Business courts could make Kentucky system more efficient and competitive, Justice Hughes says

Kentucky is seeking to improve the efficiency of the court system with the implementation of business courts. Deputy Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court Lisabeth T. Hughes told The Bottom Line she hopes the initiative will have a positive impact on all aspects of the court system.

The goal of business courts is to resolve cases between businesses more efficiently and effectively by having them heard by judges that are well-versed in business law matters.

Kentucky’s business courts pilot project will start in Jefferson County in January 2020 and likely be in effect for a few years before the initiative begins in other areas of the state.

There will be a very specific set of rules for what types of cases will be heard in front of business courts, Hughes said. She added cases like employee disputes or similar legal issues will not qualify.

As for whether or not the idea of business courts will require more judges or resources in order to handle the cases, Hughes said while there will be a need for some additional technology or other smaller resources to run these courts, she does not anticipate the need for additional judges, courthouses, or any other large expenses and they intend to be mindful of spending in this initiative.

Many other states have already implemented business courts or have pilot projects underway. Hughes said Kentucky has studied the successes and failures of other states in building the model being used in Jefferson County and added it will look most like Tennessee’s system. Hughes also pointed to the creation of family courts in Kentucky many years ago as an example of how business courts would function in the Commonwealth.

Watch the full interview with Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth Hughes below to hear more about business courts, the goal of the pilot program, and other initiatives to improve Kentucky’s court system:


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