New York Practice
Professor Lipshie – (212)806-5647
Thursdays, he’ll be here before class (3
25-30 pages ahead each week
Difference between a section and a rule? Nothing. Sections – it used to be – were to be
amended by the Legislature (if at all). Those labeled rules, would be amended by judges,
if at all.
The Legislature didn’t want to give away its power to change rules, so now
there’s no difference.
Comparing it with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? It’s a fairly simple set of rules.
There are 80 of them, and they’re not confusing.
The CPLR is much more convoluted, and it covers more things. NY doesn’t have an
evidence code (nothing like the Federal Rules of Evidence) so it’s all stuck in the CPLR –
like how many peremptory challenges you get, and rules about hearsay and privileges.
Case law is much more important here.
Subject matter will flow – first, things you’ll think once the client leaves your office.
Where will you sue? (Jurisdiction, venue, forum non conveniens). How do you get it
started? (Service of process). And what about statute of limitations?
If there’s a doubt
that the obvious claim is not timely, what other claims do I have? Who am I going to sue?
(The proper parties). What are the rules with respect to pleadings? Motion practice?
Need to think about the NY court structure.
How important is each court that gives an opinion? It’s harder in state court than in
federal court to figure out.
In NY there’s the Supreme Court of the state of NY.
It’s not the highest court –
in fact, it’s a trial court. It’s the highest trial court, though. It’s a court of general
jurisdiction. It can do anything – award however many dollars, and can work in equity.
Can give legal and equitable relief. If the legislature creates a cause of action and says it’s
exclusively within jurisdiction of the Surrogate’s court, the Supreme Court will also have
jurisdiction. In every county except for the 5 counties that make up the city of NY, there
are county courts. There are 63. Are also the Civil courts of the city of NY – limited
jurisdiction, in terms of dollars, and can’t give equitable relief. Current maximum is
$25,000. Nassau and Suffolk county (and only them) have District court. Each county has
a Surrogate’s court (deals with dead people).
Every county has a family court. (Deals
with family issues). Have city courts, town, village, justice of the peace courts, etc. They
all have limited J in one way or another.
We also have the court of claims. It’s the only court as to which Supreme Court
doesn’t have coordinate J. can only bring an action for money damages against he state of
NY or one of its agencies. A case against the state for money damages CANNOT be
brought in Supreme Court.
We have tons of Supreme Courts too. The appellate Term. It’s an adjunct of Sup.