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House Speaker Sees Promise with WV Business Court
“This is a concept I have been advocating for the past four years because I think a separate business docket focusing on resolving commercial litigation will make our state a much more welcoming environment for businesses and assist circuit judges in managing these often complex cases,” Speaker Thompson said.
The Speaker first proposed consideration of a business court within West Virginia's judicial system in 2008. In 2010, the Legislature adopted House Bill 4352, which allowed the state Supreme Court to establish a business court docket within the existing circuit court system, much like the court establishes separate docket systems for the management of criminal cases, civil cases, juvenile cases, abuse and neglect cases, and other specialized dockets.
The Speaker decided to seek this legislation after learning about Delaware’s business court, also known as a “Court of Chancery,” which dates back two centuries.
“Delaware’s Chancery Court is known nationally for efficient handling of commercial law and complex litigation between businesses, and it is no coincidence that Delaware is home to a very large percentage of Fortune 500 companies,” the Speaker said.
“I am grateful to all the justices for moving this initiative forward, to Judge Darrell Pratt for leading a thorough examination of potential issues surrounding business litigation and to Justice Robin Davis for developing rules to facilitate a just and efficient process for these unique cases.
“This sends a powerful message to the business community that this state is business friendly.”