Indiana Creates Commercial Courts

By: David L. Simmons, Drewry Simmons Vornehm, LLP

The Indiana Supreme Court is authorizing six judges to preside over pilot project commercial courts, which will begin hearing cases on June 1, 2016. These specialized trial courts will benefit all court users by resolving complex business cases more efficiently, thereby affording increased court resources for other case types. The commercial courts are intended to benefit businesses by promoting earlier and more frequent resolutions, as well as improve the predictability of dispute resolution. Both objectives should also help businesses make better operational decisions.

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously approved a working group to recommend policies and procedures for commercial courts in June 2015. Chief Justice Loretta Rush announced significant progress on the project during the 2016 State of the Judiciary. She thanked the working group including “lawyers, legislators, academics, businesses, and judges who made the vision a reality for our state.” The working group will continue to provide guidance during the first three years of the pilot project.

Commercial courts will hear cases where the parties agree to have their dispute resolved through the specialized docket. Commercial courts in the United States began in 1993 and now exist in more than 20 states.