New business court docket curriculum developed for courts nationwide



New business court docket curriculum developed for courts nationwide

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) have developed an innovative training curriculum and faculty guide – along with practical tools – to help state courts establish and manage business court dockets more efficiently and effectively. The curriculum was developed as part of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Business Court Docket Pilot Project.

That project was established in 2015 to address complex corporate and commercial cases in a specialized manner, and proved so successful that in 2018 the State Justice Institute (SJI) awarded a grant to the Tennessee AOC and NCSC to develop and implement a training curriculum to help expand commercial dockets across the nation.

A wide variety of litigants have requested to transfer to the specialized docket ranging from large, multi-national companies to small businesses, said Tennessee Administrative Director of the Courts Deborah Taylor Tate. The specialized court docket has handled business topics ranging from contract interpretation to corporate e-discovery to “business divorces” to trade secrets and intellectual property.

“In addition to assisting the business and corporate sector by providing a specialized docket to address complex business disputes, it also helps cases involving citizens of our state by inserting efficiencies into the system and allowing more time for cases on other dockets,” said Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins.

One of the main goals of business court dockets is to provide businesses with more predictable answers and to expedite the resolution of disputes, saving time and money for the litigants as well as the court system.  Feedback from litigant surveys has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants reporting a success rate of more than 90 percent.

Tate said the SJI grant allowed Tennessee – in cooperation with other business court judges – and NCSC “to build on these successful strategies to create a blueprint for other states embarking on the creation of their own business court dockets …  we hope this will become a regular way to share innovative ideas across state lines and across branches of government.”

Watch our Tiny Chat on postal service considerations

videoCourts rely on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver time sensitive documents. The date a document is mailed or received can also have enormous implications, as many court rules specify those "triggering events" which can start the clock running toward things like a default judgement or wage garnishment. How can and should courts adapt to changing USPS procedures and the implications of those changes? Watch our new Tiny Chat to find out.

NCSC accepting Burger Award nominations

The National Center for State Courts announces calls for nominations on the 2020 Warren E. Burger Award.

This prestigious award is presented annually and pays tribute to a state court administrative official who demonstrates professional expertise, leadership, integrity, creativity, innovativeness, all with sound judgment, and who has taken decisive steps to improve the operation of courts at the state or local level applying to courts nationwide.

To submit a nomination, please review the award details on the NCSC website.  Nominations for the Burger award are due Friday, October 16, 2020.