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Changes to Commercial Division’s Pre-Trial Submission Rule

Good news for lawyers preparing for trial in New York’s Commercial Division—you can finally delete that old copy of WordPerfect.  An upcoming amendment to the rule governing pre-trial memoranda, exhibits, and requests to charge makes a few changes that trial-ready attorneys should note.

Attorneys practicing in the paperless commercial parts will now submit their pre-trial documents on a USB flash drive.  Hard copies are no longer required.  If you’re practicing in the other commercial parts, submit your pre-trial memoranda and requests to charge in a Word document with twelve-point type.  Your trial exhibits should be in an indexed binder or notebook with a copy for the court and each attorney, but you need not submit witness binders. 

Unless otherwise directed by the court, exhibits and requests to charge are due at the pre-trial conference.  Pre-trial memoranda are only required upon the court’s request, and the length limit is now 7,000 words rather than twenty-five pages.  Our non-empirical study suggests that seven thousand words is about twenty-five pages in double spaced, twelve-point type with headings and a cover page.

As always, attorneys should consult the Court’s individual part rules before submitting any documents. 

The amendment to Rule 31 of section 202.70(g) of the Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division takes effect on March 1, 2021.

By Julia M. MacAllister and Muhammad U. Faridi