Effective on February 1, 2021, New York’s Uniform Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Court were revised, by order of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks. The changes incorporate certain rules that the Commercial Division of New York’s Supreme Court had earlier adopted, in an effort to streamline litigation. These rule changes will now apply to all civil cases in the Supreme Court and County Court, including tort actions. As these rules are interpreted by trial courts across the state, MKCI’s attorneys will continue to monitor and advise our clients of any impact these changes will have on their pending legal matters.
Among the changes, there are several that are worth highlighting which may aim to improve the efficiency and predictability of civil litigation in New York. First, the court has mandated that counsel who appear on any proceeding must be familiar with the case, and fully authorized to discuss and resolve issues regarding the case. This will, if enforced, prohibit attorneys from “covering” appearances with no knowledge or authority to discuss the matter, and ideally will allow each conference to more effectively move cases forward.
In similar fashion as the federal courts, interrogatories and depositions will also be limited, with interrogatories limited to 25 per party, and depositions to seven hours per deponent. For good cause, the limits may be expanded. Discovery and disclosure deadlines set in case management orders are to be strictly adhered to, in contrast to how many parts treat discovery deadlines at the present time. Expert discovery has not been altered by these rule changes.
Motion practice is also changed, with a meet-and-confer requirement prior to discovery/disclosure motions, and limitations on the length of motion papers. Motions for summary judgment will also require a statement of material facts in support of the application.
For more information on these procedural developments, please contact any of MKCI’s New York attorneys. The firm’s New York City office is managed by Lawrence McGivney, and our Syracuse, New York office is managed by Meagan Dean.