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April 17, 2012
Turkmenistan Delegates Learn About Commercial Dockets

John Van Norman, policy & research counsel at the Ohio Supreme Court, and Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard A. Frye (far left) explain Ohio's pilot commercial docket program to a delegation visiting from Turkmenistan.An Ohio courts program is receiving some international interest.

One of the judges overseeing Franklin County’s commercial docket pilot program explained its development and successes to four Turkmenistan delegates today participating in the Open World Leadership Program. The delegates are spending this week in central Ohio examining business legislation in the United States.

Judge Richard A. Frye was joined by John VanNorman, policy & research counsel at the Supreme Court of Ohio, who serves as the staff liaison to the Task Force on Commercial Dockets.

Commercial dockets were established with a goal of resolving business-to-business disputes quicker and providing consistency and predictability of outcomes.

Judge Frye said businesses benefit when commercial docket judges develop expertise in receiverships, securities trade secrets and other complicated subjects infrequently seen on the regular civil docket.

“Disputes among businesses are inevitable,” Judge Frye said. “However, when delay, uncertainty about the legal rules and costs of dispute resolution are minimized, businesses can remain more focused on their commercial activities, enhancing the overall economy.”

Temporary rules adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2008 called for a multi-court pilot program to assess the best method of establishing commercial civil litigation dockets in the state. Commercial dockets in common pleas courts in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Lucas counties have been operating since January 2009.

Two sitting judges from each county’s common pleas court serve as commercial docket judges.

In January, the task force recommended creating a permanent commercial dockets program. The recommendations of the task force are still under consideration by the Ohio Supreme Court. Read the task force report.