In 2000, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas established the Commerce Case Management Program, as a specialized track within its civil division. Known as the “Commerce Court,” it was created to hear business to business disputes, at a time when litigants and lawyers had lost faith in the ability of Philadelphia’s existing judicial procedures to efficiently and knowledgeably address these kinds of disputes. The key component was the assignment of specific judges (first two, and later three) to handle all Commerce Court cases, with each individual case being assigned to one of those specialist judges from beginning to end.
The Philadelphia Commerce Court’s jurisdiction is set out in a detailed list of specifically defined categories of cases. Bad faith insurance disputes between insured businesses and their carriers, or between insurers, fall within that jurisdiction.
Since its inception, insurance related disputes have constituted one of the largest segments of cases heard in the Commerce Court. The following is a list, with links to opinions and the date of decision, of some Commerce Court opinions issued on insurance bad faith issues: