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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 16, 2015 03:40 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Establishing Chancery Courts
Business attorneys around the Commonwealth have expressed concerns about the ability of our judiciary to handle complex business disputes. Although we are fortunate to have diligent and intelligent judges in Pennsylvania, many judges have a background in criminal or family law and have had very little experience with commercial transactions and litigation. The health of Pennsylvania’s economy depends on the faith that businesses have in our system of dispute resolution.

I, therefore, intend to introduce legislation establishing Courts of Special Chancery. These courts will be comprised of judges with backgrounds in business law and with the expertise to resolve business disputes efficiently. My bill will create a three-judge Court of Special Chancery for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and a two-judge Court of Special Chancery for the Western District of Pennsylvania. All five chancery judges will comprise the Court of Special Chancery Appeals, except that no judge may hear an appeal of a case in which the judge served as the trial judge.

The initial appointments will be done in accordance with the Pennsylvania Constitution, and no more than three of the five judges may be of the same political party. The bill creates a Chancery Nominating Commission to evaluate the qualifications of applicants for appointment to the court.

Enhancing the faith of the business community in our judiciary is an important part of building a robust economy. Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1043