Breach of contract cases generally occur when a party to a legal agreement fails to abide by one or more of its terms. When a party fails to abide by the terms of a contract, the other party may file a lawsuit for breach of contract. Parties may contract for many things, including which state’s laws will apply to an agreement. A provision in a contract that addresses which state’s laws will be used to interpret the agreement is called a “choice of law” provision. However, not all contracts contain a choice of law provision, and not all choice of law provisions are legally enforceable. In this article, we examine how to determine which state’s laws will determine a Georgia breach of contract case.
Georgia’s Choice of Law Rules
When a party breaches a contractual agreement, the general rule is that the choice of law rules of the forum state are what control. This means that, in the case of a breach of contract dispute in Georgia involving two or more states, Georgia’s choice of law standards are used to determine whether Georgia contract laws or another state’s contract laws will resolve the claims. Georgia’s choice of law rules operate as follows: as a baseline, the applicable state law is the law of the state where the contract was made. So, for example, if a contract between two parties was made in Georgia, then Georgia law would control it.
Although this is the default position for contracts that lack a choice of law provision, if a contract between two parties contains a choice of law provision, then the laws of the state identified in the provision will control. However, courts in Georgia won’t enforce a choice of law provision in a contract if it would be prejudicial to the interests of Georgia or contrary to the public policy.
In addition, if a plaintiff’s case includes a breach of contract claim and tort claims that relate to the alleged contractual breach, then the contract’s choice of law clause will apply to the tort claims as well. However, if the tort claims are not related to the breach of contract claim, then the choice of law provision will not apply to the tort claims.
Contact a Georgia Business Litigation Lawyer
If you need assistance with a breach of contract lawsuit in Georgia, our experienced and knowledgeable Georgia business litigation attorneys are on your side. At Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, our experienced business litigation attorneys have decades of experience helping our valued clients resolve their contractual disputes. When you come to us for help with your breach of contract lawsuit, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your case has a successful outcome. Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced business litigation attorneys.