Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, 5th Edition

Book Review

By Michael Catania, Esq., Catania, Mahon & Rider, PLLC

Many are well-acquainted with Robert L. Haig’s, Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (“Commercial Litigation.”).[1] I have consulted this ever-expanding treatise on numerous occasions and in the context of a variety of commercial matters. It has been useful both as a general refresher on familiar issues and as a comprehensive guide on less familiar topics. Commercial Litigation recently published its 5th edition and I was requested by the editor to provide a review. I am pleased to report that, while this newest edition significantly adds to its prior coverage (28 new chapters on topics such as Negligence, Valuation, and Teaching Litigation Skills), it retains the quality and accessibility of prior editions.

Commercial Litigation’s greatest attribute is its impressive list of contributing authors, including preeminent jurists and distinguished attorneys who currently practice in the “trenches” of their respective fields of concentration. The accumulative experience from both sides of the bench begets materials that cut to the heart of a given matter and provide extremely practical insight and advice.

While Commercial Litigation is noteworthy for its ambitious scope, covering over 156 topics in 10 volumes, its depth of treatment of each individual subject is also laudable. For example, Chapter 149 (Construction Dispute Resolution) addresses both common and novel aspects of litigating construction cases in NY, e.g., Mechanics Liens, Payment and Performance bonds and even the often-overlooked Prompt Payment Act. It further covers pre-litigation matters with equal profundity, dealing with such important topics as statutory and contractual notice of claim provisions. I found this “broad and deep” approach to run through many of the chapters I reviewed, such as Arbitration (Ch. 69), Contracts (Ch. 89), and Project Finance and Infrastructure (Ch. 150).

We practice law in a paperless world, with legal research often confined to narrowly targeted online search fields. Unfortunately, this can confine our research in a way that potentially causes us to miss otherwise significant claims, defenses, and points of law. Commercial Litigation’s content and organization combats such unintended tunnel vision. The review of one topic naturally flows to other related, and perhaps equally important, issues. For these reasons, I highly recommend Commercial Litigation to all of my fellow commercial lawyers.

[1] Haig, R. L. (2020). Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (5th ed., Vols. 2–4H). Thomson Reuters.