Many New York business disputes wind up in court. Most people do not think about which court is best for their business dispute, but it can make a significant difference in the time, cost, and expertise needed to favorably resolve your matter. In New York, business lawsuits should be filed in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. The Commercial Division resolves challenging commercial cases and its primary goal is the cost‐effective, predictable, and fair adjudication of complex commercial cases. This goal is achieved “by virtue of its specialized subject matter jurisdiction, exceptional judicial expertise, rules and procedures dedicated to commercial practice.” In that regard, the Commercial Division offers several advantages to litigants, including the following.
- Judges who Specialize in Business Disputes. The Judges assigned to the Commercial Division exclusively handle business litigation. As a result, they have extensive experience handling the complex issues that tend to arise in business cases. This can be invaluable in litigation because the Judge and, ostensibly the attorneys appearing there, are already knowledgeable about the law and procedure that governs the dispute. In that regard, efficiency reigns.
- Rules of Procedure to Streamline the Litigation. The Commercial Division has its own procedural rules designed to increase efficiency and, therefore, reduce the time required to complete the litigation. The goal of the Court is to allow businesses to resolve their disputes in a predictable fashion, knowing that the business community expects as much when litigating in the financial capital of the world.
- Limitations on Discovery Where Appropriate. Among the procedural advantages of the Commercial Division are rules that presumptively limit discovery, including limitations on the length and number of depositions, as well as limitations on the number and subject matter encompassed within interrogatories. These restrictions force the parties to focus, and increase efficiencies, so that the crucial issues can be addressed sooner than later.
- Expedited Litigation via Rule 9 Accelerated Adjudication Actions. Certain cases may even qualify for expedited trials. If the lawsuit qualifies under Rule 9, all pre-trial proceedings, including all discovery, pre-trial motions, and mandatory mediation, are completed so that the parties are ready for trial within 9 months from the date of filing of a Request of Judicial Intervention (RJI). A typical lawsuit may take years.
- Expert Witness Deposition. The Commercial Division allows the parties to depose an adversary’s expert witnesses before trial. This enables litigants to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their relative positions and may act as an incentive to settle the case before it goes to trial. In most non-Commercial cases, there is no per se right to conduct an expert deposition prior to trial, so the Commercial Division offers an inherent advantage over non-Commercial matters.
- Same Judge from Inception Through Trial. Outside the Commercial Division, it is common for litigants to be assigned one judge who handles the case from inception until it has to go to trial and then a new trial judge is assigned, who has no personal knowledge of the parties, the case, or what has occurred pre-trial. In the Commercial Division, the same judge remains involved from inception through trial.
Qualified business attorneys know to go to the Commercial Division and are familiar with that Court’s specific procedures and the Judges who preside there. As a litigant, the key is to choose the right attorney to help you choosing the best court for your business dispute.
To learn how we can help you with a business litigation, contact us for a consultation.