Oakland County Business Court
The business court's "pilot" status was created by an administrative order issuing from the Oakland County Circuit Court. The business court is designed to study the effectiveness of implementing a specialized case management system to handle specified business-related litigation.
Judges sitting on the Oakland Circuit's court of general jurisdiction (i.e. civil-criminal dockets) will all receive cases on the business court docket. To be assigned to the business court, a case must involved alleged damages of $500,000.
There are many disputes that will be excluded from the business court. These will include consumer claims against businesses, personal injury and wrongful death cases, medical and legal malpractice law suits, and commercial landlord tenant cases, among a handful of other types of disputes.
So what's going to be different in the business court? Parties, for example, will be required to make various pre-trial disclosures early in the case [i.e. within 42-days of the initial pleadings]; a joint pre-trial report will be submitted to the business court; an initial conference will be scheduled within 21-days after the pre-trial report is submitted; and the judge will issue a final scheduling order after reviewing the pre-trial report.
The idea behind this modified procedure is to identify and hone the issues and to schedule the court's resources in accord with the specific issues to be presented in the case.
Given the budgetary restraints imposed on the circuit court in the past few years, cutting millions from the budget, the Oakland County business court design had to be cost effective. This is why there will be no specially appointed judge assigned to a business docket.
Essentially, this specialized court will have to run within the confines of the existing circuit court.