New York Commercial Division Adopts New Rule for Remote Videoconferencing

Effective July 15, 2020, Rule 1 of the Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court was amended to add a new subsection (d), concerning the use of remote technologies.

Rule 1(d) now provides: “Counsel may request the court’s permission to participate in court conferences and oral arguments of motions from remote locations through use of videoconferencing or other technologies. Such requests will be granted in the court’s discretion for good cause shown; however, nothing contained in this subsection (d) is intended to limit any rights which counsel may otherwise have to participate in court proceedings by appearing in person.”

A copy of the Administrative Order adopting Rule 1(d) can be found here.

The new amendment was proposed last year, well before the Covid-19 pandemic, with a detailed explanation from the Commercial Division Advisory Council setting forth the rationale for the new rule. Here is a link to our prior post discussing the proposed amendment, and a link to the Advisory Council’s June 12, 2019 Memorandum explaining the bases for this amendment.

In light of today’s reality, to quote Business Court pioneer Robert L. Haig, “the current pandemic starkly illustrates the importance of facilitating participation of counsel in court proceedings from remote locations.”

Our thanks to Mr. Haig for bringing this development to our attention.