As a businessperson, you understand the importance of staying competitive in the marketplace. Similarly, states like Indiana also work to be competitive, passing laws and implementing programs designed to promote economic growth. The healthier the businesses in our state, the better our economy will fare. That’s part of the thinking behind the Indiana Commercial Courts Pilot Project, a three-year business litigation program the state rolled out in June 2016. Indiana was the 23rd state to roll out commercial courts, with six judges in the state assigned to hear cases in Crown Point, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and New Albany.
How The Pilot Project Impacts Hoosier Businesses
Commercial Courts focus exclusively on business law and rule on cases involving specific civil business disputes. This allows the Court to offer specialized expertise and more consistent decisions, giving businesses a more efficient and predictable litigation experience. The Court also provides extensive case management to help avoid often costly interruptions in business. Additionally, businesses can benefit from the Court’s use of e-filing/e-discovery and early alternative interventions to help avoid the courtroom and associated costs.
So what kinds of cases will the Court hear? Here are some of the most common business litigation topics seen in the Commercial Courts:
- False advertising
- Commercial insurance
- Franchise and dealer relationships
Not all business-related cases are eligible. For example, personal injury, most environmental claims, wrongful death, consumer claims, and discrimination cases are not handled by this type of court.
There are two key things to note about the Commercial Courts: to have your case heard, you must meet eligibility requirements and the parties involved must agree to have their case filed or transferred in.
Key Benefits of Commercial Courts
There’s good reason why nearly half of the states in our country have instituted commercial court programs already. In hopes of retaining and attracting companies, commercial courts provide businesses better tools for resolving conflicts with:
- minimal business disruptions
- faster court proceedings
- improved court efficiency
- use of technology to speed up the litigation process
- specialized competency
- greater consistency in outcomes
Indiana is almost two years into this three-year pilot program, and many are hopeful that it will become a permanent fixture in the state. To learn more about how you may benefit from the Indiana Commercial Courts—potentially saving your business time and money—reach out to Cecelia Neihouser Harper at 765-637-9175.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.