Since 2010, I have been a commercial judge at the commercial chamber 101 of the District Court of Berlin (Landgericht Berlin). I am currently in my second term.
Since 1877, commercial judges have been active as honorary judges at the commercial chambers at district courts. Unlike jurors and other honorary judges, commercial judges are no lay judges but specialized judges. They have the same rights and duties as professional judges. They wear black judge’s robes.
A commercial chamber is a panel at a district court, which is staffed by a professional judge and two commercial judges. All three judges have the same vote in the decision making process. Commercial disputes will only be dealt at a commercial chamber if requested by the prosecutor.
In Berlin, commercial judges are appointed for expert opinions, proposed by the Chamber of Commerce of Berlin, by the District Court for a period of five years and sworn in before the first hearing. Reiterated nominations are possible.
The District Court of Berlin is the largest district court in Germany. It consists of 14 Chambers of Commercial Matters. They are all located within the main building on Littenstrasse, built 1894-1904 by Otto Schmalz according to drafts by Paul Thoemer and Rudolf Mönnich. At that time, it was the second largest building in Berlin, following the City Palace which was the largest.
I am a member of the Association of Commercial Judges.