As we have discussed in our previous posts, on June 3, 2013, the Business Court Act became effective. That Act requires Michigan circuit courts with 3 or more judges to create a separate “business court” to handle commercial cases, with certain judges from these courts being assigned to preside over these cases.
One of the Legislature’s goals in creating the business court is to “[e]nhance the accuracy, consistency, and predictability of decisions in business and commercial cases.” To reach this particular goal, the Legislature required that “[a]ll written opinions in business court cases shall be made available on an indexed website.” The website containing indexed business court opinions is now available here.
The website separates the opinions into various categories (e.g., construction, contracts, derivative actions, jurisdiction, etc.) and allows users to search business court opinions within these categories. The publication of these opinions should help attorneys and clients make better informed decisions on issues common to business court disputes.
For instance, even in its early stages, the business court index contains many opinions and orders addressing the subject matter jurisdiction of the business court, and which detail what cases do and do not belong in the business court (see our prior posts on this topic). Thus, if there is a question as to whether a particular case belongs in the business court, an attorney can consult the opinion index and see how other judges – or even the judge assigned to the case – addressed the issue. The attorney can then better advise the client and avoid unnecessary filings or a motion directed at the court’s jurisdiction.
The business court opinion database will become more developed over time and is a valuable resource to all that practice in the business court.
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