New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Task Force on Commercial Litigation Issues Report
Reforms Will Enhance the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court's World-Class Status and Better Serve New York's Economy and Business Community
NEW YORK, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century, formed by New York's Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, today issued a report recommending reforms to enhance the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court's world-class status and better serve New York's economy and business community.
The Commercial Division was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it was launched in 1995. In recent years, the number and complexity of cases in the Commercial Division have grown dramatically, while numerous other states have created their own business courts. Mindful of the urgency of these increased demands, Chief Judge Lippman appointed the Task Force to ensure that the State of New York maintains its position as the preeminent financial and commercial center of the world.
The Task Force is led by Co-Chairs Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of New York, and Martin Lipton, senior partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and is comprised of an interdisciplinary membership including 34 of New York's most prominent current and retired judges, business lawyers and commercial litigators, and professors of law.
The report is the product of intensive effort over the last six months, including regular meetings of the full Task Force and committees that focused on specific areas. The Task Force's key recommendations include:
- Endorsing the Chief Judge's legislative proposal to establish a new class of Court of Claims judges appointed by the Governor and assigned to the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court. This important action would help address the extraordinary volume of litigation, including lawsuits resulting from the financial crisis.
- Measures to strengthen support given to the Commercial Division Justices, including additional law clerks and creation of a panel of "special masters" drawn from New York's vast number of seasoned commercial litigators no longer in active practice but available to serve by appointment of the judge and with the parties' consent.
- Procedural reforms that will reduce delays and eliminate unnecessary costs in commercial litigation in New York.
- And, to guide implementation of its recommendations and help fulfill long-term strategic goals, the Task Force proposes that the Chief Judge appoint a statewide Advisory Council on the Commercial Division.
In its report, the Task Force stated:
"This Task Force was created to provide practical proposals that will have a positive and lasting impact on commercial litigation in New York. The quality, reliability and visibility of the Commercial Division are essential to assuring the vitality of our state in the 21st century."
A full copy of the Task Force's report is available at www.nycourts.gov/courts/comdiv.
Steve Frankel / Jonathan Keehner / Bryan Darrow
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
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