On Demand Audio

Anatomy of a Discovery Proceeding in New York

(241 reviews)

Produced on August 20, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 3m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Litigation

Course Description

This program, led by attorneys Ilene Cooper and Hillary Frommer, will discuss the basic principles of commencing a Discovery proceeding in New York. Specifically, the presenters will address:

  • what a discovery proceeding is and the statutes that govern it;

  • the subject of a discovery proceeding;

  • the standing to institute a discovery proceeding;

  • the two stages of a discovery proceeding; the differences between the “inquisitorial” stage and the “turnover” stage; the jurisdictional and procedural mechanisms involved in each stage; and

  • the defenses to a discovery proceeding.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Break down the nuts and bolts of the purpose and procedures of a discovery proceeding
  2. Identify and understand the difference between the two stages of a discovery proceeding and how to prosecute each stage
  3. Analyze the defenses that typically arise in a discovery proceeding

Credit Information

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Ilene Sherwyn Cooper

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Ilene Sherwyn Cooper is an estate litigator practicing in Surrogate’s Courts throughout New York and the author of several legislative amendments affecting the laws of inheritance in New York. She has extensive experience administering decedents’ estates, drafting and executing wills and trust instruments, powers of attorney, healthcare proxies and living wills. Previously, she worked as a Principal Law Assistant/Referee for the Surrogate of Suffolk County, Hon. Ernest L. Signorelli.

Ilene has held leadership roles with many state and local professional and community organizations. This includes serving as chair of the New York State Bar Association’s 5,000+ member Trust and Estates Law Section, as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates, as president of the Suffolk County Bar Association, and as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC). She is also an adjunct professor at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, where she has been recognized as Adjunct Professor of the Year multiple times. Ilene published the textbook Wills, Trusts and Estates – Essential Tools for the New York Paralegal and is a columnist on trusts and estates practice for the New York Law Journal and an editor of Warren’s Heaton on Surrogate’s Court Practice.

Ilene drafted an amendment to EPTL 5-3.2, increasing inheritance rights of nonmarital children; co-drafted with members of the NYSBA’s Trust and Estates Law Section an amendment to SCPA 2307-a dealing with attorney-fiduciaries; and was instrumental in initiating and spearheading an amendment to SPCA 2211, which provides for discovery prior to the filing of objections in contested accounting proceedings. Ilene also drafted the legislation that disqualifies abusive parents whose rights have been terminated under Social Services Law from receiving an inheritance from the abused child’s estate.

Hillary Frommer

Elman Freiberg PLLC

Hillary A. Frommer focuses her practice in estate planning, primarily estate matters including contested probate proceedings and contested accounting proceedings. She has extensive trial and appellate experience in both federal and state courts.

Ms. Frommer also represents large and small businesses, financial institutions and individuals in complex business disputes, including shareholder and partnership disputes, employment disputes and other commercial matters.


Patricia P.

Very good practical advice

Gerard M.


Hwesu M.


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