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New York Commercial Division Adopts New Interrogatory and Privilege Log Rules, a Special Masters Pilot Program, and a Rule Requiring Staggered Court Appearances

October 16, 2014 download PDF

The Commercial Division Advisory Council was created in 2013 as a follow up to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century. The Council's goal is to advise the Chief Judge on an ongoing basis about matters concerning the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of New York, to consider how the Commercial Division can better serve the needs of the business community and the changing economy, and to implement the recommendations of the Task Force's 2012 comprehensive report. 

This memorandum is the third in a series alerting clients to changes to the practice rules within New York's Commercial Division. This memorandum will cover two discovery-related rules, a new pilot program to handle discovery issues, and a rule regarding court procedures. First, it will address two new rules changing the way that discovery is conducted in the Commercial Division: Rule 11-a, limiting interrogatories both in number and scope, and Rule 11-b, stating a preference for a categorical, as opposed to a document-by-document, approach to privilege logs. This memorandum will then discuss the newly adopted pilot program to appoint retired, experienced attorneys as Special Masters to oversee complex commercial disputes, particularly ones with complicated or extensive discovery issues. Third and finally, this memorandum will consider the new rule requiring staggered court appearances for oral arguments on motions.

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