At the same time, I am eager for the state's new Business Court Division to begin its work in just a few weeks.
This is a concept I have been advocating for the past four years because a separate business docket focusing on resolving commercial litigation will make our state a much more welcoming environment for businesses and assist circuit judges in managing these often complex cases.
A few years ago, I attended a conference which featured Delaware's business court, also called a Court of Chancery, which is known nationally for efficient handling of commercial law and complex litigation between businesses. Delaware is also home to a very large percentage of Fortune 500 companies.
Legislation to create a business court was first introduced in 2008 and in 2010, the Legislature adopted House Bill 4352, which allowed the state Supreme Court to establish a business court docket within the existing circuit court system, much like the court establishes separate docket systems for the management of other specialized cases such as juvenile or abuse and neglect.
After appointing a special committee to study the issue and develop rules of procedure, the West Virginia Supreme Court voted 5-0 in favor of establishing the new Business Court Division. I am very grateful to all the justices for supporting the concept, and to Wayne Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt for leading the study.
Any corporation operating in any state expects there to be legal disputes among businesses. What corporations seek is timely consideration and a clear understanding of what to expect from the litigation process. A well-established business court division can provide that stability, making West Virginia a much more appealing place to do business.
In these two initiatives I see a refreshing willingness within state government to adjust and grow with West Virginia's changing economy and society -- a sign of a bright future for the entire state.
Thompson, D-Wayne, is speaker of the House of Delegates.