Statewide Business Court
In certain complex commercial lawsuits, cases linger for years without resolution behind criminal cases, divorce cases and land title cases. Endless litigation creates perpetual uncertainty and drives up costs for all parties. In 2018 voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the the Georgia Business Court, a statewide court dedicated to resolving complex business to business cases. The Georgia Business Court will exclusively handle cases involving corporate litigation, contract violations, mergers, and other complex lawsuits that typically involve two business entities. The types of cases this court will not hear include personal injury cases, residential landlord-tenant cases, no cases involving a family-owned farm entity or individual farmer or family law cases.
Currently, Georgia law requires both parties to consent to this transfer ensuring that the Georgia Business Court will be underutilized and essentially unavailable to businesses outside the metro Atlanta area.
The nationwide standard and key to a successful business court is the ability for one party to be able to petition to transfer the case to business court.
Senate Bill 110 is legislation that will address the current problem and ensure that Georgia’s statewide business court is accessible and properly utilized. Senate Bill 110 replaces the two-party consent provision in current law to allow one party to file a motion to transfer the case to the Georgia Business Court.
While a simple change, it will have a profound effect on the success of the Statewide Business Court. For example, the local business court in Fulton County was initiated with the two-party consent requirement. After only two years of provision, Fulton County revised the rules to allow for only one-party consent. It was after that change that the business court became efficient and effective in removing complex business litigation that clogged court dockets, reducing the time businesses spent in litigation by approximately 65%. When time is money, a 65% reduction in time is a significant savings to a business of any size.
GLR urges members of the Georgia General Assembly to support Senate Bill 110 to ensure that businesses throughout the state have an opportunity to utilize the Georgia Statewide Business Court.
No known opposition.
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