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Miami-Dade's 11th Judicial Circuit and Hillsborough County's 13th Judicial Circuit have launched business courts to specialize in complex cases such as antitrust, breach of contract, intellectual property, franchise and unfair competition.

Circuit Judge Gill S. Freeman will lead Miami-Dade's division, where, she says, business cases will be "better managed and handled more timely." The new division is being launched as a two-year pilot program.

Michael J. Higer of Higer Lichter & Givner in Aventura, chairman of the advisory committee that worked on the 11th Circuit plan, says business clients in Miami are clamoring for "consistency, efficiency and proficiency."

"This is going to help business people ensure they won't end up in a runaway case with runaway expenses," Higer says.

In Tampa, Circuit Judge Richard A. Nielsen has been named to the business division. He'll work with local lawyers, judges and business leaders over the next few months to hammer out details.

These new divisions bring to three the number of business courts in Florida. Lawyers in the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orlando, which launched the state's first business court two years ago, report greater consistency in business-litigation rulings as well as quicker resolution of cases ["This Court Means Business," Of Counsel, May 2006].