February 3, 2012
Columbus Bar Surveys Reaction to the Commercial Docket
~ written by David S. Bloomfield, Jr.
Originally published in the Columbus Bar's In Brief Blawg.
A short survey (Jan. 12 to Jan 17) was sent to members of the Common Pleas Committee regarding the commercial docket. Fifty-seven people responded. Of those respondents, 52 (91%) reported they had cases on the commercial docket; 5 did not. In response to the question whether the commercial docket should be made permanent, 39 respondents (68%) said the program should be permanent; 18 respondents (32%), the program should not continue.
The survey asked for comments about the docket, 45 of the 57 responded. Nearly half of (22 of 45) indicated the docket was helpful and should be continued.
Several respondents (9) said the program was not helpful or there was no advantage to the commercial docket. Representative of these responses was the following comment: “My experience has been that the two [commercial docket] judges … have been inundated with such cases, making it difficult for them to do anything with the cases in a timely fashion.” Another noted the docket “has not created the intended efficiencies because of the overall docket pressure on the commercial judges.”
A number of respondents (13) said the commercial docket was too slow. Similarly, the same number of respondents (13) said docket judges should take fewer criminal cases for the program to be effective. Five said the court should expand the docket, adding more judges. One suggested the scope of the docket be expanded; another said the opposite, that only “complex commercial matters” should be on the docket.
We thank all those who took time to fill out the survey. The results have been passed along to the Court. Now the judges will decide whether to continue the program.