Indiana commercial courts expanding to 4 more counties

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The Indiana judiciary is expanding its roster of commercial courts, adding four more counties to the program that started in 2016. The Indiana Supreme Court announced the new venues handling the specialized dockets Monday.

Courts in Hamilton, Madison, St. Joseph and Vigo counties will launch commercial court programs in January. Judge Jon Brown will preside over the specialized docket in Hamilton County, while Judge Mark Dudley will preside in Madison County, Judge Steven Hostetler in St. Joseph County and Judge Lakshmi Reddy in Vigo County.

The four new courts join the six pilot programs in Allen, Elkhart, Floyd, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties. The pilot program was launched in 2016 as a way to increase efficiency and accuracy in business disputes, which often involve complex and specialized areas of the law.

After initial success among the pilot counties, the Indiana Supreme Court made the commercial courts permanent in 2019.  So far, 945 cases have been filed in the six original counties, while four licensed law clerks support the commercial courts, according to data from the Supreme Court.

The high court has also launched an online Commercial Courts substantive order search designed to enhance the accuracy, consistency and predictability of judicial decisions in commercial litigation. The search tool can be found here.

To learn more about how commercial courts work, Hoosier lawyers can attend one of five virtual CLEs:

  • Hamilton County Bar Association, “Welcome to the Commercial Court”: Dec. 15, noon-1 p.m. Register here.
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, “Indiana Commercial Court Updates: Meet the Judges”: Dec. 15, 4-5:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Terre Haute Bar Association and Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, “Welcome to Vigo County’s Commercial Court”: Jan. 12, 2021, noon-1:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Madison County Bar Association, “Madison County has a Commercial Court — You should use it”: Jan. 13, 8-9 a.m. To register, email [email protected].
  • Joseph County Bar Association, “Commercial Court in St. Joseph County”: Feb. 4, 2021, noon-1:30 p.m. Register here.

More information about Indiana commercial courts can be found on the Indiana Supreme Court’s website.

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