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Kevin Schlosser Chairs Commercial Litigation Committee of NCBA

Kevin_SchlosserKevin Schlosser has served as Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.  The Commercial Litigation Committee is one of the most active and well-attended committees of the Nassau County Bar Association.

The Commercial Litigation Committee works closely with the New York State Commercial Division Justices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties as well as local federal judges to study and bring about change and improvement in commercial litigation.  When Kevin Schlosser was Vice Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee, he headed the Subcommittee on Expert Witness Disclosure, culminating in a pilot project initiated in Nassau County, which formed the basis of the new statewide Commercial Division rule on expert witness disclosure, providing for the exchange of written reports and depositions of experts prior to trial.

As Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee, Mr. Schlosser spearheaded a number of important initiatives as well as organized and moderated its monthly meetings.  For example, the Commercial Litigation Committee implemented the “Commercial Litigation Tips” email service in which important current commercial litigation updates are sent out to Committee members.  Mr. Schlosser also led the Committee’s review and submission of comments on the Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  In that regard, the Committee joined with the Federal Courts Committee in preparing official comments to the proposed amendments, which were approved by the Board of Directors of the Nassau County Bar Association and submitted to the Federal Committee tasked with reviewing the comments.  The Commercial Litigation Committee’s comments can be viewed by clicking here.

A summary of the Commercial Litigation Committee meetings chaired by Mr. Schlosser appears below.

On June 8, 2015, the Commercial Litigation Committee participated in a CLE event entitled “An Evening with the Commercial Division Judges of the Tenth Judicial District.”  The CLE event was jointly organized by the Commercial Division Committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association’s Federal & Commercial Litigation Section.  Present at the event were all six Commercial Division Justices of Nassau and Suffolk Counties – Justices Stephen A. Bucaria, Vito M. DeStefano, Timothy S. Driscoll, Elizabeth H. Emerson, Jerry Garguilo and Emily Pines.  The discussion was moderated by Kevin Schlosser, a partner at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. and Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association, and Harvey Besunder, a partner at Bracken Margolin Besunder LLP and Co-Chair of the Commercial Division Committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association.  Robert L. Haig, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and Chair of the Commercial Division Advisory Council, was a special guest speaker.  The program was “sold out” — there were 180 lawyers who attended. Click here for photos.

At its March 26, 2015 meeting, chaired by Kevin Schlosser, the Commercial Litigation Committee was privileged to hear from the Honorable Jerry Garguilo, Justice, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk.  Justice Garguilo has recently been assigned to the Commercial Division in Suffolk County. Justice Garguilo shared his advice and insights concerning how he manages his commercial case load, what he expects from counsel and other informative information concerning appearances before His Honor.  Justice Garguilo hears oral argument of all motions, and encourages telephone conferences to resolve issues to avoid motion practice.  His Honor also actively encourages settlement and interacts with counsel and their clients at settlement conferences.  His part is very “hands on.” Click here to view photos.

At its February 24, 2015 meeting, chaired by Kevin Schlosser, the Commercial Litigation Committee was privileged to hear presentations by the Honorable Charles Ramos, Justice, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Commercial Division and the Honorable Timothy Driscoll, Justice, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau, Commercial Division.  Justice Ramos is the longest-tenured Commercial Division judge in the State of New York, having been assigned to that division in 1996.  Justice Ramos discussed his latest activities in the Commercial Division and recent experiences and insight concerning commercial litigation.  Topics included Justice Ramos’ views on resolving discovery disputes through afternoon telephones calls to Chambers, his disposition of substantive motions through decisions from the bench, settlement practices and his preference for hard copy exhibits (rather than electronic exhibits) at trial.  Justices Driscoll and Ramos also enlightened our members on how they handle complex commercial non-jury trials, with unique procedural rules for the presentation and management of testimony and evidence.  The meeting drew a large turn-out and was very favorably received by the members. Click here to view photos from this meeting.

At the December 16, 2014 meeting of the Commercial Litigation Committee, Kevin Schlosser posed questions to Justices Leonard Austin and Peter Skelos of the Appellate Division, Second Department, addressing aspects of appeals in commercial litigation.  The Justices shared advice on preparing and presenting commercial cases, unique issues related to those types of cases, tips for presenting arguments in the briefs as well as oral argument.  Also, they addressed whether specialized Commercial Divisions should be created for the appellate courts. Click here to view photos.

At its October 30, 2014 meeting, chaired by Kevin Schlosser, the Commercial Litigation Committee was privileged to have on board Honorable Leonard Steinman, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau.  Before being elected to the Supreme Court, Justice Steinman practiced general commercial litigation, most recently at Blank Rome.  In an entertaining and informative presentation, Justice Steinman shared insights into the judicial decision making process with members of the Commercial Litigation Committee.  Among other pointers, Justice Steinman offered the following advice:

  • Come to court on time and be prepared so you can answer questions about the facts.
  • Do not bicker with your adversary in front of the judge.
  • Be knowledgeable and persuasive, not “too strident.”
  • Do not bring orders to show cause at 4:00 p.m.
  • When writing a letter to the court, explain in the first two sentences why you are writing to the court and what you want the judge to do.
  • When writing a brief, tell the court what you are going to say, say it and then tell the court what you’ve said.  Make it easy for the court to follow and understand your argument.
  • Don’t throw in every argument under the sun.
  • Use headings in affidavits and briefs.
  • Don’t ever misrepresent the law or overreach on the facts.
Honorable Timothy S. Driscoll, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County, Commercial Division, was also on hand and spoke to the Committee, along with his Law Secretary, Madeline Pomerantz.  For photos of the October 30, 2014 meeting, click here.
At its April 22, 2014 meeting, the Commercial Litigation Committee hosted another informative discussion of recent amendments to the Commercial Division Rules as well as a number of proposed amendments still subject to public comment.  The principal speaker was the Honorable Jeremy Feinberg, currently a Special Referee in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.  Mr. Feinberg has held a number of important positions within the Office of Court Administration, including Special Counsel to the Commercial Division and Assistant to the Honorable Ann Pfau, former Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Court System.  Mr. Feinberg was also a judicial clerk to the Honorable Judith Kaye, while she sat on the New York Court of Appeals, and practiced commercial litigation as an associate at Proskauer Rose LLP in New York City.  Kevin Schlosser, Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee, moderated the discussion, with active participation from Nassau County Commercial Division Justices Stephen Bucaria, Timothy Driscoll and Vito DeStefano.  Also in attendance were Charles Goldburg and Madeleine Petrara, law secretaries to Justices Bucaria and DeStefano, respectively.  Mr. Feinberg attributed the recent amendments to the Commercial Division Rules pertaining to expanded discovery of expert witnesses, including the exchange of written reports and depositions, to the special pilot project developed by the Commercial Litigation Committee (for which Mr. Schlosser served as Chair of the Expert Witness Disclosure Subcommittee) and which was implemented successfully by the Nassau County Commercial Division Justices.  The group also discussed the proposed amendments regarding staggered court appearance times on motions, discovery over non-parties, privilege logs and provisions for discussion of discovery for settlement purposes.  Pictures of the event may be seen by clicking here.

The March 25, 2014 meeting of the Commercial Litigation Committee was a joint meeting with the Federal Courts Committee.  One of the leading forensic accountants and valuation experts, Mark S. Warshavsky, gave an informative presentation on issues involving valuation of businesses.

At the February 25, 2014 meeting, Suffolk County’s Commercial Division Justices Elizabeth Emerson, Emily Pines and Thomas Whelan shared their views on developments in the Commercial Division as well as the new rules and proposed rules.  As with each of the other meetings, Mr. Schlosser moderated the discussion.  For pictures of this meeting, click here.

The January 28, 2014 meeting of the Commercial Litigation Committee was another informative event at which Commercial Division Justices Stephen Bucaria, Timothy Driscoll and Vito DeStefano shared their thoughts, impressions and insights regarding the recently implemented new rules in the Commercial Division as well as a number of the proposed rules under consideration.

At the December 17, 2013 meeting, the Commercial Litigation Committee paid tribute to outstanding United States District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt, presenting with him a distinguished service award.  Speakers included United States Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson, Commercial Division Justice Timothy Driscoll, Meyer Suozzi Counsel Paul Millus, James Wicks and Michael Cardello.  Pictures of the event can be viewed here.
At the November 20, 2013 meeting, the Commercial Litigation Committee joined the Federal Courts Committee in presenting a program on techniques of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation.  On the panel was United States Magistrate Judge Gary Brown of the Eastern District of New York as well as Meyer Suozzi partner, Alan Marder. 

At the October 22, 2013 meeting, Committee members were treated to the “inside scoop” from a number of former judges – Justices Anthony Falanga, Ira B. Warshawsky and Ute Lally as well as Appellate Division Justice Joseph Covello.  With remarkable candor, each of the former judges shared insights into the decision making process and offered important suggestions and tips in advocacy.

At the September 24, 2013 meeting of the Commercial Litigation Committee, Nassau County Administrative Judge Thomas Adams shared his insights on the current challenges of his position and personally met with each of the Committee members at the meeting.  Nassau County Commercial Division Justice Timothy Driscoll also spoke and provided the Committee with an update of his work on New York Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Advisory Council on Commercial Litigation.