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Whether directly representing a party or acting as local counsel, one of the first questions we are often asked as litigators sitting in Atlanta is: “What court works best for us?” Needless to say there are a significant number of issues that must be considered and it is impossible to provide a rote answer. There are, however, a few big-picture considerations that can help drive the final conclusion as to the favored venue. And those…
Statewide Offices Republican Brian Kemp declared victory last week in his bid to replace Governor Nathan Deal as Georgia’s 83rd governor. Kemp avoided a runoff against Democrat Stacey Abrams by securing 50.33 percent of the vote amid record-breaking voter turnout of 61 percent for the midterm election. Abrams has not conceded the race. Absentee, provisional, and military ballots are still being counted. Kemp resigned as secretary of state last week to allow an interim appointee…
In 2018, arbitration has become further embedded in our legal culture while also earning some of the contempt that is said to come with familiarity. The recent Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis ruling is just the latest in a string of Supreme Court decisions making clear that arbitration agreements are fully and legally enforceable. As a method of resolving domestic business disputes, however, arbitration has a growing number of detractors. For the process to satisfy…
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late last week in a case with important implications for international exports and patent law. In WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., the Supreme Court held that a patent owner can “recover for lost foreign profits” when a defendant “ships components of a patented invention overseas to be assembled there.” This decision reversed a 2015 Federal Circuit decision finding that United States patent law does not extend outside the country…
Democrats will try to unite around their candidate for governor, Republicans are heading toward a runoff, and eight incumbent lawmakers were defeated after the final results came in for yesterday’s primary election in Georgia. More than 1.1 million Georgians headed to the polls to vote for candidates vying for their party’s nomination for statewide elected constitutional officers, members of Congress, state lawmakers, county commissioners, and regulators. …
A majority of states now have some form of a “notice and opportunity to repair” statute (“NOR statute”) for construction defect claims.  The statutes generally provide that before filing suit a property owner must provide a contractor with notice of the alleged defect, the opportunity to inspect the property, and the opportunity to offer to repair the issue.  If a property owner fails to follow the procedure, the statutes generally provide that a defendant can…
On May 8, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a proposed change to how it will handle challenges to patents. In essence, the proposal would result in a consistent claim construction standard between how district courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) interpret claims in trial proceedings. …
The annual application period has opened for businesses and other organizations that want to invest in distressed communities with the help of federal tax credits. This week, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund is publishing its Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year 2018 round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The NOAA pertains to a total of $3.5 billion in NMTC authority for this year’s round.…
Much ink has been devoted in recent years to the widening income gap in our country, but as we noted in our January blog, “Rural Development Council Works to Keep Georgia On Your Mind,” geographic disparities since the Great Recession have hit rural and low-income communities in Georgia particularly hard. In yet another proactive move to address this problem, the state has positioned itself to take advantage of the new Qualified Opportunity Zone…