As I have mentioned before, Wyoming is developing a Chancery Court. We are getting closer and closer to the opening of the Chancery Court.
The Chancery Court is a new Wyoming court that will resolve business and trust cases on an expedited schedule using bench trials and limited motions practice. Many other states have chancery courts, with Delaware's being the most well known.
The Wyoming Chancery Court will start accepting cases on December 1, 2021. Unlike the Wyoming State Court system, the Chancery Court filings will be totally online. The actual physical location of the court will be in Casper, Wyoming once the court is constructed and the new judge is seated. Casper is a good location for business trials in Wyoming as it has air connections through to Salt Lake City on Delta and Denver on United.
The Chancery Court judge will be chosen and seated by early 2023. We do not know who the judge will be at this point. In the interim, there is a three judge panel of district court judges, experienced in business litigation, that will take Chancery Court cases until the new judge is seated. They are the honorable John G. Fenn, Richard L. Lavery, and Steven K. Sharpe. I have appeared before Judge Fenn and Judge Sharpe. I like the way they handles cases. I think they will do a fine job as interim Chancery Court judges. I have not appeared before Judge Lavery, but I know that he has a good reputation. Additionally, the Chancery Court has a position called Chief Counsel & Director. Benjamin Burningham, Esquire, holds that position. I was on the panel that hired him for the State of Wyoming Attorney General's Office several years ago and worked with him for a few years. He has impeccable integrity. I am sure he will do a great job in that position.
There will be no jury trials in Chancery Court. This will make cases more affordable and the trials shorter. Additionally, there will be an effort to resolve cases within 150 days.
I think most business disputes could benefit from having their disputes resolved in the Wyoming Chancery Court. Wyoming limited liability companies and corporations should consider including a provision in their contracts or agreements requiring disputes to be resolved in the Wyoming Chancery Court.
If you believe you have a dispute that should be resolved in Wyoming Chancery Court, feel free to contact Harmony Law, LLC.