Changes Coming for NC's Business Court


Senators Rucho and Barringer filed SB 853 - An Act to Modernize the Business Court by making Technical, Clarifying, and Administrative Changes to the Procedures for Complex Business Cases this week. The bill was referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; a hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Current and former legislators laud the creation of the NC Business Court -- a part of the Superior Court handling the most complex business litigation -- as a stroke of genius. Last year it seemed the General Assembly would tinker with Superior Court in ways that were regarded as politically-motivated but it was dropped. This effort is described as purely to make the Business Court better for business.

There are several noteworthy provisions, including:

  • Tightening up jurisdiction by allowing any party to designate as a mandatory Business Court case disputes concerning partnerships, LLCs and corporations, large-scale contract disputes, unfair competition, trade secrets disputes and others.
  • It provides for mandatory Business Court jurisdiction a material issue related to tax law that is the subject of a contested case, a dispute in which the amount in controversy is at least $5 million, and actions involving the regulation of pole attachments.
  • It allows for a direct appeal to the NC Supreme Court.
  • The bill requires that the Business Court issue written opinions.
  • If the Court takes more than 6 months to decide a case it must include an explanation in a semi-annual report to the General Assembly.

This bill is probably a net-positive for NC businesses but we'd also like to see 3 additional Business Court locations and 3 additional judges. **Your feedback on the effects of this bill will be important to legislators.

Please view the bill as filed here:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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