Amendments to the Michigan Business Court SRevising Michigan Business Court Disputestatute go into effect today, October 11, 2017. These amendments primarily focus on clarifying the cases that are to be assigned to business courts.

Also, the statute was amended to clarify a Business Court’s jurisdiction to hear business disputes involving equitable or declaratory relief. The amendment now clarifies that a Business Court has jurisdiction over business and commercial disputes where equitable or declaratory relief is sought or in which the matter otherwise meets circuit court jurisdictional requirements, i.e., the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000.

Here is a link the amendments to the Business Court statute.

An action meeting the definition of a “business or commercial dispute” that is filed in a court with a business docket must be filed with the Business Court.

It is important for employers and individuals to understand that Business Court jurisdiction includes and excludes two frequent areas of litigation.

First, Business Court’s will have jurisdiction over disputes involving noncompete agreements.

Second, excluded from the jurisdiction of the Business Court are claims involving:

  1. Any employment discrimination;
  2. Any claims involving civil rights under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and Michigan’s Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act;
  3. Wrongful Discharge (except for those actions involving corporate officers or directors; and
  4. Worker’s Compensation Claims.

In 2012, the Michigan Legislature enacted the Business Court statute. The purpose of creating a specialized business Court docket was to provide a case management structure that facilitates more timely, effective, and predictable resolution of complex business cases. Our law firm routinely litigates in the Michigan business courts throughout the state. With this experience, the business court docket has been effective in meeting the goals of achieving efficient and predictable outcomes. This is especially true when it comes to noncompete litigation because judges may – but are not required to – revise a noncompete agreement for the circumstances presented by a particular case.

For these reasons, when selecting an attorney for a matter that involves a business or noncompete dispute, it is important to understand that attorney’s experience in the applicable Business Court.

For more information about Michigan Business Court litigation, including noncompete disputes, contact Jason Shinn. He has represented companies and individuals in matters involving business disputes and noncompete litigation since 2001.