On May 7, 2015 the Supreme Court of Georgia approved a revision to the Business Court Division Rule, by which parties can transfer legal proceedings related to international arbitration agreements and awards to the Business Court Division.
The Business Court Division was established in 2005 for the purpose of providing specialized judicial attention to complex commercial litigation. Among its several goals is the quick disposition of commercial cases. The average time for resolution of motions presented to the Business Division Court during calendar years 2013-2014 was approximately 15 days. Survey results of attorneys who practice before the Business Court Division (collected during the period 2009 to 2011) cite the efficient adjudication of disputes as one of the Division’s most positive attributes.
These recent steps parallel others which Atlanta has been taking to make it a preferred venue for international commercial arbitration. The Georgia State University School of Law, in conjunction with the Atlanta International Arbitration Society ("ATLAS"), will open in September 2105 at its downtown campus a state-of-the-art arbitration hearing facility, to be called the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation.
Also, the Georgia General Assembly passed in 2012 a new UNCITRAL-based International Commercial Arbitration Code, which updated a prior international arbitration code adopted in 1988 (and only the second such code enacted by any U.S. state). Under the Rules of the State Bar of Georgia, which govern the practice of law in Georgia, non-U.S. lawyers may appear on behalf of clients in international arbitrations, and they may also appear pro hac vice in ancillary court proceedings.