On Nov. 6, Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack delivered the 2019 State of the Judiciary address. The Chief Justice’s remarks highlighted several initiatives in the 2019-21 state budget and the success of Wisconsin’s Commercial Docket (a.k.a. Business Court) Pilot project that began in July 2017.
The Chief Justice gave examples of the success of the Commercial Docket Pilot Project in Waukesha and the 8th Judicial Administrative District, noting that cases typically taking 36 months have been reduced to 12 months in the commercial docket. In one case, a Green Bay hotel in receivership avoided collapse by using the efficient decision making of the Business Court.
However, Chief Justice Roggensack said the commercial docket is currently underutilized. The court hopes to raise awareness among lawyers that they may choose a commercial docket as the venue for business-related cases. The Commercial Docket was also highlighted in last year’s State of the Judiciary.
Regarding the state budget, the Chief Justice noted the court’s success in working with the governor and legislature on budget initiatives to improve the courts, including public defender pay, increased ADA positions, funding for circuit courts, and judicial salaries.