Tennessee Supreme Court Creates Business Court, Will Take Cases in May

March 23, 2015

The Tennessee Supreme Court has announced the creation of a new business court pilot project that aims to make complex commercial litigation more efficient.

The new pilot court will be located in Nashville and be overseen by Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle. Lyle, who has been a chancellor since 1995, has presided over numerous complex business and commercial disputes.

The project will focus on speeding up cases and developing a body of rulings that will make it easier for businesses and lawyers to predict outcomes in complex cases involving commercial interests.

“Our court system must do a better job serving the needs of businesses that provide jobs to Tennesseans,” Chief Justice Sharon Lee said in a statement. “With the creation of a business court, we will have more predictable, consistent results, and more timely resolutions of business disputes.”

More than half the states have business courts. Tennessee court officials say they can be an effective tool to attract and retain businesses.

“Not all judges like the cases tried the same way,” Bill O’Bryan, who leads Butler Snow’s commercial litigation group in Nashville, told The Tennessean. “When you develop a familiarity with the business court and how it’s going to work, the lawyers should be able to present cases more efficiently.”

The pilot court will begin taking cases in May.

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