Category Archives: Legal Reform

New video highlights benefits of New York’s Commercial Division

A new film about the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court explains why the court has become the premier forum for business litigation.

In less than 15 minutes, the film describes the origins of the court and the reasons why it has transformed New York from a dreaded venue for the resolution of business disputes, to the preferred setting.

The professionally filmed video, produced by the Historical Society of New York State and the Commercial Division Advisory Council, comes on the heels of a special event last spring when the Business Council hosted a breakfast spotlighting the business benefits of the Commercial Division (see July/August issue of Connect). At the breakfast, Heather Briccetti recalled the “bad old days” when it would have been inconceivable that the New York courts could be viewed as an attraction for businesses seeking to relocate to New York.

Those days, as the new video makes clear, are gone.

Featured speakers include:

Gregory Palm (Goldman Sachs), Joseph Wayland (ACE Limited), Michael Fricklas (Viacom, Inc.), Michele Mayes (New York Public Library), Daniel Jonas (ConMed Corporation), Stephen Cutler (JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Elizabeth Moore (Consolidated Edison, Inc.), Richard Walker (Deutsche Bank AG), Douglas Lankler (Pfizer Inc.) and David Ellen (Cablevision Systems Corp.).

The video is available on several sites, including the court system’s YouTube channel. A full transcript is available on the court system’s website.

New York slips in Legal Climate Ranking

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is out with their latest rankings of state legal climates and New York State has slipped to number 21. While not a precipitous decline, we had been ranked the 18th best climate when the survey was last conducted in 2012, we are clearly going in the wrong direction. The Business Council strongly believes that more work needs to be done to ensure we do not slip further back in the pack.

Despite the setback, New York did receive high marks in two key areas, ranking in the top five in: “Having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements” and “Scientific and technical evidence”.

Here is more on the survey itself: “The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey constitutes the tenth fielding of the survey and builds upon previous studies, the first of which was initiated in 2002.1 Prior to these rankings, information regarding the attitudes of the business community toward the legal systems in each of the states had been largely anecdotal. The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey aims to quantify how corporate attorneys, as significant participants in state courts, view the state systems by measuring and synthesizing their perceptions of key elements of each state’s liability system into a 1-50 ranking. Participants in the survey were comprised of a national sample of 1,203 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues2 who indicated they: (1) are knowledgeable about litigation matters; and (2) have recent litigation experience in each state they evaluate.”

You can read this year’s results, and check on the stats from prior years, by clicking here.