University of Denver

Indiana Commercial Court Pilot Project

In 2013, at the request of the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Judicial Conference Business Courts Subcommittee and a Commercial Courts Working Group began exploring whether Indiana should implement a business or commercial court. After researching these specialty courts and dockets in other jurisdictions and drafting proposed routes for possible pilot projects, the Subcommittee and Working Group recommended in favor of establishing a business court. The Court approved the Indiana Commercial Court Pilot Project on January 21, 2016, and the project went into effect beginning June 1, 2016. Six judges were assigned to participate in the project, representative of the six pilot counties.

The Indiana Commercial Court Discovery Guidelines incorporate proportionality into the scope of discovery, require mandatory initial disclosures, and limit the tools of discovery. Commercial Court judges also retain reasonable control over the use of expert witnesses. With respect to case management, the Commercial Court process anticipates that judges will immediately identify and assume control over eligible cases, actively supervise the progress of cases, and explore settlement as appropriate. 

The pilot will be in operation for three years, and the Working Group will submit biannual reports to the Indiana Supreme Court detailing recommendations for improvement, enhancement, or expansion.

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