As one might gather from the title of this blog, we here at New York Commercial Division Practice try to make a more-than-occasional point of extolling the virtues of the Commercial Division. From its well-established reputation as a sophisticated, cost-effective, predictable, and expeditious forum to its related ability to attract businesses nationwide to litigate their disputes in New York State, when it comes to litigating commercial cases in New York, the Commercial Division is the place to be.

Every year around this time, New York’s Chief Administrative Judge publishes an annual report, which “collect[s], compile[s] and publish[es] statistics and other data with respect to the unified court system and submit[s] annually, on or before the fifteenth day of March, to the legislature and governor a report of activities and the state of the unified court system during the preceding year.” The New York State Unified Court System’s 2023 Annual Report, which was just published last week, devoted a section to the Commercial Division under the heading “A Commitment to Society,” in which the Chief Administrator praised the work of the Commercial Division Advisory Council, which, under the leadership of Robert L. Haig, Esq., has helped develop the Commerical Division into becoming “a recognized leader in court system innovation, … demonstrating an unparalleled creativity and flexibility in [the] development of rules and practices.”

Some of the ways in which the Advisory Committee continued to promote the bona fides of the Commercial Division in 2023 were through sponsoring virtual programs for law students, ComDiv interns and clerks, and summer associates at 81 major firms in New York and around the country. The goal of the programs, which were met with enormous success, was to “educate our future lawyers about the Commercial Division and commercial practice, the wide variety of cases that come before the Commercial Division and the value of clerking, interning and litigating in the Commercial Division,” including as it relates to such topics as motion practice, written and electronic discovery, depositions, and trials. The programs also were designed to “increase the awareness of the Commercial Division in the academic community,” including in 78 of the top 100 law schools whose representatives were in attendance. Interested readers can access here one such program from November of last year, entitled “Clerking with NYS Commercial Division Justices.” (Stay tuned for another virtual lecture series sponsored by the Advisory Committee scheduled for June later this year.)

Heather Briccetti Mulligan, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State, whose membership is made up of approximately 3,500 member companies, local Chambers of Commerce, and professional and trade organizations, offered the following plug for the Commercial Division in this year’s Annual Report:

We all know and understand that a well-functioning judicial system is one of the pillars of economic growth and prosperity. Business organizations are much more likely to locate, invest, and do business in jurisdictions where the courts are known for rendering decisions that are well-informed, predictable and just, and where the courts are known for managing commercial litigation in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Ms. Mulligan’s words bring to mind what has become a common refrain here at the New York Commercial Division Practice blog — namely, “Get Thee to the Commercial Division!

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Speaking of extolling the virtues of the Commercial Division, next week the NYSBA Committee on Continuing Legal Education, as well as the Business Law and General Practice Sections, will be sponsoring a webinar entitled, “The Economic Benefits of the Commercial Division to the State of New York and to the Success of Your Law Practice.” The one-hour lunchtime program, which is scheduled for 12:30 on March 28 (register here), will further explore many of the ComDiv attributes mentioned above, including its reputation as a worldwide business-court leader, and its ability to attract businesses, generate revenue, and provide jobs in New York State. The presenters also will explain how litigating in the Commercial Division can improve and refine one’s practice. We look forward to seeing you there!