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  • February 18, 2022

    Business Court Pilot Project Would Be Extended Under Proposal

    The Business Court Advisory Committee has petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to extend the Commercial Docket Pilot Project for an additional two years

    Jeff M. Brown

    Business People Seated Around A Table And A Judges Gavel

    Feb. 18, 2022 – The Business Court Advisory Committee (Committee) has petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to extend the Commercial Docket Pilot Project for an additional two years.​

    In its petition, the committee said that more time is needed before deciding whether to take the project statewide.

    “The Committee has d​etermined that it is appropriate to again extend the pilot project to gather additional data in order to determine if state-wide trial court judicial dockets for large chain business and commercial cases should be established,” the petition states.

    Project Began in 2017​

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court, under then-Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, established the project in 2017.

    Jeff M. Brown Jeff M. Brown is a legal writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. He can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6126.

    When it began, the project was limited to the counties in District Eight (Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, and Waupaca) and Waukesha County. Circuit court judges in each county were appointed to the Commercial Court docket.

    In participating counties, certain types of circuit court cases must be assigned to the commercial docket. For other types of cases, the parties may petition to have their cases assigned to the commercial docket.

    In 2020, the supreme court extended the pilot project for two years, to July 2022. At that time, the supreme court also expanded the pilot project to Dane County, 14 counties in District Ten in northwestern Wisconsin, and three counties in District Two (Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha).

    Local Input

    In its petition, the Committee also requested that the supreme court modify the rule that created the pilot project to clarify that the chief justice should consider local input before appointing judges to the commercial docket. 

    “Implementing a state-wide commercial court docket is not a decision that the Committee takes lightly,” the committee said in a memorandum supporting the petition.

    “It desires to confirm that the data and evidence support such an expansion and that it would benefit the people, the bar, and the court system in Wisconsin.”

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    WisBar Court Review, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin, includes summaries and analysis of decisions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as well as other court developments. To contribute to this blog, contact Joe Forward.

    Disclaimer: Views presented in blog posts are those of the blog post authors, not necessarily those of the Section or the State Bar of Wisconsin. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the State Bar of Wisconsin makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content.

    © 2023 State Bar of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.

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