This year’s Annual Luncheon was a hit in all respects. Its success was due to the combined effort of many individuals.
An active Bar organization should make an impactful difference. It should make a difference in continuously trying to better our profession. It should make a difference by being cognizant of and commenting on developing law. It should make a difference by recognizing those who do great things to advance the standing of our profession. It should make a difference in mentoring younger lawyers and promoting diversity.
We should be proud of our Section. With over 2,100 active members, we do make an impactful difference. This year’s Annual Luncheon is just an example. The programming for the morning CLE’s—masterfully orchestrated by Mitch Katz— covered practical, informative topics: The Psychology of Perception and Commercial Litigation in NY: Choosing Between State and Federal. Between those two programs, we were particularly grateful to our esteemed group of women former Section Chairs, who put together a very dynamic panel discussion on Advancing Women in the Profession—consisting of candid, frank, and diverse opinions, guidance, and advice.
As you are aware, our Section developed the Social Media Guidelines through our Social Media Committee led by the indefatigable Mark Berman and Ignatius Grande. Our Guidelines became a topic for the Presidential Summit at the Annual Meeting. They continue to gain national attention. Our State Bar has now become a leader in this area because of our members’ efforts.
At our Annual Luncheon we were so proud to bestow the Stanley H. Fuld Award on the Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, for her outstanding contributions to commercial law and litigation. Judge Abdus-Salaam is truly a remarkable person and jurist. She has served on trial and appellate level courts, having made important rulings on key commercial issues that continue to help the development and evolution of commercial law. She deeply guards individual rights and liberties. She epitomizes what the Award stands for. I urge you to take the time to read Mark Zauderer’s wonderful introduction of Judge Abdus-Salaam, and our honoree’s remarks, both of whom were gracious to allow us to reprint them in this issue.
As if that’s not enough.
Immediately upon learning of the untimely death of our great Chief Judge Judith Kaye, former Section Chair
Carrie Cohen wasted no time to create a remarkable video presentation of Judge Kaye to honor her legacy. We were privileged to have Judge Kaye’s daughter Luisa join us for the event. In addition, I was proud to announce on behalf of the Section that we are establishing a scholarship through the NY Bar Foundation in Chief Judge Kaye’s honor, to pay for women attorneys to participate and attend the Commercial Division Academy, an intensive CLE program to train commercial litigators. We want more women commercial litigators to follow in the footsteps of Judge Kaye. These achievements of our organization—our Section—are the direct result of you, our members: those active in committees and those who support and attend our programs. We make a difference because of that.
James M. Wicks
Issued by the Social Media Committee and Approved by the Section's Executive Committee
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING Minutes
ONONDAGA COUNTY BENCH-BAR FORUM
By Jonathan Fellows
On October 6, 2015, the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section presented the “Onondaga County Commercial Division Bench-Bar Forum.” The CLE event took place at the Conference Center at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC’s Syracuse offi ce. Over sixty practitioners from Central New York attended the event, fi lling the room to capacity.
Both of Onondaga County’s Commercial Division Justices, Deborah H. Karalunas and Donald A. Greenwood, participated in the Forum. Jonathan B. Fellows, of Bond, Schoeneck & King, who is the Section’s District Leader for the Commercial Division in the Fifth Judicial District, organized the event and served as Moderator. Mitchell J. Katz, Section Vice-Chair, and Teresa Bennett, Co-Chair of the Section’s Committee on the Commercial Division, both of Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece P.C., attended and helped to organize the event.
The program was one of several Bench-Bar Forums on the Commercial Division being held around the state in light of the promulgation of new rules for the Commercial Division and the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Commercial Division.
Onondaga County’s Commercial Division is one of the ten Commercial Divisions that have been established across the state. Justice Karalunas was appointed Presiding Justice of the Commercial Division in Onondaga County in 2007. Justice Greenwood was appointed to hear cases in the Commercial Division in 2011. In addition to serving on commercial cases, Justice Greenwood handles the bulk of Onondaga County’s tax certiorari cases. This was the second CLE this year organized by the Section in which Justices Karalunas and Greenwood served as panelists. In March they were panelists in the Section’s “Social Media Legal Ethics: Litigating Commercial Cases and Marketing Your Practice,” which Jonathan Fellows also chaired and in which Section Chair-Elect Mark Berman participated as a panelist.
Jonathan Fellows opened the Forum with a history of the Commercial Division and a discussion of the vision of Chief Judge Kaye and Chief Judge Lippman to create and maintain a world class forum for the adjudication of commercial disputes in New York Supreme Court. He then outlined the new rules for the Commercial Division, including the new language in the preamble to the Commercial Division rules regarding proportionality in discovery, which the Chief Administrative Judge had announced the day before the event.
Justice Karalunas then led the practitioners through her new Preliminary Conference Stipulation and Order for commercial cases, which has been drafted to implement the new rules, and discussed the New York City Bar Association’s model Stipulation and Order for the Production and Exchange of Confi dential Information, which she has referenced in her form Stipulation. Both Justices asked the practitioners for input and suggestions on the form Stipulation.
The Forum then proceeded with questions to the Justices from the audience, as well as questions from the Justices to the attorneys. In addition to the new rules, the Forum discussed whether a mediation program for commercial cases should be established in Onondaga County, expert witness discovery, and the preferences of chambers for resolving discovery disputes. The Forum was well received by both the Bench and the Bar, and the Section greatly appreciated the time that Justices Karalunas and Greenwood devoted to the Forum.