New York Commercial Division Round-Up Blog

News & Updates on Cases Decided in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, pursuant to Administrative Order AO/78/20 of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, the New York Unified Court System took the drastic step of suspending all filings (both paper and e-filing) in all but a select few types of cases in all New York Courts.  The Order provides that: …effective immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters attached as Exh. A. This directive applies to both paper and electronic filings.…
In In re Everquote, Inc. Securities Litigation, 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 29242, No. 651177/2019, 2019 WL 3686065 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. Aug. 7, 2019), Justice Andrew Borrok of the New York County Commercial Division stayed discovery pending a motion to dismiss a federal securities class action pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”), diverging from the handful of state courts that have grappled with that statute’s application since the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, 138 S.Ct. 1061 (2018) (“Cyan”). The PSLRA provides for an automatic discovery…
Pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 306-b, a plaintiff is required to serve a summons and complaint within 120 days of commencing an action. Although a court may grant an extension of this deadline for good cause shown or in the interests of justice, Judge Richard M. Platkin recently found that neither justified an extension of the plaintiff’s time to serve its summons and complaint in Plank, LLC v. Dutch Village, LLC, et al., 62 Misc. 3d 1220(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 7, 2019). In that case, the Court rejected any argument that the plaintiff’s failure…
During her annual State of Our Judiciary speech on February 26, 2019, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that the Commercial Division would be expanding to Bronx County. As stated by Chief Judge DiFiore, the expansion is “in recognition of the economic resurgence taking place in the Bronx” and “the number of commercial cases filed in Bronx Supreme Civil.” Although the change was effective on April 1, 2019, the Commercial Division has yet to announce which justices will be assigned to these new Commercial Division openings or amend the Commercial Division Rules to provide for, among other things, a jurisdictional threshold…
In an effort to streamline litigation in the Commercial Division, the Commercial Division Advisory Council has continued with its revisions to the Commercial Division Rules by recently implementing one new rule encouraging early adjudication on threshold issues, and revising another rule to approve the use of technology-assisted review in discovery.…
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 22, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Justices Anil C. Singh and Jeffrey K. Oing had been appointed to fill vacancies on the bench of the Appellate Division, First Department. June 12, 2017 was the last day on the Commercial Division bench for both Justices. Since their departure for the First Department, Justices Singh and Oing have been missed on the Commercial Division bench, as the Court has worked to reassign their substantial caseloads. Acting Administrative Judge George J. Silver, who has temporarily stepped into the role left by prior Administrative Judge Peter H. Moulton (who was…
In Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 WL 442871 (N.Y. App. Div. Feb. 2, 2017), the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department (the “First Department”), reversed an order denying plaintiffs’ motion for final approval of a proposed non-monetary settlement in a shareholder class action litigation related to Verizon Communication Inc.’s (“Verizon”) acquisition of Vodafone Group PLC’s (“Vodafone”) stake in Verizon Wireless (“VZW”).  With its decision, the New York Appellate Division breathed new life into beleaguered disclosure-only class action settlements, and modernized what it believed had become an outdated…
The New York Commercial Division is poised to continue its rules revamp, with six new rules proposals announced since October.  While these proposals would not alter practice before the Commercial Division in the same manner that the 2014 and 2015 updates did, they do raise important practice considerations for parties and counsel who are currently, or expect to be, engaged in practice before the Commercial Division. The Office of Court Administration is currently accepting public comments on most of the proposed rules described below, which will likely go into effect later this year or early next year.…
In Matter of CDR Créances S.A.S. v First Hotels & Resorts Invs., Inc., 2016 Slip Op. 04888 (1st Dep’t June 21, 2016), the Appellate Division reversed a December 11, 2014 Order by New York County Commercial Division Justice Lawrence K. Marks, which denied respondent First Hotels & Resorts Investments, Inc.’s (“First Hotels’”) motion to dismiss the action for lack of personal jurisdiction.  The action related to an $82 million loan made in 1991 by a predecessor in interest of petitioner CDR Créances S.A.S. (“CDR”) to Euro-American Lodging Corp. (“Euro-American”).  The loan was made to enable Euro-American to acquire Manhattan…
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…
In AP Services, LLP v. Lobell et. al, No. 651613/2012, 2015 NY Slip Op 31115(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 19, 2015) (argued Feb. 21, 2014), Justice Friedman, applying Delaware Law, denied a motion to dismiss plaintiff AP Services, LLP’s first cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty against the defendants, former directors of Paramount Acquisition Corp., while granting dismissal of the second cause of action against them for allegedly aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duty.…
In Justinian Capital SPC v. WestLB AG, etc. et al., 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 04381 (1st Dep’t May 21, 2015), the Appellate Division affirmed the February 25, 2014 decision of the New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division (Kornreich, J.), 43 Misc. 3d 598, holding that actual payment for the transfer of rights to a legal claim is required in order to qualify for the champerty doctrine’s safe harbor provision.…
The Commercial Division Rules are once again the subject of several proposed amendments, as detailed below.  While these proposals are not as far-reaching as some of the rule changes enacted in 2014, they nonetheless raise important practice considerations for parties and their counsel engaged in practice before the Commercial Division.  Expect to see these new rules take effect later this year.…