Journal of Business & Technology Law

Business Court News and Developments

  • Jan. 31st, 2013 - The new West Virginia Business Court has provided an update and clarification on several key issues. The Business Court judges will be traveling judges that would go to the specific county where the case arose, individuals can still take their cases to Business Court, and two judges will be appointed to hear each case. One judge will hear all litigation and one judge will handle the alternative dispute resolution aspects of the case. Every judge on the Business Court went through mediation training.
  • Jan. 23rd, 2013 - Delaware Court of Chancery fundamentally changes the handling of confidential filings: On January 1, Court of Chancery Rule 5.1 became effective, replacing the now-deleted Rule 5(g). Unlike Rule 5(g), Rule 5.1(b)(2) contains a definition of when "good cause" exists to exempt information from public disclosure. Financial or business information will not satisfy the definition merely because it has not been disclosed publicly before - it must also be sensitive in that the public disclosure of the information will cause a significant personal or competitive harm. The court intends that this more strict definition will require more information to be made publicly available than under current practice.
  • Dec. 21st, 2012 - The Iowa Supreme Court issued an order establishing a three-year pilot project for an Iowa Business Specialty Court. The purpose for the project is to improve the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the Iowa court system. The program will have a separately managed docket that will leverage judicial expertise and litigants' desire to tailor case management practices best suited for resolving substantial business disputes fairly and expeditiously. New cases will be accepted no later than May 1, 2013.
  • Dec. 6th, 2012 - The Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) recently hosted a business court meeting with two other business courts: the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA). The meeting discussed areas of mutual interest in the Gulf including case management, enforcement of judgements and the promotion of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), legal education and the Rule of Law.
  • Nov. 22nd, 2012 - The Jobs Minister of Ireland, Richard Bruton, announced that the examinership process that allows for companies to seek legal help and restructuring, similar to American bankruptcy proceedings, will be made easier and more cost effective for smaller firms by allowing those firms to apply directly to the Circuit Court instead of the more costly Commercial Court. The move is sought to lower the overall cost and allow for smaller firms to receive the help of examinership. To qualify for application with the Circuit Court "the company's balance sheet must not exceed 4.4m, turnover at the company cannot exceed 8.8m and the company cannot have more than 50 employees."
  • Nov. 1st, 2012 - Ashwani Kumar, Minister of Law and Justice in India, has announced his support of commercial benches to hear lawsuits exclusively about commercial litigation. Though the establishment of the commercial benches was first proposed in 2009, it appears that the proposal has gained momentum as a result of Kumar's announcement. The bill will be formally discussed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.
  • Oct. 29th, 2012 - In late September 2012, the Russian Federation's amendments to the Arbitrazh Procedure Code (APC) came into force. The APC amendments create simplified trials for the commercial courts with the goal of increasing the courts efficiency. Under the new simplified procedures, the trial lasts for two months after which the case must be resolved and the decision enacted immediately. On October 8, 2012, the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation enacted a Ruling "on certain aspects of simplified trial in commercial courts." It clarified that requirements, such as a limit on the amount of monetary damages being claimed, must be meet prior to the simplified procedure being applied to a dispute. These procedures are also limited in scope to prevent more complicated cases from going through a less thorough trial.
  • Oct. 18th, 2012 - After a six month pilot program of Kent County's 17th Circuit Court Specialized Business Docket, the specialized court is likely to become a permanent part of the court system. The pilot program in Michigan has been successful by simplifying business litigation, reducing its cost, and speeding up the judicial process. The court has handled business matters such as shareholder disputes, torts, antitrust matters, intellectual-property cases, and securities law cases. Feedback from participants has also been very positive thus far.
  • Oct. 10th, 2012 - The West Virginia Business Court, the State Supreme Court's first division, is officially open for business. Located in Martinsburg, several miles outside of Charleston, the Business Court will primarily focus on complex issues arising from commercial litigation, such as "contract and shareholder disputes, trade secrets, and securities cases." The new Business Court will notably benefit circuit court judges, as they will no longer have to handle "novel or complex issues that they may not be trained to handle."
  • Oct. 3rd, 2012 - A bill currently in the Michigan House of Representatives seeks to establish specialized business courts in circuit courts with three or more circuit judges. The judges in these courts would receive specialized training from the Michigan Judicial Institute in resolving complex business cases. Michigan judges now hear a variety of types of cases in addition to business cases, which is limiting their ability to gain continuous experience in business law and may be leading to unpredictable results. The bill would grant those courts jurisdiction over business and commercial disputes in which the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000. Notably, the bill partially defines "business or commercial disputes" as "those involving information technology, software, or website development, maintenance, or hosting."

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Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved