A proposed rule amendment would clarify that Commercial Division courts in New York state have the power to order virtual bench trials and evidentiary hearings by granting a party’s “good cause” motion, according to memos from both the court system and members of a Commercial Division Advisory Council subcommittee.

Currently, “Rule 36. Virtual Evidentiary Hearing or Non-jury Trial” only authorizes virtual evidentiary hearings and bench trials when the parties to the litigation consent to them, according to the memo from the members of the Advisory Council’s Subcommittee on Procedural Rules to Promote Efficient Case Resolution, who it appears first raised the idea of the rule amendment.

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