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.
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
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
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
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.
Join the Section