University of Denver

Ohio: Task Force on Commercial Dockets

In April 2007, the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer announced the formation of the Supreme Court Task Force on Commercial Dockets to "develop, oversee, and evaluate a pilot project implementing commercial civil litigation dockets in select courts of common pleas." The Task Force began working in June 2007 and submitted an interim report in 2008 summarizing the Task Force’s work, along with a proposed set of rules for the establishment of a commercial docket pilot project. Commercial dockets were established in four counties in 2009. The Task Force submitted a second interim report in March 2011, noting the great success of the pilot project at that time, but also highlighting its challenges.

In December 2011, the Task Force submitted its final Report and Recommendations, wherein it recommended creating a permanent program for courts operating specialized dockets to resolve business-to-business disputes. The Task Force also recommended operating the docket with at least two judges, and creating a Commission on Commercial Dockets to oversee the program. The report found that the benefits of the program include accelerating decisions, creating expertise among judges, and achieving consistency in court decisions around the state.

In February 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted permanent rules that govern the establishment and operation of commercial dockets in Ohio. The rules went into effect July 1, 2013.

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