RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LEGISLATION CREATING A COMMERCE COURT IN PENNSYLVANIA

WHEREAS, Dun & Bradstreet has reported that Pennsylvania suffered the fifth largest loss of jobs and businesses of any state in the country from 1990-1995;

WHEREAS, local and state government officials have made economic development a top priority;

WHEREAS, nearby states which compete with Pennsylvania to retain and attract business have established specialized forums to adjudicate commercial disputes;

WHEREAS, the establishment of specialized forums for commercial cases has been endorsed by the Business Law Section of the America Bar Association and the American Corporate Counsel Association;

WHEREAS, the available evidence indicates that the use of specialized forums improves judicial expertise, makes courts more efficient and provides stability for businesses, management, shareholders, creditors and the related municipalities;

WHEREAS, Senator Stewart Greenleaf and others have introduced a bill designated Senate Bill 570 , to establish a state-wide Commerce Court with trial and appellate jurisdiction over corporate governance and commercial disputes;

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 570 provides for the Commerce Court to be funded solely from fees paid by businesses, the effect of which should be to supplement the judicial resources available to the Court system to reduce existing backlogs of cases;

WHEREAS, the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Associations's Commerce Court Task Force have expressed their support for Senate Bill 570 and all other measures that would lead to establishment of a Commerce Court in Pennsylvania;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the establishment of a specialized forum for commercial disputes in Pennsylvania, which forum expressly excludes from its jurisdiction civil matters in which a consumer is a party or which involve claims related to personal injury, domestic relations, employment discrimination or malpractice by an attorney or health care professional;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor and members of the Philadelphia Bar Association should use all reasonable means to support, encourage and promote the immediate establishment of a Commerce Court with such jurisdiction, staffing, funding and other features as shall be appropriate in order to effectively compete with other states that have specialized forums for commercial disputes and to free resources to improve the other courts of this Commonwealth.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: April 24, 1997

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), heard testimony in May, 1997 regarding the establishment of a new, state-wide Commerce Court for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.