Commercial and Federal Litigation Section

  • Social Media
    Social Media Jury Instructions Report Commercial and Federal Litigation Section's Social Media Jury Instructions Report was recently cited in an amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Bench Bar 1
    Legal Ethics in the Digital Age NYC Live and Webcast September 29, 2016
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  • CLE Programs and Events
    • August 8, 2016: Basic Lessons on Ethics & Civility 2016 - Video Replay


      Monday, August 8, 2016
      9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
       (includes a 10-minute break)

      Online Video Replay with Live Q&A Session with: Vincent J. Syracuse, Partner, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, New York County Supreme Court, Danielle C. Lesser, Partner, Morrison Cohen LLP, Jamie B.W. Stecher, Partner, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, Mark C. Zauderer, Partner, Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP

      4.0 MCLE Credits: 4.0 Ethics 

      NYSBA Member: $95 | Non-Member: $195

      Register today!

      Real Time Interactive Q&A Session (12:30 – 1:00 p.m.) featuring:
      Vincent J. Syracuse, Partner, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP 
      Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, New York County Supreme Court
      Danielle C. Lesser, Partner, Morrison Cohen LLP
      Jamie B.W. Stecher, Partner, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP
      Mark C. Zauderer, Partner, Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP

      Please note: you may submit questions using the Q&A tab at any time during the Video Replay.

      Program Description:
      A sound ethical compass and a civil and professional demeanor are the hallmarks of successful and respected attorneys in all areas of practice. This four hour program will provide attendees with an update on developments in the law in the area of attorney ethics, including the most recent case law. The rules of civility will be discussed, with emphasis on practical pointers for dealing with the uncivil adversary and civility issues within the law firm. The program concludes with a discussion of real life hypotheticals by a panel of distinguished practitioners and jurists which is certain to benefit attorneys in all substantive areas of practice.

      Topics Include:

      - What's New For 2016 on Ethics?
      - Civility in Everyday Lawyering: What Are the Basic Lessons to be Learned?
      - The Civility Rules
      - The Uncivil Adversary
      - Civility vs. Aggressiveness
      - Law Firm Civility Issues
      - Colloquium on Ethics & Civility, including Hypothetical Fact Patterns to Address Everyday Civility and Ethical Issues

    • August 17, 2016: CPLR Update 2016 - Video Replay


      Wednesday, August 17, 2016

      9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

      Online Video Replay with Live Q & A Session with David Paul Horowitz  

      3.5 MCLE Credits: 2.5 Professional Practice; 1.0 Ethics 

      NYSBA Member: $95 | Non-Member: $195

      Register today!

      Real Time Interactive Q&A Session with  David Paul HorowitzPartner, Geringer, McNamara & Horowitz, LLC (12:30 – 1:00 p.m.)
      Please note: you may submit questions using the Q&A tab at any time during the Video Replay.

      Featuring David Paul Horowitz, the sole author of the nine-volume set Bender's New York Evidence, the treatise New York Civil Disclosure, and the 2008 and 2013 Supplement to Fisch On New York Evidence, as well as the monthly column "Burden of Proof" for the New York State Bar Journal!

      Program Description: Join New York State Bar Journal “Burden of Proof” author David Paul Horowitz for the sixth annual statewide update on New York Civil Practice rules and decisions!  Mr. Horowitz will discuss recent developments in New York civil practice, flagging problems, suggesting solutions, and focusing on best practices. 

      Topics Include:
      • Statutes of Limitation & Jurisdiction
      • Notices of Claim & Commencement
      • Pleadings & Motion Practice
      • Ethical Issues in Litigation
      • Disclosure                  
      • Expert Witnesses
      • Summary Judgment Practice & Trial
      • Ethics Developments & Dilemmas
      Additional Information: This course has been approved for all attorneys. PLEASE NOTE: Newly admitted attorneys will only receive Professional Practice credit.

    • September 29, 2016: Legal Ethics in the Digital Age NYC Live and Webcast


      Thursday, September 29, 2016

      New York Society of Security Analysts | 1540 Broadway | Suite 1010 | New York, NY 10036
      9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

      Live & Webcast!


      4.0 MCLE Credits: 4.0 hours in Ethics

      Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Members: $114.75 | NYSBA Members: $135 |  Non Members: $235

      Register Today!

      Not Able to Attend in Person? A Live Webcast Option is Available!*
      * Note: Newly admitted attorneys (less than twenty-four months) can attend the program via webcast to receive New York MCLE credit but the ethics portion must be viewed on the same day of the webcast.
      Program Co-Sponsors: Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and Committee on Continuing Legal Education

       8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

      Registration (outside meeting room)

       9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.

      Welcome and Introductions

       9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

      What Does Attorney Competence Mean When It Comes to Handling Electronic Discovery?

       10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

      Tips and Tools for Protecting Privilege and Work-Product in Electronic Communications and Productions

       10:50 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.

      Refreshment Break

       11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

      The Do’s and Don’ts of Attorney Social Media Use and Advice to Clients: An Overview of the “Rules of the Road”

       11:55 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

      Managing Records in the Cloud and Elsewhere: Takeaways for Organizing Your Client Files

       12:45 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

      Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks

      Additional Information: This course has been approved for all attorneys, including those who are newly admitted (less than twenty-four months). IMPORTANT NOTICE--PARTIAL CREDIT FOR PROGRAM SEGMENTS NOT ALLOWED: Under the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board Regulations and Guidelines, attendees at CLE programs cannot get MCLE credit for a program segment (typically, a lecture or panel, of which there are usually several in a program) unless they are present for the entire segment. Those who arrive late, depart early, or are absent for any portion of the segment WILL NOT receive credit for that program segment.

  • Recent News & Events

    Message from Section Chair, Mark Berman

    It is a privilege and honor to have been elected Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, following in the steps of great icons of the New York State Commercial Bar.  The Section’s membership has increased over the past year and the Section is a vibrant and robust organization of terrific commercial litigators.   We are the bar organization of choice for attorneys who practice business litigation in our State and Federal Courts, and we will continue to add value to our members and offer the best programming available in the State.

    The Fuld Award Goes to the Second Circuit
    The Section has great plans for the next year.  We are excited and proud to announce that the entire Second Circuit Court of Appeals will be presented with the Section’s 2017 Stanley H. Fuld Award at our Annual Meeting in January 2017. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York.  The Second Circuit’s accomplishments in advancing commercial law in New York State, throughout this country and the world are well-recognized.  With this award, it is only appropriate that the Annual Meeting's CLE programming will include a panel addressing federal appellate issues.  In addition to honoring the Second Circuit in this manner, the Section also will be sponsoring an additional event with the Second Circuit associated with the Fuld Award.  The Section is honored to be participating in celebrating the Second Circuit’s 125th anniversary with the presentation of the Fuld award, and looks forward to the opportunity to strengthen its ties with the Second Circuit and the Federal Judges in each of the Districts in New York.

    The Section’s Women’s Initiative
    The Section just established a new award, the first time in over ten years that one has been created.  It is called The Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom in honor of the Section's former Chair, who served with distinction as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York from September 1994 through April 2016.  The Section will present this award annually in November, around the date when women received the right to vote in New York State in 1917, to a woman who has distinguished herself in the courtroom in either the Federal or State Courts in New York and who has shown a commitment to mentoring young attorneys in the legal community. 

    The awardee will be Carrie Cohen, now of Morrison & Foerster, who this year successfully prosecuted Sheldon Silver as an Assistant United States Attorney and who served as Section Chair in 2007-2008.  The award will be presented on November 14th in the ceremonial courtroom in the Southern District of New York's Federal Courthouse.

    The November program will also initiate a new Section scholarship funded through the New York Bar Foundation to be awarded to junior female attorneys, which covers the cost of their registration to the Section’s 2017 Commercial Litigation Academy.  The goal of this new scholarship is to prepare women to serve as first chair in business litigation trials.  The awardees will be called Kaye Scholars in honor of the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, the State’s former Chief Judge.  The program will have, among other components, a CLE trial practice program and its participants will include female former chairs of the Section as well as young rising women attorneys.  Additional programming seeking to increase the number of women in the courtroom is also intended this year.

    CLEs and Our Cutting Edge Reports
    Already scheduled for September 29 is a ground-breaking Section four credit CLE program entitled “Legal Ethics in the Digital Age” that draws upon members of our Ethics, eDiscovery and Social Media committees as well a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar.  The Section is also working on putting together a joint CLE with the Dispute Resolution Section on eDiscovery and arbitration. 

    The Section intends to continue to lead the nation in issuing reports concerning our new digital world.  The eDiscovery Committee will debut its Third Edition of its “Best Practices in eDiscovery in New York State and Federal Courts” this fall.   The Social Media Committee also intends to issue its Third Version of its “Social Media Ethics Guidelines” next spring.  The Second Version of the Social Media Ethics Guidelines already leads the nation on the issue and is highlighted on the State Bar's homepage.

    Meeting Chief Judge DiFiore and the Section’s Executive Meetings Continue to Travel the State
    We have always invited State and Federal Judges to speak at our monthly Executive Committee meetings concerning current issues, but this coming year we are extremely proud to kick off the year in September with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore speaking to our Section’s Executive Committee.

    As for our monthly Executive Committee meetings, continuing the initiative of holding meetings throughout the State, we anticipate travelling out of New York City three times during the next year and will seek to have these meetings held at upstate Federal Courthouses.  By having our Executive Committee meetings at Federal Courthouses, we hope to forge closer ties to the Federal District Judges throughout our State, as well as to their law clerks and local practitioners, who will be able to see first-hand the benefits of joining our Section.

    Membership Diversity – Seeking to Add Diversity, Youth and Law Students to the Section
    As part of our membership initiative, the officers of the Section intend to speak with law students at law schools around the State to encourage them to join our Section.  To that end, the Section has created a video promoting the benefits of joining the Section which will be shown to students during our visits.  The Section also intends to work with local upstate bar associations to create a diversity program with the goal of increasing the diversity of the Section statewide.  The Section is going to work with local bar associations, having already reached to the Asian American Bar Association, to explore symbiotic relationships with the Section.  In addition, the Section this year created a formal Kids Club at our Spring Meeting in Cooperstown in order to encourage Section members who have young child to attend our meeting.  I will seek to make this a permanent addition to our programing with the goal of extending our reach to our membership who have not typically attended our Spring Meetings.

    The Section will continue to focus its efforts on educating the business community of the benefits of litigating in New York by continuing our support of finding new ways to make litigating in our New York State and Federal Courts more efficient and cost effective.   We have the best and brightest attorneys as members of our Section, and it is their creative ideas that have assisted the Bench and Bar in seeking to achieve this objective.

    This will be an exciting year, and the Section is committed to providing value to its members through CLEs, programming, reports and the mentoring of young attorneys.  We are always open to ideas, so please feel free to contact me at if you would like to share with me your thoughts regarding how we can continue to grow and improve.

    Report Issued: Social Media Jury Instructions Report

    Issued by the Social Media Committee and Approved by the Section's Executive Committee


    May 2016
    April 2016
    March 2016
    February 2016 
    January 2016
    December 2015
    November 2015
    October 2015
    September 2015
    May 2015

    Join the Section!

  • Section Publications


    The NYLitigator features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of commercial and federal litigation on various topics, including discovery; mediation; settlements; corporate liability; and due process. Section Reports, written by various Commercial and Federal Litigation Committees, are often featured in each issue. The NYLitigator is published by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.
    Read Now>


    The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter features updates on Section activities, programs and events; recent legislation; and information about current issues. The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Newsletter is published three times per year by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.
    Read Now>

  • New Rules

    2016 Amendments to the Uniform Rules for Supreme and County Courts, Rules Governing Appeals, and Certain Other Rules of Interest to Civil Litigators

    202.5(e)(1)(v): Adds certain documents, testimony, and evidence in matrimonial actions to categories of confidential personal information - Effective Date: 3/1/2016 (Court - Sup)

    202.16(m): Adds a provision on omission or redaction of confidential personal information from matrimonial decisions - Effective Date: 3/1/2016 (Court - Sup)

    202.70(g), Rule 3: Adds a provision on settlement conferences before a justice other than a justice assigned to the case - Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court - Sup)

    202.70(g), Rule 11-g: Adds a proposed form of confidentiality order - Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court - Sup)

    202.70(g), Rule 14-a: Adds a new rule on procedures at disclosure conferences conducted by non-judicial personnel - Effective Date: 7/1/2016 (Court - Sup)

    500.1(j), (l): Changes “computer-generated” papers to “papers prepared by a word-processing system” and changes “Times Roman” to “Times New Roman” - Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court - Ct. App.)

    500.11(m):  Adds word and page limits for submissions in alternative procedure for selected appeals - Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court - Ct. App.)

    500.13(c): Adds word and page limits for briefs in normal course appeals - Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court - Ct. App.)

    500.23: Requires that amicus submissions meet word and page limits of 500.11(m) and 500.13(c) - Effective Date: 6/22/2016 (Court - Ct. App.)

    800.23(c): Increased fees for admission certificates - Effective Date: 2/1/2016 (Court - 3d Dep’t)

    Notes: On May 23, 2016, effective July 1, 2016, the Administrative Judge of the Courts rescinded the Appendix of Official Forms for the CPLR.  See CPLR 107.  AO/119/16.

    *(2) On June 24, 2016, effective August 1, 2016, the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts promulgated a revised New Model Preliminary Conference Order form for optional use in the Commercial Division.  AO/132/16.

    For a pdf file of the full chart: 2016 Amendments 

    *Latest changes are indicated by asterisk