Employment Discrimination Plaintiff Denied Trial Preference; Hardship Not Shown

In Li v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., 2018 WL 2197603 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. Index. No. 151813/2016, May 8, 2018), an employment discrimination case, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for a “special preference” on the trial calendar, pursuant to CPLR 3403(a)(3).

The law:

The granting of a special trial preference is an extraordinary remedy which amounts to favoring one case over the many others which are awaiting trial. … Accordingly, it should be granted only where unusual or extraordinary hardship has been convincingly demonstrated[.] … In particular, [a] preference on the grounds of the interests of justice is authorized in particular instances in which the expected lag in reaching trial is likely to cause unusual hardship[.] … CPLR 3403(a)(3) allows the court to analyze each request for a preference in light of the unique circumstances of that case.

Plaintiff here requested a trial preference on the ground that the case, which was originally filed in March 2016, was remanded after it was scheduled and prepared for trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Perry, distinguishing the case law cited by the plaintiff, held that “[h]ere, Plaintiff does not identify any collateral circumstances, such as financial hardship, that would warrant the granting of a trial preference.”

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