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Recent resources on business courts

September 28, 2020

Business courts are either statewide, regional, or local to a city or county. These specialized dockets are sometimes known as complex litigation courts.  Since 1993, business courts have been established through legislation, administrative orders of the highest court of the state, constitutional amendments, and administrative orders of the chief judge of trial-level courts.  There are common elements to all these business courts. They each have: a specialized jurisdiction focusing on business and/or commercial disputes; one judge, or a set of judges, specially assigned to the business court; and the same judge handling a single case from beginning to end.  While there are a few variations on these elements between states, all business court judges handle a case from beginning to end. In the context of this new book “business court” encompasses an array of specialized formats for administering business and commercial cases at the state civil trial court level.

Several recently released resources can help aid those looking to implement new business courts and/or improve existing courts.

Edited by Vanessa Tiradentes, the Hon. Meghan Adams, and Douglas Eyre, The Business Courts Benchbook: Procedures and Best Practices in Business and Commercial Cases (2019), provides a comprehensive overview of case management, best practices, and decision making in United States business courts. In the context of this new book “business court” encompasses an array of specialized formats for administering business and commercial cases at the state civil trial court level. Providing an overview of 25 states with business courts, the book identifies and details business court administration, procedures, and best practices nationwide, and addresses common legal issues decided by business courts. The Benchbook also includes a chapter on settlement and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in business courts as well as a selection of sample forms specific to business courts.

To learn more about business courts, see these training materials from the National Center for State Courts and the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.

In addition, NCSC  produced a commercial court evaluation for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County in December 2018.  The Maricopa Commercial Court began in 2015 as a three-year pilot project aimed at making an informed judgment about the effectiveness of meeting its goals.

The Business Courts Benchbook is available through the American Bar Association and available for loan from the National Center Library.

Does your court have a business court? Share your experiences with us and follow the National Center for State Courts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest! For more information, contact Knowledge@ncsc.org or call 800-616-6164.