New NY Rule Forces Settlement Talks Before Trial

January 27, 2022 – Media Mention

Herrick litigation partner Scott E. Mollen spoke to Law360 about Rule 30 from the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. Signed on Jan. 7, the directive forces parties to attend a court-ordered settlement conference at a critical stage of dispute — after the discovery phase of a case has completed and before a trial begins — where additional efforts are required to reach a settlement.

By requiring a settlement conference at the end of discovery, it helps eliminate the obstacle of parties being reluctant to initiate the dialogue. Since this now becomes a court requirement, The Commercial Division believes it will be extremely helpful to help business litigants reach resolutions.

In the article, Scott highlighted a matter where this was an issue for both parties. Scott reflected, "The union didn't want to chase after the owner for a settlement conference. The owner didn't want to chase after the union for a settlement conference. Each one wanted to project strength," adding, "But once actual dialogue occurred, the parties were able to resolve the dispute."

Scott commented, "This new rule requires that people sit at a table and engage in dialogue." The article noted that Scott is authorized to speak on the behalf of the Commercial Division Advisory Council of the state Supreme Court, which recommended top state judges to adopt the rule.

Scott joked, "Maybe, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton might have benefited from a mandatory settlement conference."

Read the full piece in Law360 here. Access may require a subscription.