May 13, 2019

House Bill 311 – Seeking Limitations on Sovereign Immunity

House Bill 311, sponsored by Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) and passed by both the House and the Senate, was recently vetoed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.  Generally speaking, the purpose of the Bill was to reduce the government’s ability to claim sovereign immunity and allow Georgia citizens the ability to seek judicial relief against public entities and officials that they believe have committed unconstitutional and unlawful acts. House Bill 311 was the General Assembly’s response to a 2017 abortion rights case in which the Georgia Supreme Court held that Georgia citizens could not seek injunctions or declaratory judgments against a… Read more


Jul 26, 2017

The Use of Sovereign Immunity as a Defense in AIA Proceedings

patent law

Recent decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) have given state entities a green light to use sovereign immunity as a defense in Inter Parties Review (IPR) proceedings in certain scenarios.  The first decision from the PTAB, which came earlier this year, resulted in three IPR petitions filed by Covidien LP being dismissed before institution based on sovereign immunity of the patent holder University of Florida Research Foundation Inc. (UFRF) (IPR2016-01274, -01275, and -01276).  The PTAB first found that sovereign immunity was available as a defense to IPRs.  The Board then concluded that, because UFRF was an arm… Read more


Nov 11, 2013

Sovereign Immunity from a Surety’s Subrogation Claims? Not in Georgia

Authored by Darren Rowles and Scott Cahalan When a surety receives notice that its principal has defaulted, the surety is faced with a decision.  Depending on the terms of the bond, the surety can either complete the work at its own expense, obtain bids from completion contractors and then arrange for them to contract directly with the owner or other obligee, allow the obligee to arrange for completion of the work with the costs to be paid by the surety, settle with the obligee, or it can choose to defend against the default and assert the principal’s claims, if any, against… Read more