The New York Office of Court Administration has adopted, effective June 2, 2014, Rule 9 of section 202.70(g) of the Uniform Rules for the Supreme and County Courts (Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division). The new rule will allow businesses, when negotiating and entering into all forms of contracts, to choose an accelerated procedure in New York’s Commercial Division for the resolution of any disputes.
Specifically, the rule provides that in all actions, except for class actions brought under Article 9 of the CPLR, the court by written consent of the parties is authorized to apply the Commercial Division’s accelerated adjudication procedures. One way for parties to express such written consent is to use specific language in a contract. While the parties are free to negotiate their own language, the rule itself includes the following proposed contract provision:
“Subject to the requirements for a case to be heard in the Commercial Division, the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commercial Division, New York State Supreme Court, and to the application of the Court’s accelerated procedures, in connection with any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to this agreement, or the breach, termination, enforcement or validity thereof.”
Under the rule’s accelerated process, all pre-trial proceedings, including all discovery, pre-trial motions and mandatory mediation, shall be completed and the parties ready for trial within nine months from the date of filing of a Request of Judicial Intervention (RJI). The accelerated procedures allow businesses to waive the use of costly and time-consuming litigation tactics and to limit electronic and regular discovery. In particular, the parties to an accelerated action waive the following:
- Any objections based on lack of personal jurisdiction or forum non conveniens;
- The right to a jury trial;
- The right to recover punitive or exemplary damages;
- The right to interlocutory appeal; and
- The right to discovery, except as provided for in the rule or such discovery as the parties might otherwise agree.