As a As an Atlanta, Georgia lawyer who both defends and files lawsuits on behalf of clients throughout GA and the US, I am writing to you today about Georgia lawsuit on contracts. At its simplest, a contract it is an offer by one party, accepted by another party, and performed, as agreed, by both parties.
Many parties entering into a new Georgia corporate business attorney-client relationship are either so eager to begin their business affairs, or so wary of delaying or derailing a Georgia business deal, that they are wary of bringing up the need for a written contract governed by Georgia Law. If a written contract is agreed to, many try to make it as simple as possible often without seeking the legal advice of an Atlanta, Georgia business contract attorney.
Our Firm has Atlanta business consulting lawyers giving advice to each business, which is custom tailored to their needs (we give such advice on an ongoing basis as needed after hours, on weekends, and more).
This is why many businesses enter agreements without a written contract, without attorney review of a contract, or without even reading a contract. This is also why so many contractual agreements that begin with such optimism and desire for speed, end up dragged down into the mire of contractual litigation, where they are finally forced to resort to the attorneys who could have prevented such a breakdown in the first place.
Protect your Georgia business with an Atlanta business lawyer’s advice and know that it is of the utmost important to have a written contract reviewed by experienced local Atlanta business contract attorney, that covers, simply but effectively, all necessary elements of the binding contract-agreement governed by Georgia law to ensure the rights and obligations of both parties are met.
A simple example of a situation where one clause can solve a great deal of time and expense is the question of jurisdiction to hear your case, the specific court (state or superior, etc.) and governing law.
Many Atlanta and Georgia businesses deal with other businesses, contractors, and customers that are outside of Georgia. So, if there is a lawsuit, where must it be filed? Many tend to believe that they can file a lawsuit in the state where they reside. This is not always the case, in fact, it is most often the very opposite.
Generally, a lawsuit must be filed in the state where the Defendant (the non-suing party) resides.
Thus, if you are a Georgia business, even one that feels it is the victim of a breach by an out-of-state company, you will still have to file in that company’s state with all the extra expenses involved in that.
If you wish to fight to have the case brought within your state and county, you will have to prove that your situation falls within the exceptions to this rule, known as the Georgia Long-Arm Statute (O.C.G.A. 9-10-91). Under the Georgia Long-Arm Statute a lawsuit can be brought in Georgia if the nonresident:
1. Transacts any business within Georgia;
2. Commits a tortious act or omission in Georgia;
3. Commits a tortious injury in this state caused by an act or omission outside this state if the tort-feasor regularly does or solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered in this state; and
4. Owns, uses, or possesses any real property situated within Georgia.
This is a very high and fact-based standard and thus a time-consuming, expensive inquiry. It is also one that would have to be addressed before the merits of the case itself could even be considered.
THE BEST WAY TO AVOID THE ABOVE PROBLEMS?
A simple clause within the contract that states, “In the event a dispute arises, the parties agree that all lawsuits, claims, etc. will be brought within the state of Georgia [including county, city, and court where possible] and be interpreted and governed by and under Georgia law.”
[THIS – AND THE ABOVE AND BELOW INFORMATION – IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE – LEGAL ADVICE CAN ONLY BE GIVEN BY A GEORGIA ATTORNEY AT A PROPERLY SET CONSULTATION]