Four of the proposed amendments to the Commercial Division Rules, which were discussed in an earlier blog post while the rules were under consideration by the Office of Administration, were adopted over the summer and have now gone into effect in the Commercial Division.

On May 1, 2017, a new rule, Rule 30(c), was added to the Commercial Division Rules. Under Rule 30(c), which is designed to streamline expert discovery, the court may now order parties to consult prior to their pre-trial conference in order to identify any areas where the expected testimony from the parties’ respective experts will not be in dispute. The court may direct the parties to reduce any such agreement to a written stipulation.

On July 1, 2017, Rule 20 of the Commercial Division Rules was amended to require that a party applying for a temporary restraining order provide all opposing parties with advance copies of any papers or other filings supporting the application. The new rule also limits the issuance of ex parte temporary restraining orders to situations where there would be “significant prejudice” if notice were given.

Also on July 1, 2017, a sample choice of forum clause was added to Appendix C of the Commercial Division Rules, along with a new section dealing with assignment to the Commercial Division, New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Section 202.70(d)(2). The new Section states that parties may consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commercial Division via contract, provided they meet the other jurisdictional requirements. The additions to Appendix C provide parties with two sample forum selection provisions, one of which consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commercial Division, and one of which consents to the jurisdiction of either the Commercial Division or the Federal Courts in New York State.

Finally, Rule 26 of the Commercial Division Rules was also amended on July 1, 2017. Under the amended Rule 26, the court may request that each party provide an estimate of the total hours for direct, cross, and redirect examinations, and for argument during trial. The court may then rule on the total number of hours it will permit for each party, though the court may extend those hours in its discretion “as justice may require.”