We heard it from our parents, and then we pass it on to our kids: If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

It appears that the members of the West Virginia Business Court Committee learned that lesson well. The Committee was established by the state Supreme Court in June to study how best to create business courts in jurisdictions with more than 60,000 residents, in accordance with House Bill 4352, passed by the state legislature in March.

The Committee seems to be going about the task of setting up business courts in a business-like fashion. Last Friday, it held a public forum to introduce the concept to the community, so that informed comments and constructive criticism can be offered at a future date.

The Committee also presented a knowledgeable speaker, Ben F. Tennille, Chief Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases in North Carolina, who created one of the nation's first modern, statewide business courts in 1996. Tennille helped create the American College of Business Court Judges and has helped other states develop its business courts.

"A business court requires transparency, getting people involved and educating the public on what the court will do," Tennille emphasized in his remarks.

By that standard, the Committee is off to a good start.

The goal of the proposed new courts, Tennille explained, is to create a healthier legal environment in the state for businesses, particularly the small businesses that drive our economy. As they prosper, so do we.

There's another critical goal as well, as House Speaker Rick Thompson pointed out when House Bill 4352 was being debated.

"By creating this court division," he observed, "West Virginia is sending a clear, strong message that this state is a welcoming environment for businesses."

That's a much better message than the one we have been sending -- the message that West Virginia is a hostile environment for commerce.

Let's do it right and get these business courts up and running. The sooner, the better for our state's citizens who want the jobs and opportunities that new businesses bring.

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