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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2017 04:14 PM
From: Representative Seth M. Grove and Rep. Ron Marsico
To: All House members
Subject: Forming A Statewide Commerce Court (Former House Bill 323)
In the near future, we plan to reintroduce House Bill 323, from last session, which the House passed with overwhelming bipartisan support after receiving 198 votes in support. This legislation would allow the Superior Court to create a Commerce Court program for the Superior Court and is modeled after the successful Commerce Case Management Program in Philadelphia.

Since the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas formed their Commerce Case Program over a decade ago, the court has gained a reputation for effective, efficient and predictable rulings on complex business cases. This is not isolated to Philadelphia as Commerce Courts at the local level with other Common Pleas courts establishing Commerce Courts to handle complex business cases within their jurisdiction.

By empowering the Superior Court to establish a Commerce Court Program we can foster the same specialization at the appellate level without the election of new judges. Under this bill the Commerce Court would hear cases on corporate acquisitions, mergers, dissolutions, liquidations, or other matters concerning corporations, limited liability companies, trusts, sole proprietorships and corporate partnerships.

Additionally, the benefits from creating a predictable and fair process across the state can be seen economically with the “Delaware Loophole”. In particular the “Delaware Loophole” exists in part because of the state’s commerce court known as Court of Chancery.

Even with the local commerce courts within the Commonwealth it has become abundantly clear that businesses locate their operations in part based off the integrity, efficiency and predictability of the legal system. Although companies may not agree with individual court rulings; by creating a transparent, predictable and efficient process from original trial through appeals more job creators will open their business in Pennsylvania.

Please join us in this effort to bring successful changes to improve our legal system and our economy. If you have any questions please contact Jordan Grant by email at Jgrant@pahousegop.com or by phone at 717-767-3947.

Previous Sponsors: Saylor, Bloom, Phillips-Hill, Rozzi, Greiner, Pickett, Lawrence, Diamond, Rader, Kortz and A. Harris.

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Introduced as HB401