In May 2014, we wrote of the adoption of a new model preliminary conference form for use in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court. Since that time, however, the Commercial Division has adopted a number of rule changes designed in part to streamline the discovery process. Accordingly, the Commercial Division’s Advisory Council has now proposed to again revise the model preliminary conference form. The goal of the new proposed form is to inform the judiciary and practitioners alike of the many discovery and other rules adopted in the Commercial Division over the past eighteen months. The most pertinent of the changes to the proposed revised preliminary conference form are:
- a new section for pre answer motion practice;
- a revised section on discovery pertaining to document production, interrogatories, depositions, disclosure disputes and e-discovery;
- a revised section on alternative disputes resolution; and
- specific directives for parties to inform the Court of the disposition of cases and to sign up for the free eTrack court notification service.
The proposed rule is available here. Public comment on the new proposed form is due by March 11, 2016 and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the form adopted in May 2014, use of the new proposed form would be optional, not mandatory. If adopted, however, we expect many Commercial Division judges to incorporate all or a substantial portion of the changes to the new form. Thus, practitioners should study the new form closely.