In this year’s State of the Judiciary address, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman ’68 announced the creation of the Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century, which will formulate recommendations to further improve the flow and quality of the typically complex litigation in the Commercial Division.
Judith Kaye ’62, former New York chief judge, and Martin Lipton ’55, a founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, will chair the 30-member task force, which also includes William T. Allen, Nusbaum Professor of Law and Business; Professor John Coffee (LL.M. ’76) of Columbia Law School; Barry Cozier ’75, a member of the firm Epstein Becker & Green’s litigation and labor and employment practices; and Mark Zauderer ’71, a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer.
Envisioned as a judicial forum for business litigation that could be New York’s answer to federal court or Delaware’s Chancery Court, the Commercial Division has experienced a steadily increasing caseload since its inception in 1995. Recent budget cuts have shrunk the number of judicial hearing officers and clerks, compounding the problem.
In a statement, Lippman said, “While New York has long been an international center of commerce—with the state’s judiciary playing a significant role in that prominence—it is imperative that we continue, in today’s highly competitive world, to seek ways to make our great state an even more hospitable environment for business and keep New York at the cutting edge of how commercial disputes are resolved.”
Co-chair Kaye told the New York Law Journal that “it's not so much problems that need fixing as that the Commercial Division came into existence in 1995, that the world has changed enormously. It's almost two decades of a very different business community." Her fellow co-chair Lipton added, "The creation of the task force is not a criticism of the Commercial Division in any way. Rather, it's a recognition that it's been enormously successful."
Posted on March 5, 2012