(AREA) -- Business courts are scheduled to open next month in 17 Michigan counties, including St. Clair County. Similar courts have been used in other states for decades, but they're just getting ready to take off in Michigan. A law passed last year requires circuit courts with three or more judges to establish such courts. Operated as part of the county judicial system, they'll offer a new route for business cases involving more than $25,000 in damages. An aim is to ease the case load on civil and criminal courts, accelerate the litigation process, and make rulings more accessible. Other business courts will open in Bay, Berrien, Calhoun, Genesee, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Macomb, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.