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LEGAL UPDATE: New West Virginia business court opened on Oct. 10, 2012

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals voted 5-0 to approve a new trial court rule establishing a Business Court Division in West Virginia. The business court opened its doors on Oct. 10, 2012 handling disputes involving commercial or technology issues, including complex tax appeals. The court is also expected to handle cases that “involve matters of significance to the transactions, operations or governance between business entities.” The goal is for business disputes to be concluded within 10 months from the date the case management order is entered. The court will have seven regions, with each region to encompass 6 to 11 counties.

The Supreme Court has appointed four of seven judges to serve on the business court; each will serve seven-year staggered terms with the ability to do so in succession. Judge Christopher Wilkes (Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties), Judge James Rowe (Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties), and Judge Donald Cookman (Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton counties) were appointed to start on Oct. 10, 2012; and Wayne County Circuit Judge James Young Jr. was appointed to start on Jan. 1, 2013.

If you would like to discuss the impact of the new West Virginia Business Court, please contact any of the attorneys in the Construction Group at 412-995-3000.