Current Section News:
Stress Benefits of New York for International Arbitrations
As New York
strives to host international arbitrations in a global marketplace, there are
plenty of practical reasons to look to the city as the location of choice,
according to panelists who spoke at the New York International Arbitration
Center on Thursday.
good restaurants, entertainment and sight-seeing, New York has a designated
judge to handle all international arbitration-related matters in Manhattan’s
Commercial Division and a year-old, state-of-the-art center where arbitrations
can take place, the panelists told a roomful of about 50 attorneys.
NYIAC and the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State
Bar Association, the event reminded New York’s legal community about the
viability of this city as a seat when international arbitrations are
increasingly heading to Paris, London, Singapore, Geneva and other overseas
Moderated by Charles Moxley, Jr., an
arbitrator and mediator with MoxleyADR, the panelists included Justice Charles
Ramos; Stephen Younger, a partner at Patterson
Belknap Webb & Tyler and a NYIAC founding board member;
Alexandra Dosman, NYIAC’s executive director; Ted Semaya, a partner at Eaton
& Van Winkle; and Gregory Arenson, a partner at Kaplan Fox and outgoing
chair of the Comm-Fed section.
Ramos was designated in the Commercial Division to iron out dispute for parties
engaged in international arbitration. The judge said he’s so far had a handful
of cases—mostly orders of attachment—but he urged those in the room to bring
international arbitration cases go on his calendar immediately, and since he
typically issues decisions from the bench, parties can have “an appealable
order once you leave the courthouse.”
said he does not find arbitration cases to be that complex nor involve
thousands of documents—ensuring quick service to parties. In addition, he
reminded the room that designating New York’s Commercial Division at the outset
to handle these kinds of disputes guarantees the right to an interlocutory
appeal—or appeal of any non-dispositive decision to the appellate court.
distracted by a federal criminal docket,” Ramos said, distinguishing the
Commercial Division from the federal courts. “We spit this stuff out.”
observed a few trends about arbitration.
arbitration is becoming a more important area because so many businesses are
insisting on it,” Ramos said. “The bad news is that it’s becoming so expensive
and more like litigation.”
But the judge
noted that he and his colleagues in the Commercial Division “rarely” set aside
arbitration awards upon a party’s challenge.
“We really do
give the benefit of the doubt to the arbitrator,” he said.
reason for the ramped-up efforts in recent years to market New York as a viable
seat for hosting international arbitrations. International dispute resolutions
generate up to $2 billion of business for New York each year, said Younger.
which was founded with the support of 37 law firms and the international and
dispute resolution sections of NYSBA, celebrates its one-year anniversary in
June. It has hosted 19 arbitrations and two mediations so far, according to
attended Thursday’s panel were encouraged to use the center, which features a
large hearing room, breakout rooms, facilities for interpretation and ample
lounge space. NYIAC does not administer administrations, only provides space.
“The idea is
to be a user-friendly, client-serviced approach to international arbitration in
New York,” Younger said.
Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on
Twitter @suevlee. Follow CLI on Twitter @NYComLitInsider.
Spring Meeting 2014
The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section recently traveled to Lenox, MA for the Spring Meeting at the Cranwell Resort and Golf Club. The weekend was filled with Educational programming and time to reconnect with Section members. See photos from the weekend.NYSBA ComFed Social
Media Ethics Guidelines In the News
Attorneys have a new, practical guide to help answer ethical
challenges presented by social media.
The Social Media Committee of NYSBA’s Commercial &
Federal Litigation Section released Social Media
on March 18, 2014.
Citing ethics opinions issued by New York bar associations
as well as opinions issued from around the country, the Guidelines will help
attorneys use social media platforms in common scenarios.
The Guidelines have five sections: Attorney Advertising;
Furnishing Advice Through Social Media; Review and Use of Evidence from Social
Media; Ethically Communicating with Clients; and Researching Jurors/Reporting
Misconduct. Each suggests practices with
current ethical guidance and provides commentary with additional analysis and
The project was spearheaded by Social Media Committee
Co-Chairs Mark A. Berman of Ganfer & Shore and Ignatius A. Grande of Hughes
Hubbard & Reed and drafted by members of the Social Media Committee.
The Guidelines have received positive coverage in the press
and from attorneys:
Presented Its Eighth Annual “Smooth Moves” CLE Program For Attorneys of Color,
And Presentation of the Honorable George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award To Esteemed
Attorney Kay Crawford Murray
April 1, 2014, the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section presented its
eighth annual “Smooth Moves” program -- the Section’s premiere diversity event
organized to attract attorneys of color to more active participation within the
Section. Since its inception in 2007,
Smooth Moves has included both a CLE program and a networking reception,
culminating in the presentation of the Section’s Honorable George Bundy Smith
Pioneer Award. The Pioneer Award is
given each year to an attorney of color whose career accomplishments exemplify
those of the retired Court of Appeals jurist for whom the award is named: legal excellence, community involvement, and
CLE program this year was entitled “Social Media
Strategies for Attorneys: Marketing Techniques, Practice Tips and Ethical
Quandaries.” The program, which
was moderated by Darrell Gay of Arent Fox, featured an outstanding panel of leading practitioners in the field, ethicists, and
United States District Court Judge Margo Brodie. The panel first highlighted the advantages
for lawyers of marshalling social media as part of an integrated marketing
strategy, and also addressed the legal issues and ethical challenges associated
with the widespread use of such technologies, including discovery
considerations and juror selection.
George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award was established by the Section in recognition
of Judge Smith’s work in the civil rights movement, and his 30 years of public
service in the New York judiciary, including 14 years as an associate judge of
the Court of Appeals. This year’s
Pioneer Award was presented to Kay Crawford Murray, formerly the General
Counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, the position she
held since the establishment of the agency in 1979 until her retirement in
2002. Since the mid 1980’s, Ms. Murray
has served on the Committee on Character and Fitness in the Appellate Division,
First Department, and has also served as a Trustee for the New York State Bar
Foundation. Ms. Murray has been one of
the most respected trailblazers and leaders of the New York bar for
Finally, the Section awarded the
Commercial Division’s Minority Law Student Fellowship at the event to a first-year
law student, who will spend the summer working in the chambers of a Justice
Marcie Friedman. The New York Bar
Foundation provides a stipend for the fellowship recipient. Ana Federico, a
first year law student at Albany Law School, was selected as this year’s
Minority Fellow. 2014 Annual Meeting of the Section
by: James M. Wicks
The Section’s Annual
Meeting held on January 29, 2014 at the New York Hilton was well attended, with
over 350 in attendance for the annual luncheon.
The Hon. Jack B. Weinstein proudly presented to the Hon. Shira A.
Scheindlin the Stanley H. Fuld Award for Outstanding Contributions to
Commercial Law and Litigation.
followed two lively CLEs, the first of which was an
audience interactive discussion of the legal ethics implicated by social
media. Led by Mark Berman, the social
media panel answered a series of questions that were posed earlier to the
audience. The audience members responded
to the questions using tablets or smartphones, with the results tabulated
immediately. Magistrate Judge Lisa Smith
(SDNY), along with practitioners in the area, then explored the issues raised.
The second panel focused on the interplay between
Delaware and New York law in resolving corporate governance disputes. Vice Chancellor Travis Laster, Delaware Court
of Chancery, joined by Appellate Division Justice David Friedman (1st
Dep’t), as well as several New York and Delaware practitioners identified some
of the key differences in the two states’ approaches to fiduciary duty,
indemnification and other corporate governance issues.
Look for a fuller discussion of the
Section's Annual meeting in our Spring Newsletter.
25th Anniversary Celebration!
Read more about the 25th Anniversary Celebration that was held on October 23, 2014 at Lincoln Center.Join the Section