Parks Chesin & Walbert | Business/Government Litigation
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Successful Protest of Georgia State Contract

Matt Maguire and Jenn Coalson protested a $15 million/year award of the Georgia Department of Corrections’ prison commissary contract on behalf of two Georgia-based family-owned businesses.  The Department of Corrections had decided to award the contract to a large, national supplier but we were able to prove that the supplier failed to meet the RFP mandatory requirements and, as a consequence, should have been disqualified.

Important Georgia Supreme Court Decision Regarding Sovereign Immunity

On February 24, 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a decision that will have significant ramifications for companies and individuals who litigate with Georgia state agencies and counties.  While the state and its political subdivisions (i.e., counties) have traditionally enjoyed sovereign immunity as to damage claims, the Georgia Supreme Court had made it clear in Intl. Bus. Machines Corp. v. Evans, 265 Ga. 215, 453 S.E.2d 706 (1995) that suits seeking non-monetary equitable relief were exceptions to the State’s sovereign immunity.


Restraints on Physician Competition in Georgia

I. Introduction

Many Georgia physicians are bound by contractual covenants that seek to restrict their ability to compete (non-compete covenants), to solicit patients or referral sources (non-solicitation covenants), to solicit co-workers (non-recruitment covenants), or to use or disclose confidential information (non-disclosure covenants). Restrictive covenants may appear in physicians’ employment agreements,i partnership agreements,ii medical director contracts,iii agreements executed upon the sale of a medical practice,iv and even real estate leases.v Their enforceability will depend in large part upon four factors: (1) the effective date of the agreement containing the covenants; (2) the type of agreement in which they appear; (3) the breadth of the restrictions imposed (time, territory and scope of activities); and (4) for newer covenants, the discretion of a



The Vendor’s Guide to Georgia Procurement Law

Procurement laws can be complicated, frequently consisting of layers of arcane and sometimes conflicting federal, state and local rules.  While lawyers do not need to be involved in every step of the procurement process, those who do manage the process may be able to salvage an award, protect proprietary information or avoid a regulatory problem simply by being attuned to potential legal issues.  The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the laws that relate to Georgia state and local procurements so that vendors can make better decisions about when to involve legal counsel in procurement issues.


Georgia Court Strikes Down Agency Regulation on Vagueness Grounds

In Georgia Dept. of Comm. Health v. Northside Hosp., Inc., 2013 WL 5763236 (Oct. 25, 2013), the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that a Georgia Department of Community Health regulation was unconstitutionally vague because it gave DCH unfettered discretion in how to apply the regulation. Rule 111-2-.40(1) provides that an ambulance surgery service is not required to seek a certificate of need if it is “part of a hospital.” The regulation offered two examples of situations in which an ambulance surgery service is part of a hospital, and then stated that DCH would address all other situations on case-by-case basis without supplying any guidance as to which factors would be considered in that case-by-case analysis. The Court held: “We are sympathetic to the fact that a specialized agency may need to make determinations on a case-by-case basis because it will often not confront special problems or considerations that require a flexible approach to a resolution. The agency, however, must set identifiable standards to guide its judgment when operating under a case-by-case determination.” Otherwise, the agency has absolute discretion in how it applies the rule, which violates the due process rights of those subjected to the rule. S.J.T., Inc. v. Richmond Cnty., 263 Ga. 267, 269-70, 430 S.E.2d 726, 729 (1993).

Georgia Supreme Court Affirms Invalidation of Postnuptial Agreement

DivorceIn a case that highlights the importance of having legal counsel actively involved when drafting contracts having financial significance, the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the judgment of the Superior Court of Fulton County that a postnuptial agreement entered into between a husband and his wife was invalid as a matter of law and that the alimony provisions in the contract were unenforceable.


The case arose in the context of a marriage that was having difficulty. At issue was a lengthy letter agreement that the wife, a non-attorney, allegedly drafted to her then-husband, setting out, among other things, the terms of alimony. When the parties ultimately proceeded with divorce, and very large sums of money were at stake, the wife asserted that alimony was governed by the letter agreement. The husband vigorously opposed the wife’s argument, asserting that the alimony provisions had omitted material terms and that the language the wife employed was far too vague to be judicially enforced.