Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Legal Alert

New Rule Allows For Acceleration of New York Commercial Cases

In an attempt to speed up commercial cases in New York, the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts on April 17, 2014 approved a new rule to allow businesses to apply certain accelerated adjudication procedures if both parties agree to the use of the new rule. By referencing this new rule in an agreement, businesses will now be able to waive certain litigation tactics and limit discovery in an attempt to streamline litigation and reduce costs.

Effective June 2, 2014, Rule 9 of section 202.70(g) of the Uniform Rules for the Supreme and County Courts (“Rule 9”) will allow parties to a contract to limit all pre-trial proceedings, such as discovery, pre-trial motions and mandatory mediation, simply by referencing the rule. All such pre-trial proceedings must be completed, and the parties must be ready for trial, within nine months from the date of filing of a Request of Judicial Intervention.

The rule lists certain litigation tactics that will be waived if the parties adopt the rule. By incorporating Rule 9 in a contract, the parties will have irrevocably waived: (1) any objections based on lack of personal jurisdiction or the doctrine of forum non conveniens; (2) a jury trial; (3) the right to recover punitive or exemplary damages; (4) the right to any interlocutory appeal; and (5) the right to discovery, except as the parties agree or as limited in Rule 9. Rule 9 also places certain limitations on electronic discovery, such as requiring that electronic documents are made available in a searchable format.

Parties desiring to use this new rule can incorporate specific language in a contract. Please contact any member of the Corporate practice group for advice and assistance in this regard. Although the rule also allows for the parties to a litigation to stipulate to the use of Rule 9 at the beginning of a case, the most effective way to benefit from Rule 9 is to agree to it in advance.

For more information about the content presented in this alert, please contact Richard J. Day at (716) 566-1422 or rday@hblaw.com, James J. Canfield at (315) 425-2763 or jcanfield@hblaw.com, Holly J. Hoehner at (315) 425-2833 or hhoehner@hblaw.com, or Zachary D. Forward at (315) 425-2746 or zforward@hblaw.com.