Court Boosts Manhattan Commercial Threshold to $500,000

, New York Law Journal


60 Centre St.
State Supreme Court at 60 Centre St.

"Where the real burden [lies] is on motion practice," he said. "Given the numbers, and we did look at the hard statistics, we felt that raising the threshold would be an appropriate solution."

The last time OCA raised the jurisdictional amount in New York County, the threshold jumped from $100,000 to $150,000. The current increase, while substantial, won't necessarily filter out less complex or controversial cases.

"There may be some loose correlation, but it is true they are not directly related," Zauderer said. "Even if it doesn't change the mix of complicated cases, it will mean fewer cases."

The threshold increase is only the second proposal submitted by the Commercial Division advisory council that OCA has implemented without first seeking public comment. The first was the designation of Commercial Division Justice Charles Ramos to handle all international arbitration proceedings in the Commercial Division.

Recommendations on which the public is invited to comment are a pilot mandatory mediation program and accelerated adjudication procedures, measures intended to help reach the greater goal of increasing the visibility and competitiveness of New York's Commercial Division.

Robert Haig, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren who chairs the Commercial Division Advisory Council, said the need for the threshold increase is a testament to the growth of the Commercial Division.

"The volume of cases filed in the Commercial Division has increased as has the size and complexity of the cases," he said.

For the time being, the monetary threshold amounts in the other Commercial Divisions in the state will remain the same. Those amounts are $25,000 in Albany and Onondaga counties; $50,000 in the Seventh and Eighth Judicial Districts, Queens and Suffolk counties; $75,000 in Kings County and $100,000 in Westchester and Nassau counties.

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