On Oct. 31, Chief Justice Patience Roggensack delivered the 2018 State of the Judiciary Address. Among other topics, Chief Justice Roggensack’s remarks highlighted Wisconsin’s Commercial Docket (a.k.a. Business Court) Pilot Project that began in July 2017.
According to Chief Justice Roggensack, the commercial docket has handled 35 cases as of September, 14 of which have been resolved. The majority of cases have been filed as prohibited business activity cases, and other cases include internal business organizations, business sale consolidations, franchise related claims, and sales securities. Chief Justice Roggensack said while these cases typically take about 36 months to resolve, the commercial docket has resolved the 14 completed cases in less than one year.
The Chief Justice noted positive anecdotal feedback of the project and said the Commercial Docket Pilot Project judges are recommending expanding case types handled by the business court to include receiverships in excess of $250,000 and enforcement of arbitration awards.
Chief Justice Roggensack acknowledged that one challenge of the pilot project has been getting attorneys to file their cases in the commercial docket, rather than waiting for the clerk of courts or a judge to transfer the case.
In her address, Chief Justice Roggensack also discussed eFiling, research and justice statistics, drug treatment courts, and judicial salaries.