The Task Force on Commercial Litigation, convened by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in February, yesterday called for a slew of changes to New York’s Commercial Division, including adding six new Court of Claims judges, re-hiring judicial hearing officers, raising the threshold for getting into the Commercial Division, hiring new clerks and making expert discovery mandatory, and instituting procedural reforms.

The recommendations were issued in the form of the 32-member task force’s final report to Lippman, the culmination of six months’ work during which the full task force met five times and several sub-groups met over a dozen times. The report, which was adopted unanimously, comes at a time when the Commercial Division faces a steadily increasing caseload and is widely seen by practitioners as overburdened (NYLJ, April 17).

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