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New York Amends Its Rules Too

On the same day that the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective, changes to the Rules of Practice for the New York State Supreme Court Commercial Division also went into effect. The preamble to the Rules was amended to acknowledge the need to encourage proportionality, (in addition to the pre-amendment aims of conserving client resources, promoting efficient resolution of matters, and increasing respect for the judicial process), in addressing the problems caused by dilatory tactics of some attorneys. See: . Proportionality is a principle to be applied in all discovery matters. The rules had previously provided for proportionality with respect to electronic discovery. eDiscovery is re-shaping the law.

Rule 6 was also amended to require the use of bookmarks to the contents of memoranda of law, and 'where appropriate' affirmations, and affidavits. See A suggestion to require the use of hyperlinks in briefs was rejected.

If you find yourself working with an attorney worrying about how to find time to meet this last requirement as the midnight deadline for a brief draws near, don't worry. Inserting bookmarks into PDFs of briefs is something that can be done with very little effort, if you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your PC, and a brief was created using the standard heading formatting in Word. You just need to go to File . . . Save as Adobe PDF. Click Options in the Save dialog box, and you’ll see this window:

You just need to confirm that ‘Convert Word Headings to Bookmarks’ is checked. The PDF that is created will have bookmarks that you can use to get around the brief.

When filing in NY County, we may also want to consider checking the option for ‘Create PDF/A-1a: 2005 compliant file’. See the New York County Civil Branch of the New York Supreme Court’s Protocol on Electronically Filed Cases, revised this October. The protocol specifically states that all documents filed with the New York State Courts electronic filing system must be in the PDF-A format. See the tip of the night for October 7. 2015.

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