Earlier this month, New York's Commercial Division, a department within the New York State court system designed to handle complex commercial disputes, established new procedures that provide a voluntary, alternative track to shortcut the standard discovery and pre-trial process. The goal: cases will be trial-ready within just nine months. Dubbed "accelerated adjudication," the procedures severely curtail the traditional discovery process and eliminate numerous procedural and substantive rights in an attempt to streamline litigation and drive faster resolution of commercial disputes. Specifically, in order to guarantee such a short window to trial, under the expedited procedures parties can waive the right to a jury trial, interlocutory appeals, fulsome discovery and punitive damages. While the purpose behind these streamlined procedures is laudable, businesses must proceed with caution because these waivers will not be appropriate for every party, contract or potential dispute.
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