 Social Media Ethics Guidelines (Adobe PDF File)
- Individual Practices of the Justices of The New York State Commercial Division (Adobe PDF File)
- Report on the Proposed Amendment to Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 Regulating Lawyer’s Supervision of Undercover Investigations (Adobe PDF File)
- Commercial Division Relating to Three Aspects of the Eligibility Criteria (Adobe PDF File)
- Proposed Commercial Division Rule Change Concerning Sanctions
- Comments on CPLR 3122-a
- The Advisory Council’s Proposal Concerning Categorical Privilege Logs (Adobe PDF)
- 2014 Social Media Ethics Guidelines (Adobe PDF File)
- “Special Masters” Pilot Program (Adobe PDF File)
- Comments on Four Proposals from the Commercial Division Advisory Council (Adobe PDF File)
- “Special Masters” pilot program (Adobe PDF File)
- “Report on the Discrepancies between Federal and New York State Waiver of Attorney- Client Privilege Rules” (Committee on Civil Practice Laws and Rules)
- Report on the Ethical Implications of Third-Party Litigation Funding (Adobe PDF File)
- Report on District Court Review of Magistrate Judge’s Reports and Recommendations: Should Arguments Not Previously Made to the Magistrate Judge Be Considered (Adobe PDF File)
- Report on Proposed Amendments To Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 84 (Adobe PDF File)
- Report Regarding Proposal to Amend CPLR § 4547 (Adobe PDF File)
- Best Practices in E-Discovery in New York State and Federal Courts Version 2.0(Adobe PDF File
- Guide to United States District and Magistrate Judges in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York(Adobe PDF File)
- Proposed Jury Instructions(Adobe PDF File)
- New York WARN: A Flawed Statute That Can and Should Be Fixed(Adobe PDF File)
- Stern v. Marshall Report (Adobe PDF File
- Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Should Be Revised To Allow For Electronic Service of Papers Without Prior Consent(Adobe PDF File
- Whether The Heightened Pleading Requirements of Twombly and Iqbal Apply to Pleading Affirmative Defenses(Adobe PDF File)
- Report on the American Bar Association’s Proposal for Comment on Choice of Law – Alternative Law Practice Structures: December 2, 2011(Adobe PDF File)
- Faster – Smarter – Cheaper(Adobe PDF File)
- Best Practices in E-Discover – Sept. 2011(Adobe PDF File)
- En Banc Review for Intermediate Appellate Courts in New York State(Adobe PDF File)
- Experiments in the Lab: Donnelly Act Diversions From Federal Antitrust Law(Adobe PDF File)
- Criminal Prosecutorial Discretion In The Insider Trading Cases: Let’s Look at the Numbers(Adobe PDF File)
- Court-Appointed Receivers in Judicial Dissolutions of Limited-Liability Companies and Partnerships(Adobe PDF File)
- Immigration Appeals in the 2d Circuit(Adobe PDF File)
- Individual Practices of Judges and Magistrate Judges in the Southern District of New York (Adobe PDF File)
- Report Recommending Certain Amendments Concerning Electronic Discovery (Committee on Civil Practice Laws and Rules)
- Report Approving Proposal to Amend CPLR 1008 (Ccmmitte on Civil Practice Laws and Rules)
- Trinko and Beyond – 2007(Adobe PDF File)
- Report to Amend CPLR 2106 re Unsworn Affirmation – April 2007(Adobe PDF File)
- EDNY Local Bankruptcy Rules – February 14, 2007(Adobe PDF File)
- Rulings in Klein v. Roberts American Gourmet Food, Inc. – November 14, 2006(Adobe PDF File)
- Bank Escrow Deposition Agreement Report – October 12, 2006(Adobe PDF File)
- Review of HF Management Services v. Pistone – October 2006(Adobe PDF File)
- Protecting Employees’ Constitutional Rights in Governmental Investigations – September 2006(Adobe PDF File
- Report Opposing ABA Recommendation re Draft Expert Reports… – 2006(Adobe PDF File
- Report in Support of Proposed Revisions to the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct on Lawyer Advertising – July 25, 2006(Adobe PDF File
- Opposing the Recommendation of the ABA re Communications Between Experts and Attorneys not be Discoverable – July 19, 2006(Adobe PDF File)
Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Committee
- Academy And Special Events Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Alt Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Antitrust Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Appellate Practice Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- CLE Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Civil Practice Law And Rules Committee
- Civil Prosecution Committee
- Commercial Division Committee
- Corporate Litigation Counsel Committee
- Creditors’ Rights & Banking Litigation Committee
- Diversity Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Electronic Discovery Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Employment And Labor Relations Committee
- Ethics And Professionalism Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Executive Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Federal Judiciary Committee
- Federal Procedures Committee
- Hedge Fund And Capital Markets Litigation Committee
- International Litigation Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Internet And Cybersecurity Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Legislative & Judicial Initiatives Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Mentoring Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Nomination Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Publications Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
- Securities Litigation And Arbitration Committee
- Social Media & New Communication Technologies (Commercial & Federal Litigation)
- State Court Counsel Committee
- White Collar Criminal Litigation Committee
- Young Lawyers Committee (Commercial And Federal Litigation)
STANLEY H. FULD
The Stanley H. Fuld Award was created by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section in honor of the late Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. The Section presents the award annually at its Annual Meeting luncheon in January to recognize outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York State.
Award Criteria: Member of the legal profession who has significantly contributed to the practice of commercial law and litigation in New York.
Nomination Deadline: September 1st
Date Presented: The award is presented at the Section’s Annual Meeting Program in January
Full Details and List of Previous Award Recipients
ROBERT L. HAIG
Award Criteria: Long-Standing member of the legal profession who has rendered distinguished public service.
Nomination Deadline: February 1
Date Presented: The award is presented at the Section’s Spring Meeting
Full Details and List of Previous Award Recipients
SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE COURTROOM
The Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom was created by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section in honor of the Section’s former Chair, who served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York from September 1994 through April 2016. Prior to serving as a United States District Judge, Judge Scheindlin served as a Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the general counsel for the New York City Department of Investigation and a commercial litigator in private practice.
The Section will present the Award annually in November, on or around the date when women received the right to vote in New York State in 1917. The Award will be given to a female litigator who has distinguished herself in the courtroom in either the Federal or State Courts in New York and who has shown a commitment to mentoring young attorneys in the legal community.
Date Presented: November 2019
Full Details and List of Previous Award Recipients
GEORGE BUNDY SMITH PIONEER
Award Criteria: The award is given for legal excellence, community commitment and mentoring
Date Presented: The award is presented at the Section’s Smooth Move Program
Full Details and List of Previous Award Recipients
THE HONORABLE JUDITH S. KAYE COMMERCIAL AND FEDERAL LITIGATION SCHOLARSHIP
Female attorneys who have practiced commercial litigation between two and ten years since their admission to the New York State bar, and who remain in good standing.
COMMERCIAL AND FEDERAL LITIGATION SECTION DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP
The New York Bar Foundation is pleased to offer the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Diversity Fellowship each spring which has been established by The Foundation through a gift from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association. The Fellowship will be awarded to a current first year (1L) diversity law student who is enrolled in a law school in the State of New York to work in a litigation position in the public sector in the State of New York during the summer.
COVID-19 INFORMATION PAGE
Our Section has worked on building a Commercial & Federal Litigation Section COVID-19 Information Page to provide a place to easily access the information which is of interest to our members, including the latest information on accessing the courts and litigating during these challenging times. While we recognize that NYSBA has its own page, and we can redirect our members to that content where applicable, we developed our own outline of contents and are seeking support form section members to build the best resource possible.
COMMERCIAL DIVISION JUDGES CONTACT INFORMATION
2016 AMENDMENTS TO THE UNIFORM RULES FOR SUPREME AND COUNTY COURTS, RULES GOVERNING APPEALS, AND CERTAIN OTHER RULES OF INTEREST TO CIVIL LITIGATORS
202.5(e)(1)(v): Adds certain documents, testimony, and evidence in matrimonial actions to categories of confidential personal information – Effective Date: 3/1/2016 (Court – Sup)
202.16(m): Adds a provision on omission or redaction of confidential personal information from matrimonial decisions – Effective Date: 3/1/2016 (Court – Sup)
202.70(g), Rule 3: Adds a provision on settlement conferences before a justice other than a justice assigned to the case – Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court – Sup)
202.70(g), Rule 11-g: Adds a proposed form of confidentiality order – Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court – Sup)
202.70(g), Rule 14-a: Adds a new rule on procedures at disclosure conferences conducted by non-judicial personnel – Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court – Sup)
500.1(j), (l): Changes “computer-generated” papers to “papers prepared by a word-processing system” and changes “Times Roman” to “Times New Roman” – Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court – Ct. App.)
500.11(m): Adds word and page limits for submissions in alternative procedure for selected appeals – Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court – Ct. App.)
500.13(c): Adds word and page limits for briefs in normal course appeals – Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court – Ct. App.)
500.23: Requires that amicus submissions meet word and page limits of 500.11(m) and 500.13(c) – Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court – Ct. App.)
800.23(c): Increased fees for admission certificates – Effective Date: 2/1/2016 (Court – 3d Dep’t)
Notes: On May 23, 2016, effective July 1, 2016, the Administrative Judge of the Courts rescinded the Appendix of Official Forms for the CPLR. See CPLR 107. AO/119/16.
*(2) On June 24, 2016, effective August 1, 2016, the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts promulgated a revised New Model Preliminary Conference Order form for optional use in the Commercial Division. AO/132/16.
For a pdf file of the full chart: 2016 Amendments