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Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Spring 2024 Meeting

Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Spring 2024 Meeting


We are thrilled to announce that the 2024 Robert L. Haig Award recipient will be Justice Elizabeth A. Garry.

DRAFT AGENDA – Subject to Change

Friday, May 17, 2024

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Cocktail Reception 

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Welcome Dinner and Welcoming Remarks

Anne B. Sekel, Esq., Chair

Michael Cardello III, Esq., Chair Elect and Program Chair

Keynote Speaker: Carol Godette, Author, Simply Saratoga

Saturday, May 18, 2024

8:00 a.m.
Registration; Continental Breakfast; Visit with Exhibitors 

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
General Session Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Artificial Intelligence and the Law: A review and consideration of recent developments and their impact on litigation 

An update on the generative AI-based tools designed for litigation and an analysis of the risks and rewards of using them.  The panel also will consider the ethics of AI and how client information and confidences can be maintained appropriately when using AI-based technologies.  


Ignatius Grande, Esq., Director, Berkeley Research Group LLC


Hon. Mary Kay Vyskocil, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York

Hon. James M. Wicks, United States Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of New York 

Ralph Carter, Esq., Senior Counsel, Litigation and Cybersecurity Legal, Workday

Moya Novella, Esq., Legal Counsel, Privacy and AI Policy, IBM Corporation

Stephen Breidenbach, Esq., Counsel (CIPP/US), Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP

1.0 Credit in Cybersecurity 

10:05 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.    

More of What You Wanted to Know About Bankruptcy but Were Afraid to Ask

The panel will provide an overview of the bankruptcy process for the benefit of non-bankruptcy litigators.  The discussion will cover not only bankruptcy basics such as the significance of the petition date, the impact of the automatic stay, and the plan process, but also strategies for creditors including seeking relief from the automatic stay, actions against non-debtor guarantors, rights of contract and lease parties, moving to dismiss a case, and other key strategies for creditors to enforce their rights. This program will build on the bankruptcy panel discussion held at the Annual Meeting.


Hon. Jil Mazer-Marino, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of New York

Alan J. Brody, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Sheryl Giugliano, Esq., Partner, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek PC

Fred Stevens, Esq., Partner, Klestadt Winters Jureller Southard & Stevens, LLP

1.5 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

11:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

11:40 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.
Emotional Intelligence, Mental Health and Success in Litigation

Litigators are among the most anxious and depressed lawyers in the profession.  Among their many stressors, litigators must deal with conflict every day and they often lack meaningful control over their schedules since they are at the mercy of demanding adversaries and court schedules.  

This panel will hold a candid and thorough discussion of how litigators at all stages of practice can become aware of and work to increase their emotional intelligence and mindfulness of mental health issues to become better colleagues, more effective advocates and happier professionals.  

The panel will suggest practical steps and professional development training that firms can provide to its litigators.

Viktoriya Liberchuk, Esq., Associate, Farrell Fritz

Kerry Murray O’Hara, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Director and Founder, DBT Wellness & Psychological Services, PLLC

Dan Lukasik, Esq., NYS Judicial Wellness Coordinator, Crestos – Lawyers With Depression
Robin Gise, JAMS
Robert Holtzman, Partner, Kramer Levin Naftails and Frankel LLP
1.0 Credit in Law Practice Management 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Afternoon Activities

The Section is arranging for tee times at Saratoga National (during Saturday afternoon (May 18) of the Spring Meeting.   There will be fun competitions (closest to the pin and longest drive) and giveaways from Saratoga National, as well as a wonderful time to enjoy a top-rated course with colleagues and friends. If you are interested in participating, please contact Paul Sarkozi ([email protected]) by no later than May 10, so he can arrange for foursomes. Cost is $130 per person.  

Here’s a sneak preview of the course:

The Saratoga Automobile Museum offers private guided tours on Wednesdays & Sundays at 2 pm. If you would like to connect with their Guided Tour Representative, contact please contact Megan Hennessey by phone at (518) 401-5185 or via email at [email protected].

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Cocktail Reception 

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Gala Dinner and Presentation of the Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service to Hon. Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice, State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department

Sunday, May 19, 2024

8:30 a.m.
Registration; Continental Breakfast; Visit with Exhibitors 

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Privilege Issues in Litigation: A Master Class  

Most practitioners can readily rattle off the technical definitions of work product and attorney-client communication privileges, but the issue of what is and is not privileged can become very difficult to determine when lawyers are involved in business decisions (and business professionals are involved in legal decisions), internal investigations pivot from private internal events to evidence on which a party wants to rely, and co-defendants want to share litigation strategies between them, to name a few thorny situations. This panel will consider these and other complex and often unsettled issues in privilege law.  


Jonathan Fellows, Esq., Partner, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC


Hon. Melissa Crane, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, Commercial Division
Hon. Henry Pitman (Ret.), United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York, JAMS

1.5 Credit in Skills

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.    

The Use of Special Masters – A Case Study: In Re Opioid Litigation 

Justice Jerry Garguilo, who managed the Coordinated Opioid Litigation in New York, will discuss his use of special masters to manage the unwieldy matter.  He will be joined by the special masters he appointed to discuss the creative ways special masters can move a matter forward, simplify the prosecution and the defense of complex matters, and use common sense and practicality to bring a matter to an efficient closure.  


Hon. Elizabeth Emerson (Ret), Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County, Commercial Division, Federal Arbitration, Inc.


Hon. Jerry Garguilo, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County, Commercial Division

Hon. Anthony Marano (Ret), Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County

Harvey Besunder, Esq., Partner, Egan & Golden, LLP

John L. Juliano, Esq., John L. Juliano, PC

Thomas McNamara, Esq., Partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP

1.0 Credit in Skills

11:45 a.m. Adjournment and Departure

The Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs, New York is sold out. Please contact Liaison Simone Smith at [email protected] if you need a room and we will do our best to accommodate depending on availability.

Thank You to our Sponsors!

Start Date:
  • May 17, 2024
End Date:
  • May 19, 2024
Start Time:
  • 5:00 PM
End Time:
  • 10:15 AM
Areas Of Professional Practice Credit(s):
  • 1.5
Law Practice Management Credit(s):
  • 1.0
Skills Credit(s):
  • 2.5
Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection – General Credit(s):
  • 1.0
Total Credit(s):
  • 6.0
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Gideon Putnam
    24 Gideon Putnam Road
    Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
  • In-Person
Product Code:
  • FEDSP24
Section Member Price: $830.00
NYSBA Member Price: $830.00 Join (or renew) for special member pricing
Non-Member Price: $995.00
Sponsoring Committee Group
  • Commercial & Federal Litigation Section
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee