The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is an organization of in-house counsel, with over 40,000 members from 85 different countries.
In 2009, the ACC updated its 1996 statement on Business Courts with this revised statement on Business Courts. It reaffirmed the ACC’s support for establishing state business courts.
This is reminiscent of the 2007 resolution of the Conference of Chief Justices, concluding:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Chief Justices encourages states to study, and, where appropriate, establish business courts or their equivalents for the effective management of complex corporate, commercial and business cases.”
The 2009 ACC statement, as well as the CCJ’s Resolution, remains pertinent. As the ACC observed, among other things, “[b]usiness courts can effectively utilize the following types of features to facilitate dispute resolution:”
- Advanced case management techniques, including close judicial oversight of each stage of litigation and case tracking by type and complexity.
- State of the art technology.
- Court-annexed alternative dispute resolution to encourage early case settlement.
- Cooperation among counsel and with the court in achieving a cost-effective resolution of the dispute.
In 2021, the ACC issued a new statement, a copy of which can be found here, providing:
The Association of Corporate Counsel urges states to consider wherever appropriate the
advantages of specialized procedures for resolution of business disputes. ACC believes that the most effective way to realize such advantages is for states to create business courts or specialized court divisions or parts dedicated to business litigation.
The United States has a large and sophisticated business community with unique legal needs. Businesses have increasingly turned to other forums to resolve their disputes, to avoid the difficulties often encountered in overburdened state courts. The United States should have public state court systems that can resolve commercial disputes efficiently. Business courts result in more cost-effective and timely case processing and an improvement in the quality of dispositions. They therefore foster a more favorable environment for creating and maintaining businesses, and as a result enhance the economic well-being of the nation.
Business courts ease pressure on overcrowded state court systems. Removing complex
commercial cases from other parts of the courts allows those parts to function more
efficiently and reduces the possibility that a few complicated commercial cases will displace the time and attention that the many other cases pending in those parts should receive. The legal issues in commercial litigation are often complex. Efficient resolution of these disputes requires the expertise of judges experienced in these areas and skilled at handling these cases.
Business courts can effectively utilize the following types of features to facilitate dispute
1. Advanced case management techniques, including close judicial oversight of each stage of litigation and case tracking by type and complexity.
2. State of the art technology.
3. Court-annexed alternative dispute resolution to encourage early case settlement.
4. Cooperation among counsel and with the court in achieving a cost-effective resolution of the dispute.
On June 13, 1996, the Board of Directors of the American Corporate Counsel Association (predecessor to ACC) adopted a policy statement supporting the creation of business courts. At the time that statement was adopted, four states had created business courts and a number of additional states were considering the concept. Since that time, 21 additional states have created business courts, and such courts now exist in 25 states (this includes specialized business courts or commercial dockets). The business community in the United States and its legal counsel have had numerous opportunities during the past 24 years to observe and evaluate the operations of business courts and the contributions they have made to state courts. The experience of the states which have created business courts has been positive and presents a strong argument for expanding the use of such courts.
Initial Version Endorsed by the Board of Directors June 13, 1996
Initial Version Updated and Endorsed by the Board of Directors October 18, 2009
Updated on January 29, 2021