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New York Gets Specialist Judge for International Arbitration Matters

In an Administrative Order dated September 16 , 2013, the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State, Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, designated Hon. Charles E. Ramos, Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County, to handle all international arbitration cases before the Commercial Division, New York County, including those brought under CPLR Article75 or under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq. There is an exception for matters with no transnational component arising entirely between US citizens.

This follows a trend in jurisdictions worldwide to delegate international arbitration-related matters to a specialist judge, panel, or court.  A dedicated arbitration judge or court is likely to be more aware of the specific and complex issues that arise in the arbitration context, and can develop a consistent body of case law. Increasing New York City's attractiveness as an arbitration venue is a goal of  the city evidenced by the establishment earlier this year of the New York International Arbitration Center.

The need to educate judges about international arbitration was acknowledged in 2012 by the Federal Judicial Center, which released its International Commercial Arbitration: A Guide for U.S. Judges, noting that “although U.S. federal courts across the country are seeing an ever-increasing number of cases associated with international commercial arbitration, few judges are familiar with this unique and complicated area of law.”