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Litigating in New York’s Commercial Division 

Much of New York’s real estate litigation is conducted in the commercial division of the Supreme Court of New York State, a specialized segment of the court established to adjudicate complex business disputes.  The commercial division has its own set of judges, who adjudicate only commercial cases.  It also has its own set of rules designed specifically to address the needs of such cases. A permanent Commercial Division Advisory Council – comprised of litigators, current and former members of the judiciary, and in-house counsel – continually studies the changing needs of the practice and regularly proposes and secures changes to those rules to meet those needs.  The result is a modern, practical, and efficient system well-suited to business litigation in general, and to real estate litigation in particular.


The judges of New York’s commercial division are well-versed in the principles and mechanisms of New York law that frequently arise in real estate litigation.  But the ubiquitous use of Delaware limited liability companies for real estate transactions also often means that Delaware law applies to various aspects of disputes among members or investors in New York real estate developments.  What results can be a complex combination of Delaware substantive law and New York procedural law – which the commercial division judges are also highly experienced in handling.


One other noteworthy aspect of litigation in the New York state courts is the interlocutory appeal.  Many non-final orders are immediately appealable to the Appellate Division, New York’s intermediate appellate court.  Absent a specific order to the contrary, an interlocutory appeal does not result in a stay of proceedings in the lower court and therefore does not delay the litigation.  It can, however, enhance efficiency: for example, if an order denying dismissal or summary judgment is ultimately going to be reversed on appeal, it is better to know that right away than to have to wait until the case is litigated to conclusion.

Commercial litigation usually involves disputes between businesses, competitors, vendors, former partners, or employees. 

The Initial Approach

Commercial litigation can be extremely costly. Perhaps more importantly, it can take years to get to trial for a resolution. Consequently, you need to understand what that means to you, as well as your business.

Commercial litigation includes:


Fraud claims: Misrepresentation is often a major issue in a business dispute. There are a range of state and federal laws that directly address deceptive practices.

Investor claims: Including fraud, inappropriate advice, omissions, and misrepresentation.

Suits on notes: In some circumstances it may be beneficial to sue for the amount owed rather than initiate a foreclosure action.

Recovery on accounts (Collections)

Breach of Contracts

Owner Disputes

Nothing is worse than a deadlocked business. Disputes between Owners, Partners, and various interests can cripple the business and drain any and all profits quickly. Resolving a conflict may entail the exploration of issues such as:


Misappropriation of company funds

Breach of fiduciary duty

Negligent management

Misappropriation of trade secrets

Other Business Lawsuits

A myriad of other issues may arise when conducting business, including business torts, intellectual property (copyright, patent, and trademark), product liability and Consumer protection concerns, as well as compliance with State and Federal regulations.

Call Us Today

If you need legal help in a matter involving commercial litigation, call Sondak Law Group at (212) 324-3070.

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