Supreme Court Adopts Rules to Clarify Commercial Docket Judge Designation
Common pleas courts that establish commercial dockets now have more guidance about designating judges to preside over these cases under rule amendments adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Changes to Rule 49 and 49.02 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio took effect October 7.
Existing rules already call for the Chief Justice to designate two sitting judges of each court to serve as commercial docket judges. The rules also call for a subcommittee of the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Case Management to recommend the judge candidates and how many should serve.
The amendments will clarify the process, including:
- Instructing the court to submit a written request to select judges and their names.
- Having the subcommittee submit a written report to the Chief Justice with the number of judges recommended and the specific candidates.
- Directing the subcommittee to consider 11 criteria for reviewing candidates.
Commercial dockets are used to resolve business-to-business disputes quicker and to provide consistency to the process by judges developing expertise in this area.
On July 1, 2013, rules took effect for common pleas courts with six or more general division judges or that are located in a county with at least 300,000 people to establish commercial dockets. Cuyahoga, Hamilton, and Lucas counties operate commercial dockets.
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