Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ohio Commercial Docket Courts

In April 2007, the late Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Thomas J. Moyer announced the formation of the Supreme Court Task Force on Commercial Dockets, charging it with developing a pilot project to determine the best means of adopting commercial dockets in the state's courts of common pleas.

The Task Force’s final report was issued last Tuesday with findings that the benefits of the program included faster decisions, a creation of some expertise among judges, and achieving consistency in court decisions around the state. Among its 26 recommendations was the creation of a permanent program for courts operating specialized dockets to resolve business-to-business disputes. (Announcement)

Commercial dockets were established in common pleas courts in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Lucas counties beginning in January 2009. Over that time, the types of cases that came before commercial docket judges included business liquidations, trade secret disputes, non-compete contracts and shareholder disagreements. Commercial docket opinions & dispositive orders from these four courts are available on the task force’s website.

Temporary rules adopted by the Supreme Court in 2008 called for a multi-court pilot program to assess the best method of establishing commercial civil litigation dockets in the state. Proposed permanent Rules of Superintendence will now be introduced later this year incorporating the task force’s recommendations.

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