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Effective February 1, 2021, the New York State Court system has adopted a large-scale update to the Uniform Civil Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Courts. Some notable changes to the rules for civil practice include:


Meet and Confer Prior to Court Appearances, and Be Prepared

  • Requiring counsel who appear before the Court to be fully prepared to discuss the case, or else can be subject to sanctions. Unbelievably, it has become common for some firms to contract attorneys who are uninvolved in the case and lacking any familiarity with the case, to appear in court. That will no longer be tolerated. (Section 202.1)

  • Requiring Counsel to consult with one another before any preliminary or compliance conference, to talk about resolving the case and about discovery issues, rather than waiting for the Court to bring this up for the first time (Section 202.23)

  • Court appearances are to be staggered, to minimize the time spent waiting for your case to be called (Section 202.23)

  • Parties must make sure that all resolutions reached at discovery conference are memorialized in writing (Section 202.20-g)


Non-Presiding Justices Available for Settlement Conference

  • Parties may request a settlement conference in front of a justice or judge other than the justice or judge who is presiding over the case (Section 202.29)

  • When cases are settled, not only should the Stipulation be filed, but the assigned judge should be notified by email or telephone. (Section 202.28)


Limits on length of depositions and documents filed with the Court

  • Absent Court Order, parties are limited to 10 depositions, and no more than 7 hours of depositions per witness (Section 202.20-b)

  • Memoranda of law and affirmations are limited to 7,000 words and reply memoranda and affirmations are limited to 4,000 words (Section 202.8-b)

  • 25-page Pre-trial memorandum will be required, ad well as an indexed binder of trial exhibits for each attorney, the court and for witnesses (Section 202.20-h)


Changes to Summary Judgment Practice

  • Requiring a separation Statement of Material Facts to accompany motions for summary judgment (Section 202.8-g)



This is not a comprehensive list of all changes, but a brief summary. If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Laura Wong-Pan at 845-218-1288 (lwp@laurawongpanlaw.com).


This article should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion with regard to any specific situation, but is presented for informational purposes only.

As of September 30, 2020, employees are entitled to accrue paid sick leave under the New York Sick Leave Law, known as Labor Law 196-b.


Employees are now entitled to accrue sick leave at a rate of not less than 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, starting September 30, 2020 or the employee’s date of hire, whichever is later. All employers with 5 or more employees will be required to provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave, though this number varies according to the size of the employer.


According to the Sick Leave Law, employees can begin using their accrued sick time starting on January 1, 2021, for themselves or for their family members.


Additionally, the Sick Leave Law allows employees to take leave as necessary due to domestic violence, including time needed to access services, consult with an attorney, or anything else to protect themselves and their families from harm. New York joins almost a dozen other states and Washington D.C. in requiring employers to provide leave for people experiencing domestic violence.


Contact us at 845-218-1288 if you have questions about the Sick Leave law, or believe your rights have been violated.


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On April 28, 2020, the Dutchess County Supreme Court issued a Decision & Order, ruling in favor of an employee of the Town of Pleasant Valley, who brought an Article 78 proceeding to challenge her termination by the Town and its former Supervisor. In the Decision, the Court denied the Town's motion to dismiss in its entirety.


The employee, a former secretary and bookkeeper/controller, alleges she was wrongfully terminated by the Town Supervisor without a vote by the Town Board, and for reasons that are arbitrary and capricious. After her termination, at least one Town Board member made false and stigmatizing statements at a public meeting about the employee, when she was not present. The Court concluded that she may be entitled to a full name-clearing hearing, writing: "[T]he statements made against petitioner at the August 8, 2019 public Town Board meeting attack her moral character, accuse her of [wrong]doing and possible criminality. These statements "are stigmatizing in the constitutional sense because of their inevitable effect of foreclosing employment opportunities."


Laura Wong-Pan, Esq., represents the employee.


The Court's Decision & Order in the matter of O'Connor v. Town of Pleasant Valley can be accessed here.



(c) 2020 Law Office of Laura Wong-Pan PLLC. Attorney advertising.


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