NY Attorneys Say New Rule Will Streamline Commercial Discovery

May 25, 2022 – Media Mention
Law360 Pulse

Herrick litigation partner Scott E. Mollen spoke to Law360 Pulse about Rule 11, a redesigned rule that regulates discovery in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. The article outlined that the goal is to streamline the process, stating, "Under the redesigned rule, judges will have an option to direct plaintiffs, and defendants making counterclaims, to produce a document stating clearly and concisely the issues in the case at the onset of litigation."

Scott said the rule change addresses a big worry for attorneys: overlooking something in the early stages of litigation and being criticized later for having made discovery requests that are too narrow. He highlighted how the rule encourages the filing of a brief outlining the scope of the claims and the related discovery needs at the very beginning of a case. The early brief helps judges and litigants plan out discovery but also gives them an early opportunity to root out frivolous claims and counterclaims.

Scott reflected, "Often, lawyers in their zeal to be as thorough as possible serve discovery demands for documents and depositions that are extremely broad... Judges need sufficient information in order to accurately assess the appropriate scope of discovery in a particular case. This modification preserves the courts' discretion to custom-tailor the discovery process."

He concluded, "Litigation is an evolving process," adding, "As lawyers and parties learn more about the issues and the evidence through the discovery process, and through the motion process, they have a greater ability to sharpen the focus of what they really need."

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