Friday, February 3, 2012

Business Court -- Yay or Nay?

With Judge Freeman passing the complex business litigation torch to Judges Bailey and Rodriguez, the question inevitably arises:

Is the darn thing any good?

In the Yay column stands my pal Mike Higer, (I'm pretty sure that's him above) who says they are making some changes in 2012 to better improve how the courts operate, but in general they are working well:
"Business courts have accomplished exactly what the lawyers in the business community wanted to see occur," says Higer — "to get a judge whose more proficient and efficient in handling business disputes." 
Not everyone agrees:
Lawyers say several factors have left room for improvement, however. "There’s a perception that cases were moving too slowly and decisions were taking longer than hoped to get decided," says Jim Murphy, an attorney with Shook Hardy & Bacon in Tampa. Murphy says much of the problem has stemmed from funding issues — the business courts, he says, didn’t get the kind of support staff and other help to enable them to work through cases more quickly. "These are complicated cases that require research and active case managing, and the resources we initially had envisioned were not there," he says. "I think the caseloads were more than anticipated." 
My own take is I love the concept, but the execution needs work.

Judge Freeman of course is the best, but the procedural rules are clunky and sometimes favor form over function.

Still, it beats waiting behind several thousand foreclosure proceedings in order to get two minutes with the Judge.

What say you?


  1. Who the heck would take a chance on landing Judge Rodriguez? I predict a steep drop in the number of new filings in the Complex Division.

  2. one of the best( if not the best) complex business lawyers to ever practice here is now a sitting judge in the dependency court. need i say more on the subject of why our business court will not reach its potential?

  3. Agree. Ship Hanzman to business court.

  4. "Excellent suggestion." And there it will end. Who gets assigned where in the court system is not based on merit or expertise but on political/seniority considerations. Do you think the chief judge looks at his lineup and decides to assign one very smart judge who has almost no seniority to a sought after post at the expense of more experienced but less talented jurists and then justifies it by saying, "well, he is smarter than you are." It's all politics and that is not a bad thing. Just a reflection of institutional behavior where the pecuniary motive is absent.

  5. @STL

    I like the idea of chief judge as skipper filling out the lineup card. "Rosemary . . . You can't play today, go home and sleep this one off."

  6. I know he has to pay his dues but send hanzman to the complex division. More than qualufied!

  7. Right...because business litigation is so much more than a good judge tending to the youth of this town. Let him change one life for the better and I couldn't care less avout you ducks.

    Fucked up priorities!

  8. Be real. He was made for business court.

  9. You have countless judges who can handle juvenile dependency and make a difference. Few wish to ar can handle complex business disputes. Hanzman is a no-brainer.

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