Commercial and Federal Litigation Section

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  • CLE Programs and Events
    • May 4-May 5, 2017: Commercial Litigation Academy 2017


      Thursday, May 4, through Friday, May 5, 2017 
      9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (each day) 
      NY Society of Security Analysts | 1140 Broadway | NYC  


      CLE Program and Webcast 

      PDF Brochure for event

      An extraordinary panel of distinguished and well-known commercial litigators and judges will take you step by step through federal and state commercial litigation practice. 

      The Commercial Litigation Academy provides attorneys with one full year of required MCLE credits (16.0 credits, 7.0 in professional practice, 6.0 in skills and 3.0 in ethics.) This program qualifies for newly admitted attorneys.

      Not Able to Attend in Person?
      A Live Webcast Option is Available
      *Note: If you cannot watch the webcast at the scheduled time and date, the recording will be available to you to access after the presentation date for a 60 day period enabling you to watch on your schedule and earn your MCLE credits. Newly admitted attorneys (less than twenty-four months) can attend the webcast program and receive New York MCLE credit. The ethics portion must be viewed at the same time as the simultaneous webcast.

      Who Should Attend:
      Newly admitted attorneys and experienced practitioners seeking to sharpen their skills as commercial litigators and trial lawyers.

      Program Chair: Kevin J. Smith, Esq., Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, NYC
      Section Chair: Mark A. Berman, Esq., Ganfer & Shore, LLP, NYC

      Program Description:
      This two-day Academy program brings together an outstanding panel of distinguished and well-known commercial litigators, current and former in-house counsel and judges who will provide you with valuable insights on federal and state commercial litigation – from choosing the proper venue through the appellate process. There will be a focus on litigating commercial cases efficiently. You will receive training and enhance your skills in all aspects of commercial litigation; from drafting the pleadings and seeking injunctive relief, through disclosure and discovery (including expert discovery and e-Discovery), and finally to the trial and the appeal. The expert faculty will also discuss key ethical and evidentiary issues confronted by the commercial litigator.

      Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from our top-notch faculty and network with your peers at this comprehensive two-day program!

      Day 1: Thursday, May 4, 2017

      8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

      9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.
      Welcome and Introductions

      Kevin J. Smith, Esq. | Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP | New York, NY
      Mark A. Berman, Esq. | Ganfer & Shore, LLP | New York, NY

      9:10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.                       
      Venue Decisions: State Court vs. Federal Court vs. Arbitration vs. Mediation
      (2.0 MCLE Credits in Professional Practice)

      Robert S. Friedman, Esq. | Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP | New York, NY
      Timothy A. Greensfelder, Esq. | AIG Investments | New York, NY
      Gregory A. Markel, Esq. | Seyfarth Shaw LLP | New York, NY
      Bradley I. Ruskin, Esq. | Proskauer Rose LLP | New York, NY

      10:50 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
      Refreshment Break

      11:00 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.
      Pleadings in State Court, Federal Court, and Arbitration
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Professional Practice)

      Robert M. Abrahams, Esq. | Schulte Roth & Zabell LLP | New York, NY
      Theodore K. Cheng, Esq. | Fox Horan & Camerini LLP | New York, NY
      Marshall H. Fishman, Esq. | Goodwin Procter LLP | New York, NY
      Gregory M. LaSpina, Esq. | Borchert & LaSpina, P.C. | Whitestone, NY
      Louis J. Solomon, Esq. | Greenberg Traurig LLP | New York, NY

      12:40 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
      Lunch (on your own)

      1:30 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.
      Injunctive Relief: Temporary Restraining Orders, Preliminary and Permanent Injunctions and Orders to Show Cause
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Professional Practice; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Ethics)

      Tracee E. Davis, Esq. | Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP | New York, NY
      Steven M. Edwards, Esq. | Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP | New York, NY
      Danielle C. Lesser, Esq. | Morrison Cohen LLP | New York, NY
      Scott E. Mollen, Esq. | Herrick Feinstein LLP | New York, NY
      Hon. Saliann Scarpulla | New York Supreme Court, County of New York | New York, NY
      Mark C. Zauderer, Esq. | Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP | New York, NY

      3:10 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
      Refreshment Break

      3:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Disclosure and Discovery, including E-Discovery, and Litigating Cases Efficiently
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Ethics)

      Jeremy R. Feinberg, Esq. | Special Referee, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York | New York, NY
      Suzanne O. Galbato, Esq. | Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC | Syracuse, NY
      Hon. Frank Maas (Ret.) | JAMS | New York, NY
      Robert D. Owen, Esq. | Eversheds Sutherland | New York, NY
      Carmen A. Pacheco, Esq. | Pacheco & Lugo, PLLC | Brooklyn, NY

      5:00 p.m. Adjournment

      Day 2: Friday, May 5, 2017

      8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

      9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.
      Welcome and Introductions

      Kevin J. Smith, Esq. | Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP | New York, NY
      Mark A. Berman, Esq. | Ganfer & Shore, LLP | New York, NY

      9:10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
      Expert Discovery in State and Federal Court
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Ethics)

      James J. Beha II, Esq. | Morrison & Foerster LLP | New York, NY
      Leslie D. Corwin, Esq. | Blank Rome LLP | New York, NY
      Robert J. Jossen, Esq. | Dechert LLP | New York, NY
      Scott D. Musoff, Esq. | Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | New York, NY
      James D. Zirin, Esq. | Sidley Austin LLP | New York, NY

      10:50 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
      Refreshment Break

      11:00 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.             
      Dispositive Motions including Motions to Dismiss, Judgment on the Pleadings, and Summary Judgment Motions
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Professional Practice)

      Mark A. Berman, Esq. | Ganfer & Shore, LLP | New York, NY
      Hon. Barry A. Cozier (Ret.) | Fensterstock & Partners LLP | New York, NY
      Hon. Jeffrey Oing | New York State Supreme Court, County of New York | New York, NY
      Dennis P. Orr, Esq. | White & Case LLP | New York, NY
      Peter N. Wang, Esq. | Foley & Lardner LLP | New York, NY

      12:40 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
      Lunch (on your own)

      1:30 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.
      Trials (Including Evidence Rules in Discussion)
      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Professional Practice)

      Lauren E. Aguiar, Esq. | Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | New York, NY
      Hon. Shirley W. Kornreich | New York State Supreme Court, County of New York | New York, NY
      Betty Lugo, Esq. | Pacheco & Lugo, PLLC | Brooklyn, NY
      Jonathan D. Lupkin, Esq. | Lupkin & Associates PLLC | New York, NY
      David R. Marriott, Esq. | Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP | New York, NY
      Gary P. Naftalis, Esq. | Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP | New York, NY
      Michael C. Rakower, Esq. | Rakower Law PLLC | New York, NY

      3:10 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
      Refreshment Break

      3:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Civil Appeals and Argument

      (1.0 MCLE Credit in Skills; 1.0 MCLE Credit in Professional Practice)

      Hon. Helen E. Freedman (Ret.) | JAMS | New York, NY
      Hon. Barbara R. Kapnick | New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department | New York, NY
      James T. Potter, Esq. | Hinman Straub P.C. | Albany, NY
      Jeffrey A. Rosenthal, Esq. | Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP | New York, NY

      5:00 p.m. Adjournment

    • May 19-21, 2017: Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Spring Meeting

      Commercial and Federal Litigation Section 2017 Spring Meeting
      May 19-21, 2017
      The Gideon Putnam Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY

      Register Online or Download Meeting Registration Form (PDF) 

      View Program    View Children's Program - Please note that the age limit for the Traveling Paints program is 6 yrs and older

      - The Not So Secret Law of Trade Secrets: How to Keep 'em and What To Do When You Lose 'em
      - The Prosecution and Defense of Actions Involving Restrictive Covenants and Implied 
        Duties of Confidentiality and Loyalty 
      - ICYMI: Keeping Up With Recent Changes to the Commercial Division Rules and the 
        Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
      - The Document Speaks for Itself … Or Does It ? Fake Evidence in the Era of Fake News
      NYSBA Member: $700.00
      Non-NYSBA Member: $800.00
      Special Young Lawyer(admitted less than 10 yrs - does not include Gala/Award Dinner): $250.00
      Special Young Lawyer with Gala/Award Dinner: $325.00
      Gala Award Dinner Only: $175.00
      Sponsor Table for Gala Dinner: $1,250.00
      Spouse/Guest: $275.00

      Attendance at this meeting offers up to 6.0 MCLE credit hours in Professional Practice. 

      Book your hotel room directly with The Gideon Putnam Hotel. Call 866-746-1077.  
      Refer to Group Code 9N91N6, and identify yourself as a New York State Bar 
      Association member to receive the preferred rate of $219 per night. Hotel cut-off date is Friday, April 14th.   

      For more questions please contact Lori Nicoll at (518) 487-5563 email

    • June 1, 2017: Exploring the Ethical Implications of Social Media Use: Lessons to be Learned from the 2017 Updated NYSBA Social Media Ethics Guidelines


      CLE Program and Live Webcast
      Thursday, June 1, 2017 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

      2.0 MCLE Credits | 2.0 Ethics Credits 


      New York Society of Security Analysts
      1540 Broadway, Suite 1010 | New York City

      Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are indispensable tools used by legal professionals and those with whom they communicate. Particularly, in conjunction with the increased use of mobile technologies in the legal profession, social media platforms have transformed the ways in which lawyers communicate. As use of social media by lawyers and clients continues to grow and as social media networks proliferate and become more sophisticated, so too do the ethical issues facing lawyers. Accordingly, the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, which authored these social media ethics guidelines in 2014 to assist lawyers in understanding the ethical challenges of social media, is updating them to include new ethics opinions as well as additional guidelines where the Section believes ethical guidance is needed (the “Guidelines”). Join leading social media legal experts for a moderated discussion on the 2017 updated Guidelines.

      Program Faculty
      Mark A. Berman, Esq. | Ganfer & Shore LLP | New York, NY
      Nicole Black, Esq. | | Rochester, NY
      Ignatius A. Grande, Esq. | Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP | New York, NY
      Ronald J. Hedges, Esq. | Dentons US LLP | New York, NY
      Shawndra G. Jones, Esq. | Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP | New York, NY

      Click Here to learn more about the Program Faculty.

      NYSBA Members: $95.00
      Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Member: $80.75
      Non-Members: $195.00

      Students: $45.00
      Learn more about the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association at

      Section Chair: Mark A. Berman, Esq. | Ganfer & Shore LLP | New York, NY


    • June 13, 2017: Mastering eDiscovery For All Cases: Judicial Insights & Vendor Advice - Rochester, NY


      Tuesday, June 13, 2017
      5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 


      Efficient, cost-effective eDiscovery in state and federal practice requires strategic planning and analysis long before the first document request is drafted. This judicial panel will help you conduct better eDiscovery.

      Join the Hon. John Curran, Hon. Jonathan Feldman, Hon. Matthew Rosenbaum, and eDiscovery Senior Advisor Susan Kavanagh to discuss best practices. We will particularly focus on small to medium-sized document collections.

      Attendees will learn how to:   

      • Identify judicial eDiscovery needs and concerns
      • Better evaluate client data
      • Make more effective requests for documents and data
      • Demonstrate value to your client

      Immediately following the CLE, join your colleagues at a networking reception, included as part of the program thanks to our vendor sponsors. 

       This program is jointly sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, and the Monroe County Bar Association. 

      This program qualifies for 1 MCLE Credits in Professional Practice | Cost to attend: Members $35.00 | Non-members $50.00


      To Register over the phone, please contact the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452

       For questions: Beth Gould at

    • June 14, 2017: Long Island Bench Bar Program


      Wednesday, June 14, 2017

      5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Cocktail Hour
      6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. CLE Presentation

      New Location: Rubie Corporate Plaza | 400 Broadhollow Road | Melville, NY 11747 
      (South Service Road, Exit 49 Long Island Expressway)
      Cost to Attend: $60.00 | 2.0 MCLE Credits (1.5 in Professional Practice, .5 in Ethics) 


      Join your fellow Long Island commercial litigators for cocktails and a light supper from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with welcome remarks by the Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Interim Dean of Hofstra Law School, followed by a  lively panel discussion with the Commercial Division Judges,  joined by Special Guest, the Hon. Leonard B. Austin, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division Second Department,  on the topic of Changes and Trends in Commercial Division Litigation. Moderated by Harvey Besunder, co-chair of the Commercial Division Committee of the Suffolk Bar Association and Kevin Schlosser, Member and former chair of the Nassau County Commercial Litigation Committee.  A dedicated  Question and Answer session with the Judges will follow. 
      To register over the phone please contact the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452 |  For questions: Beth Gould at

  • Recent News & Events

    Report Issued: Pilot ADR Project

    Issued by the Civil Practice Law & Rules Committee 

    A Message from the Chair

    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 wellrecognized. 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 groundbreaking Section four credit CLE program entitled Legal Ethics in the Digital Age that draws upon members of our Electronic Discovery, Ethics and Professionalism 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 Electronic Discovery Committee will debut its Third Edition of 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 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 out 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 children to attend our meeting. I will seek to make this a permanent addition to our programming 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.

    Mark Arthur Berman


    March 2017
    February 2017
    January 2017
    December 2016
    December 6, 2016 (special meeting of the EC) 
    November 2016
    October 2016

    September 2016
    June 2016

    May 2016
    April 2016
    March 2016
    February 2016 
    January 2016

    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>

  • Commercial Division Video

    The Commercial Division Advisory Council has produced a new version of its short film about the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. The film features eleven General Counsel of major corporations speaking about the Commercial Division. 

    The film portrays some of the recent improvements to the Commercial Division’s rules, procedures, and operations which have been designed to be responsive to the needs and concerns of the business community. The ultimate goal of these changes is to make the business litigation process in New York more cost‑effective, predictable, and expeditious, and to thereby provide a more hospitable and attractive environment for business litigation in New York State.

    See the video here: