Commercial and Federal Litigation Section

  • Bench Bar 4
    Webinar: Analyzing the Scope and Impact of the Recent Amendments to the Federal Rules Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • DRS stock photo
    The 10 Most Important Things For Counsel and Abitrators February 24, 2016: American Arbitration Association
  • Social Media
    Social Media Jury Instructions Report Prepared by the Social Media Committee
  • Smooth Moves
    Smooth Moves 2016: A Decade of Celebrating Diversity In The Profession Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • CLE Programs and Events
    • Feburary 10, 2016: Analyzing the Scope and Impact of the Recent Amendments to the Federal Rules


      This webinar is sponsored by the Committee on Federal Procedure of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. Not a Member? Join Here
      Wednesday, February 10, 2016
      1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
      Hon. Frank Maas, Chief Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
      Alexander A. Reinert, Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
      Michael C. Rakower, Partner, Rakower Law PLLC
      This 1-hour session will address recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which place an emphasis on efficient case management, cooperation among parties, and proportionality in discovery and set the framework for remedial and punitive measures when a party fails to preserve electronically stored information.  This webinar will include speakers from the bench, academia, and the bar and will provide you with an analysis of the changes that are afoot in federal civil practice.
      For questions contact Beth Gould at To register over the phone please contact our Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452
      This FREE 1 Hour Webinar is for members of the Commercial and Federal Litigation SectionThis is for information only; no CLE credit will be given.

    • April 19, 2016: Smooth Moves 2016


      SMOOTH MOVES 2016: 


      Tuesday, April 19, 2016
      4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

      Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
      Kaplan Penthouse, The Rose Building 
      165 W. 65th Street, 10th Floor
      New York City

      4:00 p.m. - Program 

      5:30 p.m. – Networking reception and award presentations 

      Presentation of the Section’s Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award and Lifetime Achievement Award to the Honorable Zachary Carter
      Presentation of the Section’s Minority Law Student Summer Fellowship 

      Program Co-Chairs: Hon. Barry A. Cozier, Tracee E. Davis, Esq., Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix and Carla M. Miller, Esq. 

      For more information and to sponsor this program Contact:

      This event is complimentary to all who attend, but capacity is limited so registration is required.

  • Recent News & Events

    Report Issued: Social Media Jury Instructions Report

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


    December 2015
    November 2015
    October 2015
    September 2015
    May 2015


    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.

    Notes of the Section’s Executive Committee Meetings

    June 9, 2015
    Guest speaker, Hon. Peter Moulton, Administrative Judge for the First Judicial District, Supreme Court of the State of New York, discussed the Commercial Division and entertained questions from Executive Committee members. The Chair presented the Chair’s Public Service Award to Justice Andrea Masley of the Supreme Court, New York County. The Executive Committee approved the Commercial Division Committee Report on the Commercial Division Advisory Council’s Proposal Concerning Eligibility Criteria for Matters That May Be Heard in the Commercial Division. The Executive Committee also discussed and approved the Social Media Committee’s 2015 Updated Social Media Ethics Guidelines, as well as the Ethics Committee’s report on a proposed amendment to New York Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 on Supervising Investigations.

    May 6, 2015
    Guest speaker Justice Carolyn Demarest of the Kings County Commercial Division discussed the case load in her Commercial Division, use of ADR services, phone conferences, the new rules on interrogatories and depositions, and ESI protocol. The Executive Committee discussed and approved the Federal Procedure Committee’s updated report recommending amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 68. The Executive Committee also discussed and approved Commercial Division Committee reports on a proposed Commercial Division rule regarding entity depositions and on the proposed amendment to the Preamble of the Rules of the Commercial Division concerning proportionality in discovery and discussed and recommended changes to a Commercial Division Committee report on the Advisory Council’s proposed changes to the rule on eligibility of assignment to the Commercial Division. The Executive Committee discussed and approved, with modifi cations, an Ethics and Professionalism Committee report on a proposed amendment to New York Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4. The Executive Committee approved a report of the Committee on Antitrust on whistleblower protection in the antitrust context.

    April 14, 2015
    Guest speaker Elizabeth Wolford, United States District Court Judge, Western District of New York, discussed practice in her court (see article in this Newsletter). The Executive Committee discussed the WDNY and Rochester Section initiatives and the Commercial Division Bench-Bar Programs.

    March 11, 2015
    Guest speaker Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, New York State Court of Appeals, discussed her experiences with appeals in commercial cases, certifi ed questions from the Second Circuit to the Court of Appeals, and applications for leave to appeal. The Executive Committee discussed the draft report of the Federal Procedure Committee recommending amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 68. The Executive Committee also discussed the Ethics and Professionalism Committee’s report on COSAC’s proposed amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct and voted in favor of COSAC’s proposals in regard to Rules 1.1, 1.6, and 7.2, with certain modifi cations. The Executive Committee discussed and voted to approve the resubmission of the Social Media Committee’s Memorandum in Opposition to New York State legislation amending certain labor and education laws concerning the protection of individual social media passwords.

    February 10, 2015
    Guest speaker Judge Mae D’Agostino, United States District Court Judge, Northern District of New York, offered her insights into some of the causes of the perceived delay in civil cases as well as her advice about civil practice. The Executive Committee discussed the Annual Meeting, the upcoming 200th anniversary celebration of the NDNY, the upcoming Social Media CLE, and Commercial Division Bench Bar Programs.

    January 20, 2015
    At this special meeting, the Executive Committee discussed and approved the creation of a one-time Excellence in Commercial Litigation Fund for each of New York’s four federal court districts. 

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  • 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.
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    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.
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