Posted: March 10th, 2016 | By: Lisa Snedeker
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake Forest University School of Law will become home to the newest North Carolina Business Court, state officials announced Wednesday, March 9.
The newest courtroom should be ready to take cases in January 2017, according to Wake Forest Law Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD ‘77).
“What a wonderful opportunity for Wake Forest Law to host the newest North Carolina Business Court,” she said. “With a Business Court at Wake Forest, our students will watch great legal minds tackle sophisticated business issues. I’m delighted the Legislature has invested in the administration of justice by adding a Business Court, and I’m proud for Wake Forest Law to partner with the State in broadening the reach of this court.”
Judge Marion Warren, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC), made the announcement at the signing of the agreement made in the General Assembly’s Legislative Building. In his role as director of NCAOC, Judge Warren manages and oversees the administrative services provided to the N.C. Judicial Branch’s by more than 6,000 employees and hundreds of courthouses and facilities in every county.
“This new court begins a new relationship that opens the door to greater opportunities for the unified North Carolina court system to serve its citizens, its business owners and the international business community,” Judge Warren said. “New beginnings such as this are part of the Judicial Branch’s overall work to engage and collaborate with all of our stakeholders in an effort to strengthen the rule of law, improve access to courts and provide justice for all.”
In addition to Judge Warren and Dean Reynolds, members of the North Carolina General Assembly on hand for the signing of the announcement included Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Smithfield), Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) and his Chief of Staff Clayton Somers (JD ‘96), Moore’s chief of staff. Also present were Reid Morgan, Wake Forest University senior vice president and general counsel, and Gerald F. Roach (’80, JD ’82), vice chair of Wake Forest University Board of Trustees.
The North Carolina Business Court was created in 1995 specifically for handling business disputes. At the time the court was located exclusively in Greensboro. In 2006, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation giving parties involved in certain, complex business cases greater access to a business court by expanding to Raleigh and Charlotte.
The Business Court is an administrative division of the N.C. General Court of Justice’s trial division. Cases involving complex and significant issues of corporate and commercial law in North Carolina are designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina to a Special Superior Court Judge who oversees all aspects of the case from the time of designation through trial or other resolution. Recent demand has prompted the expansion of another court in Winston-Salem making it more convenient to litigate business disputes.