On Oct. 16, 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation aimed at increasing the efficiency of the Michigan court system and enhancing responsiveness for certain complex business cases.

Public Act 333 of 2012 provides for the establishment of Michigan business courts with jurisdiction over business and commercial cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000. This law is the culmination of the State Bar’s recommendation to establish pilot projects to support the development of a business court docket in Michigan. That recommendation resulted in the approval of pilot business court dockets in the Macomb and Kent County Circuit Courts. During the past year, both dockets have successfully created a more efficient and effective system to handle commercial disputes, within their respective Circuits.

Every circuit with at least three circuit judges will maintain a business court, which will consist of sitting circuit judges appointed by the Supreme Court. Cases assigned to the business dockets include business governance, business torts, anti-trust, intellectual property, trade secrets, securities, business-to-business, environmental, employment, and insurance coverage disputes. Excluded from the docket are personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, consumer protection, commercial landlord/tenant, non-commercial real estate, and commercial class action matters.