Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Supreme Court Adopts Permanent Commercial Dockets Rules

The Ohio Supreme Court adopted permanent rules that govern the establishment and operation of commercial dockets in Ohio.

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.

Rules 49 through 49.12 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio set the parameters of which courts can establish and operate commercial dockets, the training requirements for commercial docket judges, cases eligible and not eligible for commercial dockets, how to offset the workload of judges assigned to commercial dockets, and other issues.

The Supreme Court adopted temporary rules on May 6, 2008 to establish a multi-court pilot program to assess the best method of establishing commercial civil litigation dockets in the state. Pilot commercial dockets were established in common pleas courts in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, and Lucas counties.

Since that time, the types of cases that came before commercial docket judges have included business liquidations, trade secret disputes, non-compete contracts, and shareholder disagreements.

In 2012, the Task Force on Commercial Dockets issued a final report in which it recommended the Supreme Court adopt rules allowing for the permanent establishment of commercial dockets.

The report found that the benefits of the program included accelerating decisions, creating expertise among judges, and achieving consistency in court decisions around the state.