For immediate release: June 24, 2004
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New Jersey Courts Develop Plans for Pilot Program for Complex Commercial Cases
Procedures for participating in the Judiciary's pilot program for resolving complex commercial cases were announced today by Judge Richard J. Williams, Administrative Director of the Courts. The program, which was introduced by Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz in her State of the Judiciary address at the New Jersey State Bar Association annual meeting on May 20, 2004, will begin accepting new cases on Sept. 7.
Complex commercial cases filed in Burlington, Hudson, Mercer and Ocean Counties will be eligible for the program. After a case is filed, a notice will be sent to the parties advising them that they may request that the case be assigned to the Complex Commercial Case Pilot Program and transferred to a general equity judge for individualized case management.
In order to join the program, several requirements must be met: Parties must request to join the program and agree to waive a jury trial. In addition, they must commit to an expedited discovery process and aggressive use of complementary dispute resolution techniques with a goal of resolving the case within twelve months.
Each complex commercial case opting into the pilot will be overseen from beginning to end by a single general equity judge. The judges, who already have extensive experience with commercial cases, will receive enhanced training for their new responsibilities. The parties in these cases will benefit from their focused expertise and from their continual involvement as these cases move toward resolution.
"This pilot will improve the quality of justice we offer to the parties in complex commercial cases," said Judge Williams. "The expertise of general equity judges in business cases, combined with additional training and support, will speed the resolution of these cases while ensuring that each case receives the individual attention it requires."
Currently, about 300 complex commercial cases are filed each year in New Jersey.For more information, read the Notice to the Bar