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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: October 23, 2016

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Change to Commercial Division Rules

The Office of Court Administration has asked for public comment on two proposed changes to the Commercial Division rules:

First, the OCA has proposed a new rule regarding sealing court records. The proposed new rule provides:

(a) Except where otherwise provided by statute or rule, a court shall not enter an order in any action or proceeding sealing the court records, whether in whole or in part, except upon a written finding of good cause, which shall specify the grounds thereof. Good cause may include the protection of proprietary or commercially sensitive information, including without limitation, (i) trade secrets, (ii) current or future business strategies, or (iii) other information that, if disclosed, is likely to cause economic injury or would otherwise be detrimental to the business of a party or third-party. In determining whether good cause has been shown, the court shall consider the interests of the public as well as of the parties. Where it appears necessary or desirable, the court may prescribe appropriate notice and opportunity to be heard.
(b) For purposes of this rule, ” court records” shall include all documents and records of any nature filed with the clerk in connection with the action. Documents obtained through disclosure and not filed with the clerk shall remain subject to protective orders as set forth in CPLR 3103(a).

Second, the OCA has proposed a new rule limiting the total hours of trial. The proposed addition to the rules provides:

If requested by the Court, the estimate shall also contain a request bv each party for the total number of hours which each party believes will be necessary for its direct examination, cross examination, redirect examination, and argument during the trial. The court may rule on the total number of trial hours which the court will permit for each party. The court in its discretion may extend the total number of trial hours.

E-mail comments on these proposals to rulecomments@nycourts.gov by December 15, 2016, for the proposed rule regarding sealing and December 20, 2016, for the proposed rule regarding the length of trial.

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