Governor Brian Kemp (R) tapped Bill Hamrick to serve as the Georgia State-wide Business Court judge on Wednesday. 

“Having served with Judge Hamrick in the State Senate when I first entered public life, I witnessed firsthand his dedication to the law, to its fair application, and to our state,” Governor Kemp said. 

Hamrick currently serves in the Coweta Circuit on the Superior Court of Georgia after his appointment by former Governor Nathan Deal in 2012. 

“I know he will be a capable and thoughtful presence to oversee the State-wide Business Court, and I am proud to appoint him as only the second judge in state history to hold this position,” Gov. Kemp said.

The Georgia State-wide Business Court is located in the Nathan Deal Judicial Center in Atlanta and began to accept cases on August 1, 2020. 

“As a small business owner, I am also thankful that he will help resolve differences quickly and judiciously through this court that allows employers in our state to get back to doing what they do best: creating jobs and opportunity for hardworking Georgians,” Gov. Kemp said. 

The court was created after a March 30th, 2017 executive order issued by former Governor Nathan Deal to establish a court reform council “to review current practices and procedures within the judicial court system … and make recommendations to improve efficiencies and achieve best practices for the administration of justice.” 

Pursuant to the Georgia Constitution (OCGA §15-5A-3), the Georgia State-wide Business Court has subject matter jurisdiction differences between itself and the Metro Atlanta Business Case Division.

“With his combined experience as both a legislator in the State Senate and as a judge, I am confident in Judge Hamrick’s abilities to uphold the role of judge of the Georgia State-wide Business Court with wisdom, justice, and moderation,” Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan said. 

Cases that fall under the jurisdiction of the State-wide Business Court include any claims that arise under the Georgia Arbitration Code, the Georgia Trade Secrets Act of 1990, the Georgia International Commercial Arbitration Code, and the following codes and acts:

  • Georgia Uniform Securities Act of 2008
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Georgia Business Corporation Code
  • Uniform Partnership Act
  • Georgia Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act
  • Uniform Limited Partnership Act
  • Georgia Limited Liability Company Act

“Governor Kemp’s appointment of an experienced jurist like Judge Bill Hamrick demonstrates our continuing commitment to maintaining a business-friendly regulatory environment,” Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston said. 

Georgians can bring an action to the Business Court by a direct filing of: a plea with the Business Court, a petition for removal of an existing action from a superior or state court by agreement of all parties, or a petition to transfer an existing action from a superior or state court by one or more parties.

“Judge Hamrick has a great reputation as a Superior Court judge and before that as a legislator,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Strickland said. 

The fee to file an action in the Business Court is $3,000, which is remitted to the State Treasury.

The amount-in-controversy requirement is a minimum of $1 million for claims that involve commercial real property and $500,000 for claims that do not involve commercial property.

Previously, Hamrick served as a Georgia State Senator (R-Carroll)  and chaired the Senate’s judiciary, banking, and financial institutions.

“I commend Governor Kemp for his nomination of Judge Bill Hamrick for appointment to the Georgia State-wide Business Court,” House Judiciary Chairman Chuck Efstration said.

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 Addison Basurto is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Addy on Twitter and GETTR. Email tips/inquiries to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Hamrick” by Judge Bill Hamrick.