Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Business Courts in the United States and Around the World

Japan’s post World War II Constitution dictates that “all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this constitution and the Laws.” (Article 76). Japan’s court system is divided into four basic tiers: (1) summary courts – which handle small claims civil cases, as well as minor criminal offenses; (2) District Court – which handles felony cases, bankruptcy cases, as well as civil cases where the disputed amount is over ¥1,400,000; (3) High Courts – similar to our circuit court of appeals, containing a special district for the Intellectual Property High Court; and (4) the Supreme Court which only hears cases when there is either an error in the interpretation of the Constitution or an error in the interpretation of case law from the High Court or the Supreme Court.

District Court handles most commercial and business related litigation in much the same fashion as our own district courts do the same. As such, there is no business court within Japan containing specialized judges to oversee complex business litigation. Although it would not be surprising to see a business court in the near future considering Japan already has a few specialized courts like Family Court and the Intellectual Property High Court.

Disclaimer: This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. If you have questions or need specific advice relating to the matters contained herein, please contact Lovaas & Lehtinen, P.C.

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