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Robert Friedman is a partner and Practice Group Leader of the Business Trial Practice Group and is based in the firm’s New York office.

The Commercial Division Advisory Council continued its revamp of the Commercial Division Rules on October 14, 2015, when it implemented amendments to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) and (c).  As we discussed in this blog when the amendments were proposed in April, the amendment to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) subjects actions to compel or stay domestic arbitration hearings and actions to affirm or disaffirm domestic arbitration awards to the same eligibility criteria as other matters.  Such actions must involve equitable and/or declaratory relief, or meet the monetary threshold of $500,000 in New York County, $200,000 in Nassau County, $150,000 in Kings County, $100,000 in Suffolk and Queens Counties and the Eighth Judicial District, and $50,000 in Onondaga and Albany Counties.  Those actions must also involve one of the commercial issues set forth in 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b), meaning the subject matter of the case must involve principal claims for: breach of contract or fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, business tort, statutory and/or common law violation where the breach or violation is alleged to arise out of business dealings, transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, transactions involving commercial real property, shareholder derivative actions, commercial class actions, business transactions involving commercial banks and other financial institutions, internal affairs of business organizations, accounting and legal malpractice arising from commercial representations, environmental insurance coverage, or dissolution of business entities.
Continue Reading Commercial Division Rules Revamp Encourages International Arbitration Matters In The New York County Commercial Division

The past year has been a busy time for anyone keeping up with the Rules for the Commercial Division of the New York State Court System.  The Commercial Division Advisory Council, led by Justice Eileen Bransten, has been pushing through various reformative measures, most of which were first recommended in the June 2012 Report and Recommendations to the Chief Judge of the State of New York of the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century.  Below is a brief summary of the new rules, which are already in effect or take effect on April 1, 2015.
Continue Reading Keeping Up With The Commercial Division(s)

In Khalife v. Audi Saradar Private Bank SAL, 2013 NY Slip Op 05971 (1st Dep’t Sept. 24, 2013), the First Department declined to broaden CPLR § 303, holding that the statute does not authorize personal jurisdiction over a foreign person or entity when the non-domiciliary seeks some form of affirmative relief in a New York court, as opposed to commencing an action.  CPLR § 303 provides that “[t]he commencement of an action in the state by a person not subject to personal jurisdiction” designates the non-domiciliary’s attorney as agent for service of process.  Khalife makes it clear that an application for affirmative relief is not enough to subject a non-domiciliary to jurisdiction in New York under CPLR § 303.  Only the commencement of an action, through the filing of a complaint, will suffice.
Continue Reading First Department Refuses to Expand Jurisdiction over Foreign Entities

As reported yesterday in the New York Law Journal, Justice Marcy Friedman of the Commercial Division in Manhattan will now be assigned any new case filed in New York Supreme Court that alleges fraud or misrepresentation arising out of the creation or sale of residential mortgage backed securities (“RMBS”) pursuant to a May 23 Order signed by Administrative Justice Sherry Klein Heitler. Justice Heitler had previously reassigned three cases with RMBS as their subject matter to Justice Friedman. According to Justice Heitler, this May 23 order merely codified this pre-existing practice. Justice Heitler stated that she believed that this practice would promote consistency in rulings and efficiency. Going forward, pursuant to Justice Heitler’s order, any party filing a request for judicial intervention (“RJI”) in New York Supreme Court, Manhattan, in an RMBS matter must attach a copy of the May 23 Order to the RJI.
Continue Reading All Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Cases To Be Assigned To Justice Friedman of the Commercial Division