The Office of Court Administration has asked for public comment on yet another proposed change to the rules of the Commercial Division. In addition to the four proposed rule changes about which we posted on January 1, 2014 (the comment period already has closed for two of the four proposals), the court also is seeking public comment on the proposed creation of a Special Masters pilot program in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court.
Generally, proposal is that:
one or more Commercial Division Justices would participate in an 18-month pilot involving referral of complex discovery issues to a pool of Special Masters comprised of seasoned former practitioners no longer active in the practice of law. Special Masters would be asked to hear and report to the court on discovery issues, and would serve pro bono. The parties would be required to consent to referral of discovery matters to a Special Master and bear any costs related thereto. Procedures would be instituted to ensure the random assignment of Special Masters and to identify and avoid obvious conflicts.
Email comments to CommDivMasters@nycourts.gov by March 31, 2014.