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NY Commercial Litigation: Distinctions that Non-New Yorkers Need to Know To Effectively Represent Their Clients

(300 reviews)

Produced on April 12, 2016

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Course Information

Time 90 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Litigation

Course Description

In this course, attorneys Paul Sarkozi and Vincent Syracuse review the procedures that govern New York practice with an emphasis on how New York practice differs from federal practice (and the practice in most other states), the strategic choices a commercial litigator needs to make in deciding whether to bring an action in New York’s Commercial Division and recent rule changes that impact the handling of cases in the Commercial Division. Without knowing these procedural distinctions, a lawyer’s advocacy will get muddled as a hometown advocate will find ways to delay and frustrate her adversary from presenting the client’s story in an effective manner. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand New York distinctions to effectively represent clients in business disputes

II.    Identify key criteria to consider when deciding whether to bring a case in state or federal court

III.   Recognize the benefits of seeking assignment to the Commercial Division 

IV.   Grasp how to take full advantage of the Commercial Division’s new rules to help clients cost-effectively prosecute or defend their disputes


Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Vincent J. Syracuse

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Vincent J. Syracuse joined Tannenbaum Helpern during the summer of 1979 and founded the firm's litigation department and is currently its Co-Chair. As a general litigator for over 40 years, Vince has earned a reputation as a problem-solver, strategizer, tactician and aggressive advocate for his clients. Recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the New York Metro area, he represents a variety of clients in commercial litigation in all New York State and Federal Courts on the pre-trial, trial and appellate levels and in various alternate dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. He is also a mediator in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Vince has been active for many years in numerous bar association activities and frequently chairs or participates as a faculty member in continuing legal education programs on various commercial litigation subjects, including the New York State Bar Association's extremely successful program on ethics and civility in litigation which he has chaired for over fourteen years. Vince has been a member of the NYSBA's House of Delegates. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since 1994. He was the Section's Chair in 2009-2010, having previously served as Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair and three terms as the Section's Treasurer. The Section honored Vince with its nominations in 2007 and 2012 for the NYSBA's Attorney Professionalism Award recognizing him as a "tireless advocate for ethics and civility in New York." In March 2010, Vince was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System which monitors the annual financial disclosure statements within the judicial branch of the New York State government. Vince is also a member of the NYSBA's Committees on Attorney Professionalism and Continuing Legal Education. He writes the monthly Attorney Professionalism Forum in the NYSBA Journal.

As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and a former Chair of the Commercial Division Committee, Vince has helped shape the development of the Commercial Division since its inception in New York and Monroe Counties, and subsequent expansion to several counties throughout the State of New York. The Advisory Committee acts as liaison between the bar and the Commercial Division and has created a mechanism that allows practitioners in the Commercial Division to express their views about the structure of the Commercial Division, and comment on various matters of Commercial Division practice, including the definition of a "commercial case." Vince has been directly involved in the drafting of the Commercial Division rules that have refined the criteria for the assignment and retention of cases in the Commercial Division, and govern practice in the various Commercial Division venues.

Vince has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 every year that selections were made.

Paul D. Sarkozi

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Paul Sarkozi is the Co-Chair of Tannenbaum Helpern's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. Recognized by Super Lawyers in the New York Times since 2012 as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the New York Metro area, Paul is a savvy litigator and negotiator who focuses on results for his clients. Equally adept in federal and state court, Paul has nonetheless developed a particularly strong reputation in New York's Commercial Division, the branch of the NY Court system that handles complex business disputes. He was selected by NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve on his Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century and serves on the Chief Judge's Commercial Division Advisory Council as Co-Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Paul recently served as Chair of the State Bar's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, which regularly addresses critical issue affecting business litigation in both NY State and Federal courts.

A versatile advocate, Paul is called on by business entities and senior executives in a broad range of industries to counsel them on the best ways to prosecute, defend and resolve their disputes. He has represented hedge funds, private equity firms, REITs and developers, global media and public relations firms, a leading athletic clothing designer, international banking organizations, international pharmaceutical and food companies, a national accounting firm and even a Saudi prince.

Finally, Paul is an experienced, smart and effective negotiator. His knowledge and skill in this area have been recognized by Columbia Law School, where he has been appointed a Lecturer-in-Law to teach a Negotiation seminar. Paul also serves on the roster of mediators for the Commercial Division in New York County.


Stuart W.

Very well put together and presented.

Maureen M.

Excellent for attorneys from out of state coming into NY State court to practice. Materials were superficial but the comments were excellent in explaining differences

Frederick S.


Ra'Shaun K.


Gar H.

A lot of good information from sharp experienced attorneys,.

Joel F.

Excellent lively presentation..even for a non-litigator attendee.

Ivy G.

This was VERY good. I am going to re-watch it before commencing any state court action to remind myself of the differences, since I primarily practice in federal court.

Lucia C.


Robert C.


Catherine E.

Extremely interesting discussion of NY State and Federal civil procedure; contrasts sharply with commercial practice here in IL!

Rodney S.


Justin A.

Good course!

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