For roughly 15 years, a popular Orange County business court specialized in commercial litigation disputes. However, an increase in family law cases and a lack of funding led to then Chief Judge Frederick Lauten’s decision to close the commercial business division about a year and a half ago.
But the most recent Florida legislative session resulted in funding for an additional Ninth Circuit judgeship (the first expansion of the judicial workforce in 13 years). This gave newly elected Chief Judge Donald Myers Jr. the opportunity to reopen the Business Court.
What types of matters are handled in business court?
In the commercial business division, the assigned judge will hear cases which involve matters such as:
- Business torts and contract disputes arising during the sale of a business or business assets
- Relationships and liabilities between franchisees and franchisors
- Intellectual property protection and management
- Business dissolution or obligations between members, partners or shareholders
- Commercial landlord/tenant disputes
- Non-compete agreements governing trade secrets
Cases heard in business court generally involve considerable complexity among multiple parties. They often require years of preparation. And due to their typical counterclaims and defenses, litigation may continue for many months.
However, expediting these cases in business court may draw businesses to the area. Meanwhile, the individualized case management within the commercial litigation division could ease tensions on civil court decisions.