In response to the ever-growing need to address the interests of commercial litigators in their day-to-day practice as well as the business community at large, in 2012 the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (the “Section”) established a committee to handle the Section’s legislative initiatives both at the state and federal levels. Led by former Section Chair Vincent J. Syracuse of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, the Section’s Committee on Legislative and Judicial Initiatives (the “Committee”) works to promote legislative proposals that the Section believes are important to maintain New York’s premiere place as the forum of choice for the resolution of business disputes.

Initially, the Committee and the Section adopted the recommendations made in the report that was issued in June 2012 by the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century (the “Task Force”). The Task Force made several recommendations designed to help facilitate the continued growth of commercial litigation in the state courts including suggestions for case docket reform, judicial support and engagement, procedural reforms, early case resolution and procedures to support international arbitration.

In addition to supporting the Task Force, as well as the permanent Commercial Division Advisory Council (which was established by the Chief Judge in early 2013 to implement the Task Force’s recommendations), both the Committee and the Section have advocated for an increased budget for the judiciary which would allow for greater support and expansion of the Commercial Division. The Committee has also supported amendments to both state and federal procedural rules that will help maintain New York’s place as the premiere commercial litigation forum. Lastly, the Committee has advocated for judicial reforms including legislation to amend the New York State Constitution that would increase the mandatory retirement age for certain New York State judges.

The Committee hopes to be a continuous advocate on behalf of the Section in its continuing support of the commercial litigation bar in New York.


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