The Iowa Supreme Court plans a three-year experiment in which commercial lawsuits involving $200,000 or more will be argued before a business court.
"This pilot project results from the extensive work of the Iowa Civil Justice Reform Task Force and its efforts to make Iowa's civil justice system faster, less complicated, more affordable and better equipped to handle the disputes of all litigants in the Iowa court system," Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht, the chair of the task force, said in a news release. "We hope that a focus on complex business cases ... ultimately will develop efficiencies to help other civil cases move through the court more quickly."
To begin the project, Iowa judges will apply to serve as business court judges. The Supreme Court will then select three judges based on their educational background, judicial and trial practice experience in complex commercial cases, and personal interest. The court anticipates accepting eligible new and pending cases no later than May 1.
Participation is voluntary, and all parties to the dispute must agree to opt in to the business court pilot program. The business court pilot program is not expected to divert judicial branch resources from existing priorities.