The Advisory Committee on Legislation shall prepare for legislative action such matters requiring legislation as may have received the approval of the State Bar's Board of Governors. It shall keep itself informed as to all proposed legislation affecting members of the Bar and the practice of law, and shall take appropriate action for support or opposition to such legislation. It also shall make due presentation of such proposed legislation to the appropriate legislative committee or bodies. (Ad hoc committees will be created as needed for specific legislation.)
2017 Legislative Information
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2017 State Bar Legislative Agenda (Georgia General Assembly)
1) FUNDING ISSUES
A. Georgia Appellate Practice and Educational Resource Center (SUPPORT)
This proposal requests the traditional state appropriation of $800,000 to the Administrative Office of the Courts to fund the Georgia Appellate Practice and Educational Resource Center.
B. E-filing Portal (SUPPORT)
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is asking for $500,000 in the FY18 state budget to implement a statewide e-filing portal. The e-filing portal is intended to interface with the current systems used by the Superior Court clerks, so that attorneys, paralegals and administrative assistants can access each county's e-filing system through one central domain, creating a "one-stop shop."
C. Legal Representation for Victims of Domestic Violence (SUPPORT)
This proposal asks for renewed funding of $2.5 million to the Administrative Office of the Courts for grants to legal services providers for representation of victims of domestic violence.
2) REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION
A. Savings Statute (SUPPORT)
This legislation seeks to amend current Georgia law by allowing for constructive notice of an improperly executed recordable instrument that is nevertheless accepted for recording by the clerk. The legislation also expands the allowable use of affidavits to cure defects in execution to allow for either official or unofficial witnesses to provide such an affidavit.
3) FAMILY LAW SECTION
A. Antenuptial Agreements (SUPPORT)
4) NONPROFIT LAW SECTION
This legislation would amend O.C.G.A. § 19-3-62(a) and others to provide that all antenuptial agreements between parties contemplating a future settlement upon one spouse must be in writing and must be attested by at least two witnesses, one of which must be a notary.
A. Nonprofit Corporate Code Amendments (SUPPORT)
This legislation seeks to amend the Official Code of Georgia to provide for the redomestication of nonprofit corporations. This amendment would provide a mechanism by which foreign nonprofit corporations can change their that of organization to Georgia and Georgia nonprofit organizations can change their state of organization to another state.
5) CHILD PROTECTION & ADVOCACY SECTION
A. Waiver of Counsel in Juvenile Proceedings and Juvenile Court Practice Amendment (SUPPORT)
This legislation seeks to clarify that Juvenile Court judges have the authority to continue to conduct any hearings that are needed in a particular case and that are already authorized in the Juvenile Code during the time that an appeal is pending. The proposal additionally would amend the code with regard to waiver of counsel by parents in dependency cases. The amendment would require that the waiver be knowing, voluntary and on the record.
6) FIDUCIARY LAW SECTION
A. Amending the Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities (OPPOSE)
This legislation would amend O.C.G.A. § 44-4-201 (the Uniform Rule Against Perpetuities) to provide for a 360-year permissible vesting period for a non-vested property interest or a power of appointment created after June 30, 2017. Georgia law currently provides for a 90-year permissible vesting period. This legislation will be combined with an additional bill from the Fiduciary Law Section that would provide by statute five methods for modifying an irrevocable trust.
B. Creation of a Georgia Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (SUPPORT)
This legislation seeks to extend the traditional power of a fiduciary to manage tangible property to include management of a person's digital assets. Digital assets include property such as computer files, web domains and virtual currency.
Other Items of Interest to Lawyers
Other issues of interest to lawyers are included in the current legislative update. (Noted above.)
The Administrative Office of the Courts tracks legislation affecting the courts and other legal issues. Visit their website for more information.
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