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Indiana’s 6 commercial courts set to begin June 1

January 21, 2016

Six commercial courts handling specialized dockets of business cases were announced Wednesday in an order of the Indiana Supreme Court. The pilot project establishes these courts for business disputes in which parties agree to have their cases resolved:

  • Allen Superior Civil Division Judge Craig Bobay;
  • Elkhart Superior 2 Judge Stephen Bowers;
  • Vanderburgh Superior Judge Richard D’Amour;
  • Floyd Superior 3 Judge Maria Granger;
  • Lake Superior Judge John Sedia; and
  • Marion Superior Civil Division 1 Judge Heather Welch.

Several of these judges have been working on developing commercial courts for a couple of years. The order says the courts will operate under guidelines adopted by the Commercial Court Working Group on case eligibility, assignment, transfer, caseload, and other matters.

The order notes the term of the pilot project shall not exceed three years and will begin June 1.

“The  purpose  of  commercial  courts is  to (1) establish judicial  structures  that  will help  all court users  by  improving court efficiency;  (2)  allow  business and commercial  disputes  to  be  resolved  with expertise,  technology, and  efficiency;  (3) enhance  the  accuracy, consistency,  and  predictability  of decisions  in business  and  commercial  cases;  (4)  enhance  economic development  in  Indiana  by furthering the efficient, predictable resolution of business and commercial law disputes; and (5) employ and  encourage  electronic  information  technologies,  such  as  e-filing,  e-discovery,  telephone/video conferencing,  and  also  employ  early  alternative  dispute  resolution  interventions,  as  consistent  with Indiana law,” the order says.

Indiana joins more than 20 states with specialized commercial court dockets since the first such venues appeared in the 1993, according to the court.

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