The Office of Court Administration is seeking public comment on a proposed rule by the New York State Bar Association that would require parties in the Commercial Division to disclose their experts before trial, bringing state commercial practice in line with federal practice. The proposal, which was released for public comment on April 26, would amend the Uniform Rules for the New York State Trial Courts to require that, in cases in the Commercial Division, parties agree on a schedule for expert disclosure no less than 30 days before the close of fact discovery. The parties would be required to disclose the names of the experts and provide written reports signed by the experts. The disclosure would need to be completed no more than four months after the close of fact discovery.
The state bar recommendation came in a report last year by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. The group said that mandatory expert disclosure was necessary to avoid inefficiencies, such as parties making motions for summary judgment without being aware of all the expert testimony to be offered in the case.
In the absence of a rule on expert disclosure for the whole Commercial Division, parties have sometimes agreed in advance to expert disclosure schedules, and some judges have adopted individual rules. The bar report argues that a uniform rule is needed to ensure that litigation in the Commercial Division is predictable and efficient.
Comments, which are due by June 11, can be sent to OCAcommdisclosure@nycourts.gov.
Thanks to Jeff Alfano, Esq., for passing along this information.