South Carolina Supreme Court Amends Business Court Program for First Time Since 2019

On July 14, 2023, South Carolina’s Supreme Court issued an administrative order amending the Business Court’s parameters and judicial appointments.  This amends the Supreme Court’s last administrative order of January 30, 2019.

The most significant change in the new order appears to be eliminating the Chief Business Court Judge’s discretion in allowing cases onto the Business Court’s docket.  Both the 2019 Order and 2023 Order provide Business Court jurisdiction over cases where the principal claim(s) at issue involve, “a. Title 33—South Carolina Business Corporation Act of 1988; b. Title 35—South Carolina Uniform Securities Act of 2005; c. Title 36, Chapter 8—South Carolina Uniform Commercial Code: Investment Securities; d. Title 39, Chapter 3—Trade and Commerce: Trusts, Monopolies, and   Restraints of Trade; or e. Title 39, Chapter 8—Trade and Commerce: The South Carolina  Trade Secrets Act; or f. Title 39, Chapter 15—Trade and Commerce: Labels and Trademarks.”

The 2019 Order also provided jurisdiction “for such other cases as the Chief Business Court Judge may determine.” This language has been eliminated from the 2023 Order, thus seemingly narrowing the Business Court’s jurisdiction to the specifically listed case types.

The Order also adds Judges Jocelyn Newman and Walton J. McLeod, IV as Business Court judges.  They replace Judges R. Markley Dennis, Jr. and Alison R. Lee who retired from the bench.

The 2019 and 2023 Orders are attached here.

Posted by Lee Applebaum