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Re-Open for Business: South Carolina’s Business Court Expands Statewide

January 6, 2015
Carmen Harper Thomas

Reprinted with permission from the South Carolina Bar. The article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine.

The South Carolina Business Court Pilot Program grew and improved in 2014 to accommodate the rising demand for the specialized court. In 2014, the Business Court was expanded to all South Carolina counties, five new judges were added to accommodate the increase in cases, and the procedures for moving for Business Court assignment were refined. More opinions from Business Court cases were made available online. These developments continue the effort to make the Business Court an efficient and effective tool for resolving business, corporate and commercial disputes. 

On January 3, 2014, Chief Justice Jean H. Toal ordered that the Business Court, previously only available to cases filed in or transferred to Charleston, Greenville or Richland counties, is open for cases in every county.1 On July 29, 2014, Chief Justice Toal ordered parties to use a revised motion form.On August 8, 2014, another order added five new judges to the Business Court roster.On September 17, 2014, the order that serves as the foundation of the Business Court was extended to provide a different procedure for Business Court assignment motions to accommodate the new venues and additional judges.4

This article explains how the Business Court operates under these orders, as well as additional procedures recently developed for the clerks of court and the preferences of the Business Court judges. The article also analyzes several of the opinions issued from the Business Court. The article also provides insight into the background of the Business Court to explain why it was created and describes the experiences to date.  

Click here to view the full article.