Personal Injury Lawsuits in New York: Note of Issue

The Note of Issue in New York is the legal filing that puts a case on the trial calendar.

Key Steps in the Legal Process Leading to the Note of Issue

The lawsuit begins with the serving and filing of the Summons and Complaint. The defendant answers the complaint and serves additional papers on the plaintiff, which results in an exchange of legal filings. The case then moves into the Discovery Phase, which involves the exchange of photos, medical records and other evidence and conducting depositions and the defendant’s medical exam (DME). Once we complete the Discovery Phase, we can then put the case on the trial calendar. In New York, the plaintiff puts a case on the trial calendar by filing a Note of Issue with the court.

Filing the Note of Issue

To file a Note of Issue in New York, an attorney must also certify that the Discovery exchange is complete and that the case is ready for trial. By filing the Note of Issue, we are saying that after exchanging information and discussing the case with the defense, we still have an “issue” that the court will need to arbitrate. Filing a Note of Issue with a demand for a jury trial also requires paying a $95 filing fee.

While it is true that filing the Note of Issue adds a case to the trial calendar, that does not mean that the case has a fixed start date. How long it takes a case to come to trial will vary from county to county. For example, if I file a Note of Issue today in the Bronx, it may take 18 months for the case to come to trial. If I file the Note of Issue today in Suffolk County, it may take 12 months and 8 months in Manhattan.

Impact of the Note of Issue on Settlement Discussions

I once had a client ask, “Once we file a note of issue, does that mean we can no longer settle the case?” Reaching the point where we are ready to file the Note of Issue presents another juncture to try to settle a case. At that point, both sides have conducted depositions and received all the necessary information to assess a case. The trial and the expenses associated with a trial lay in the future, so it presents a good time to try to settle a case.  Of course, if a fair settlement offer is not forthcoming, then we proceed to trial.

Educating Clients

The legal process for personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York can be long, confusing and difficult. I work hard to make that process work for my clients by squeezing out every day to shorten the process as much as possible. I also work hard to keep my clients up to date on all activities with their cases and to educate them about the process so it is less confusing. As part of the education process, I provide a series of deliverables that explain every step of the process to my clients.

I hope you have found this information helpful. I do need to remind you that this information offers general guidelines. If you have questions about a specific case, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York. I will be glad to answer your questions and assist you. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email me. You can also visit my website or read more on my blog, New York Law Thoughts.

Carol L. Schlitt
New York Personal Injury Attorney

This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney. Remember, each case has a unique fact pattern. Past results do not
guarantee future outcomes.

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