Georgia's Newest Court Opens for Business

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Aug 3, 2020 5:26:18 PM


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Atlanta, GA— Georgia’s statewide Business Court opened for filings this month, nearly two years after voters approved its creation. 

Helmed by Judge Walt Davis, a former partner in Jones Day’s Atlanta office, the court will handle  a range of business disputes involving claims over $500,000 and commercial real estate suits greater than $1 million.  

While the new court’s e-filing system opened in August, its physical confines remain a work in progress. Courtroom and office construction continues on the court’s Atlanta location, in a building that also houses the state’s supreme and appellate courts. The Business Court is also expected to hold proceedings in Macon, and other venues as necessary. 

The Business Court was created following voter approval of a 2018 proposed constitutional amendment.  Judge Davis was appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in July 2019 and was approved by the state’s legislature a month later. 

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While the coronavirus pandemic has scuttled trials and limited court proceedings across the state, Judge Davis, in an interview with the Daily Report, said he anticipates the Business Court will be a valuable alternative path to resolving cases that might be caught in the backlog of traditional courts’ dockets. “I’ve got a clear docket. Those cases have a better path toward resolution,” Judge Davis told the Daily Report. “We were built for videoconferencing, built for the Zoom world."

The establishment of the statewide court does not preclude local counties from creating or maintaining their own business courts. The Metro Atlanta Business Case Division, created more than a decade ago, for example, handles business cases in Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

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