On February 24, 2020, JSC George Silver, the Presiding Judge over all pre-trial discovery to be conducted in connection with any Child Victim Act (“CVA”) case filed in New York City, issued Case Management Order # 1 (the “CMO”). The CMO was drafted by a joint CVA Steering Committee consisting of plaintiffs’ liaison counsel and defense liaison counsel, after considerable discussion and negotiation as to case management issues. This CMO ends the moratorium that had been placed on prosecution of CVA claims in New York City.  These cases can and will now move forward as set forth below.

 Some important highlights:

  • The CMO and the New York CPLR will govern all pre-trial proceedings.
  • The CMO sets forth a schedule as to the date defendants are to answer or otherwise respond to a complaint. This will now be done on a rolling basis, based on the date a complaint was served on a defendant. (CMO Section VII)
  • There will be monthly status conferences with the Steering Committee Liaisons to discuss the application of the CMO. Individual conferences will also be held on case-specific matters, as necessary. (CMO Section IV)
  • It is expected that the parties to any multi-defendant cases meet and confer to address issues of severing those cases into individual actions (CMO Section V) and that parties in separate actions will coordinate motion practice on common issues. (CMO Section VI)
  • The Steering Committee will work together to draft a confidentiality order which will apply to all CVA cases. (CMO Section IX)
  • Standard Automatic Disclosures and a Common Demand for A Bill of Particulars will also be drafted and annexed to the CMO once they are finalized. The CMO sets forth the timing for responding to such automatic discovery. In addition, every litigant will be allowed to supplement the automatic discovery as is necessary for their case. (CMO Section IX)
  • To aid with settlement discussions, a stay of any action, including abatement of all discovery deadlines, will be permitted for up to 90 days so long as all parties agree. Thereafter the court must approve a continuation of any stay. (CMO Section X)
  • Cooperation between opposing counsel and parties is essential for orderly resolution of CVA matters, and such communications shall not be viewed as a waiver of attorney-client, work product, or other applicable privileges. (CMO Section XI)
  • Parties may agree to extend any deadlines contained in the CMO for a two-week period without further order of the Court. (CMO Section XI)

We will keep you apprised of any new developments.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.