Yesterday, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address at Court of Appeals Hall in Albany.  During his speech,  Chief Judge Lippman outlined his 2012 legislative priorities. Notably, these include “setting a new vision for how we in the New York State court system might better serve the needs of the business community and our state’s economy.”

Chief Judge Lippman directly referenced the need to improve the business climate in New York State.  He stated:

“We must seek to create an even more hospitable environment for business. Now that many other states, encouraged by New York’s experience, have established their own business courts, we must ask ourselves anew whether business leaders in New York and around the country know they can rely on our courts for the most efficient and expert resolution of business disputes. We must make sure that New York remains at the cutting edge of how commercial disputes are resolved. It is time to set a new vision for how we in the New York State court system might better serve the needs of the business community and our state’s economy.”

As part of this initiative, Chief Judge Lippman announced the creation of the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century. The Task Force will be chaired by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Marty Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

The Task Force will be asked to consider:

  • how judges are selected for the Commercial Division;
  • how to better control dockets to benefit users and the business community;
  • how to manage the flow of cases and decisions more effectively using non-judicial personnel and alternative dispute resolution; and
  • how to engage more closely with the corporate academic community and the Bar to ensure that judges and court staff benefit from the most up-to-date information and concepts.

Well here is a big “Way to go Chief Judge” for acknowledging that New York needs to be more hospitable to its businesses.  Let’s hope the governor and legislature can follow suit and pass some serious regulatory overhaul this session!