Hearings Start Thursday on Uniform Rules
Thirty of the Commercial Division rules were incorporated into the “Uniform Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Court” effective February 1, 2021. Select changes include limiting interrogatories, limiting the number and duration of depositions, imposing additional requirements for the initiation of and opposition to motions for summary judgment, and electronic bookmarking of submitted papers. Past President Vincent E. Doyle III, Esq prepared an analysis of changes to the rules.
Based upon significant concerns expressed by members, the House of Delegates adopted a resolution urging a stay of the rules for one year and an opportunity for NYSBA to comment on the rules. NYSBA President, Scott Karson reached out to the Office of Court Administration to request the stay.
Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks indicated that the Administrative Board would consider the Association’s request for a pause in the enforcement of the new rules pending the outcome of a review and comment period. The New York State Bar Association is pleased to provide forums to enable attorneys to provide comments on the rule changes.
Four forums for comments on changes to the Uniform Rules will be held on May 13th and May 14th.
The forums will be open meetings using Zoom and will be recorded. All attorneys are invited to participate. Please share this information with your colleagues. These forums DO NOT carry CLE credits.
Register for one of the forums using the links below:
Forum One | Thursday, May 13, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Forum Two | Thursday, May 13, 2021 | 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Forum Three | Friday, May 14, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Forum Four | Friday, May 14, 2021 | 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Members can also submit written comments to [email protected].
Below please find the link to view the full Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts including exhibits:
Selected highlights of the recent changes are noted below:
- Appearance counsel must have knowledge and authority of the case (Exhibit A)
- Interrogatories are limited to 25 in number (Exhibit G)
- Limits on number of depositions and number of hours per deponent (Exhibit J)
- Sanctions permitted for non-compliance with a discovery schedule (Exhibit M)
- Prior to submission of a discovery motion, the attorney must attempt to resolve discovery issues. In the event a motion is the only means to resolve the issue, the attorney affirmation must include attempts at resolution as set forth in rule 14 (Exhibit N)
- Adjournments of conferences will only be granted upon a showing of good cause (Exhibit P)
- Parties may appear by electronic means when requested and the Court is encouraged to grant such requests (Exhibit P)
- Limit as to the length of motion papers (submitted in Rule 17) (Exhibit R)
- Significant changes to how motions for summary judgment are prepared (eg. now movant is required to annex a short concise statement to demonstrate no issue of fact) (Exhibit U)
- Important changes to trial practice and procedure regarding exhibits, witnesses, trial memoranda and testimony (Exhibit X through BB)
- Staggered Court Appearances – in order to increase efficiency, courts will schedule each appearance at a set time interval of time. To ensure all parties receive notice of the appearance, counsel on every matter is required to exchange email addresses and notify each other of notices of court appearances. (Exhibit CC)
- Sanctions for non-compliance
To learn more about the rule changes and updates, below please find links to the recent NYSBA CLE programs presented in 2021:
The New Trial Court Rules Are Here. What New York Practitioners Need to Know. Are You Ready?
Recorded February 17, 2021 | https://nysba.org/products/the-new-trial-court-rules-are-here-what-new-york-practitioners-need-to-know/
Commercial Division Rules in Supreme and County Courts
Commercial Division Rules Changes and Application of Rules to Trial Parts
New York Commercial Division Rules Update: Implications for In-House Counsel
Recorded April 29, 2021 | https://nysba.org/products/new-york-commercial-division-rules-update-implications-for-in-house-counsel/
Additional links of interest:
Link to uniform rules resolution: www.nysba.org/uniformrulesresolution
Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts: https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/rules/comments/orders/AO%20Commercial%20Division%20rules%20in%20civil%20courts.pdf
Link to draft chart with changes to rules (provided by Vincent E. Doyle, Esq.): www.nysba.org/uniformruleschanges
Link to public comments received, including NYSBA’s CPLR Committee: https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/rules/comments/pdf/received/2019-com-rules-in-other-jdx.pdf
Link to the original proposal where public comment was requested: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/sites/default/files/document/files/2018-10/UsingCommercialDivRulesOct15.pdf
NYSBA Uniform Rules Committee
Richard C. Lewis, Esq. (Chair)
Vincent E. Doyle III, Esq.
Sharon Stern Gerstman, Esq.
Michael E. Getnick, Esq.
Matthew J. Kelly, Esq.
Margaret Comard Lynch, Esq.