Feb. 19, 2020 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued an order that expands Wisconsin’s Commercial Docket Pilot Project, also known as the Business or Commercial Court, to the Second and Tenth Judicial Administrative Districts.
The Business Court “is intended to leverage judicial expertise in commercial law and disputes with commercial litigants’ desire to tailor case management practices best suited for resolving substantial business disputes fairly and expeditiously.”
Starting in 2017, business and commercial cases meeting certain criteria could be transferred to the Commercial Court docket in the circuit courts for Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Waukesha, and Waupaca counties.
Recently, the supreme court expanded the pilot project to circuit courts in the Second Judicial Administrative District (Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties), and the Tenth Judicial Administrative District (Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, and Washburn counties).
Certain types of cases must be adjudicated in the Business Courts.
Parties can also jointly move to transfer non-mandatory cases to the Business Court docket, and the chief judge of the district has discretion to transfer the case based on the nature and complexity of the dispute, among other criteria.
In addition, parties from counties that do not have a dedicated Commercial Court docket may petition to have their cases transferred to a Commercial Court docket, according to an Interim Rule that the court has issued.
The court maintains a Commercial Docket Pilot Project webpage that includes resources about the program, including the required forms that must be filed and the class codes for large claim commercial and business cases eligible. The page also contains a number of decisions decided by Business Court judges since 2017.