Cuyahoga County Extends Business Court

The Judges of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas have voted to extend the business litigation docket of the Court. This special docket allows cases involving various aspects of business, such as contract disputes, non-compete clauses, and shareholder claims, to be heard by Judges appointed by the Court. Currently, two Judges handle the business cases, Judge John O'Donnell and Judge Richard McMonagle.

"This docket has been a real asset to the business community," says attorney David Pomerantz. "I have appeared before Judge O'Donnell, and am extremely impressed with how efficiently the Court works." In one case, Mr. Pomerantz successfully represented an engineering firm in a claim alleging that a former employee had violated a covenant not-to-compete. "The case involved a large number of documents. Judge O'Donnell had read everything and understood the issues very well. At the end of the day, his decision got it exactly right."

Attorneys representing businesses have been generally happy with the special docket, allowing the state court to expeditiously handle cases that previously were often filed in federal court.

"Nobody can be an expert on everything, and Judges are no exception. When you have to handle a full criminal caseload, plus all manner of civil cases, it is tough to fully understand business issues and have the time to devote to these often complex business cases," says attorney Pomerantz. "This docket has allowed Judges O'Donnell and McMonagle to develop special expertise and allows them more time to properly resolve these cases."

In the future, the business court is likely to add two more Judges, for a total of four.