Complex Commercial Litigation Division-Description
The Complex Commercial Litigation Division (CCLD) for Superior Court, New Castle County started in May 2010.
Any case that includes a claim asserted by any party (direct or declaratory judgment) with an amount in controversy of $1 Million or more (designated in the pleadings for either jury or non-jury trials), or involves an exclusive choice of court agreement or a judgment resulting from an exclusive choice of court agreement, or is so designated by the President Judge, qualifies for assignment to the CCLD.
Excluded cases include any case containing a claim for personal, physical or mental injury; mortgage foreclosure actions; mechanics' lien actions; condemnation proceedings; and any case involving an exclusive choice of court agreement where a party to the agreement is an individual acting primarily for personal, family, or household purposes or where the agreement relates to an individual or collective contract of employment.
Identification of a qualifying case will be made by any party by stating the letters CCLD for the Civil Case Code and Complex Commercial Litigation for the Civil Case Type on the Case Information Statement (CIS).
A party opposing identification of a case as a qualifying case will do so by motion filed before the Rule 16 scheduling conference, or at such other time as the assigned Panel Judge may direct. The filing of such a motion shall not affect the time for filing any pleading, motion, or required response under the Court's rules. If the assigned Panel Judge determines that the case is not a qualifying case, the Judge will notify the Prothonotary who will reassign the case within the appropriate Civil Case Type Category as determined by the Prothonotary. View Administrative Directive 2010-3 for complete CCLD details
Complex Commercial Litigation Division-Administrative Governance
The following principles shall govern the administration of cases assigned to the CCLD:
- The case will remain assigned to the same Panel Judge for all purposes through final disposition. If the assigned Judge rotates off the Panel, the case will remain with that Judge through final disposition.
- The Panel shall establish uniform procedures and Case Management Forms for the handling of qualifying cases. The assigned Panel Judge will hold an early Rule 16 scheduling conference after all responsive pleadings have been filed. At such conference the parties shall meet and confer with the Panel Judge concerning the progression of the case through trial and preparation of a case management order. View Revised 2015 Sample Case Management Order. Unless otherwise ordered by the Judge after conferring with the parties at the Rule 16 scheduling conference, the case management order shall:
- establish a procedure for handling discovery disputes and dispositive motions which may include the handling of such disputes by the Panel Judge or a particular Commissioner or appointed Special Master;
- require early mandatory disclosures such as those contemplated by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a);
- establish procedures for electronic discovery and other matters relevant to the case (e.g. appropriate protective orders and alternative dispute resolution procedures). View sample e-Discovery Plan (Exhibit B); and
- address other matters set forth in Rule 16 and any other matters appropriate in the circumstances of the case.
- Firm pretrial and prompt trial dates will be established which will not be continued due to scheduling conflicts with other civil cases. Trials will be scheduled during the Panel Judge's scheduled civil rotation on the soonest practicable date given the pretrial complexities of the case and will be given priority as among the Panel Judge's other trial assignments. Prior to trial, the Court will:
- establish procedures for the conduct of the trial as a bench trial, should the parties agree to a bench trial, including procedures to streamline the presentation of evidence, to efficiently present legal issues in pre- and/or post-trial briefs, and to ensure prompt and effective post-trial decision(s) on the merits; and
- establish appropriate special procedures for the selection of the jury and the conduct of the trial before a jury should the parties elect a jury trial.
Complex Commercial Litigation Division
CCLD Standing Orders are default standards. Orders are flexible and adjustments may be made as agreed upon by the parties.