Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules

Since its adoption, New York’s CPLR has been a work in progress. The mission of the Section’s CPLR Committee is to help ensure that this evolution proceeds in a direction that enhances the underlying fairness of our judicial system in resolving commercial disputes and reflects the views of commercial practitioners in the New York State Courts.

The CPLR Committee serves this mission primarily by preparing legislative proposals in areas of particular interest to members of the Section, and commenting on bills and proposals offered by other parts of the New York State Bar Association and the larger New York legal community when they address areas of interest or concern to the Section.   For example, the Committee played a pivotal role in the development and passage of legislation replacing commencement of actions by service with commencement by filing in New York State Supreme and County Courts.   More recently, the Committee spent several years working on the simplified procedures for obtaining document discovery from non-parties and authenticating business records that took effect on September 1, 2003.  The Committee has developed or contributed to numerous other proposals to amend the CPLR, including proposals concerning sanctions for frivolous litigation conduct, standards for deposition civility, expanded expert discovery in substantial commercial cases, discoverability of surveillance materials, revised procedures for motions for summary judgment and motions to dismiss, and revised procedures for filing, challenging and renewing notices of pendency.  In addition to developing new initiatives on behalf of the Section, the Committee routinely reviews and advises the Section on proposed amendments to the CPLR put forward by other bar groups or legislators, and often files legislative reports on such bills with appropriate committees of the Senate and Assembly on behalf of the Section.  This ongoing review serves a dual function:  flagging flawed amendments at an early stage and identifying potentially valuable proposals that merit the Section’s support.

The CPLR Committee is co-chaired by James Bergin of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, New York City jbergin@mofo.com and Thomas C. Bivona, Managing Attorney, Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, New York City tbivona@milbank.com.

Committee Activities:

  • Report on suitability for New York of National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Interstate Depositions and Discovery of Documents Act
  • Report on potential amendments to CPLR re: e-discovery (in collaboration with E-Discovery Committee)
  • On-going monitoring of proposed amendments to CPLR

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