The Chief Administrative Judge has signed orders (1) raising most of the monetary thresholds for assignment of cases to the Commercial Division and (2) amending Rule 8 to provide for the voluntary exchange of documents that would facilitate early settlement.
The amended NYCRR § 202.70(a), which goes into effect on September 2, 2014, changes the monetary thresholds for assignment of cases to the Commercial Division. Here are the thresholds effective September 2, 2014:
County Old Threshold New Threshold Albany County $25,000 $50,000 Eighth Judicial District $50,000 $100,000 Kings County $75,000 $150,000 Nassau County $100,000 $200,000 New York County $500,000 $500,000 (no change) Onondaga County $25,000 $50,000 Queens County $50,000 $100,000 Seventh Judicial District $50,000 $50,000 (no change) Suffolk County $50,000 $100,000 Westchester County $100,000 $100,000 (no change)
The amended Commercial Division Rule 8(a), which goes into effect on September 2, 2014, provides for informal exchange of documents that would help aid early settlement. The text of the new Rule 8(a) provides:
(a) Counsel for all parties shall consult prior to a preliminary or compliance conference about (i) resolution of the case, in whole or in part; (ii) discovery and any other issues to be discussed at the conference, including the timing and scope of expert disclosure under Rule 13(c); (iii) the use of alternate dispute resolution to resolve all or some issues in the litigation; and (iv) any voluntary and informal exchange of information that the parties agree would help aid early settlement of the case. Counsel shall make a good faith effort to reach agreement on these matters in advance of the conference.
You can learn more about the background of this rule change by reading the request for comment that the Office of Court Administration posted earlier this year on the proposed rule.