Governor Kemp Appoints First State-wide Business Court Judge
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
Governor Brian P. Kemp appointed Walter W. Davis to serve as the first state-wide business court judge. The Georgia State-wide Business Court was approved by Georgia voters in the November 2018 election and codified with bipartisan support in the 2019 legislative session.
"With over seventeen years of private-sector experience, Walt Davis will bring invaluable business law expertise to this new state-wide court," said Governor Kemp. "I am truly honored to nominate him to this position, and I have the utmost confidence that he will govern his courtroom with integrity and impartiality. By allowing companies to resolve their differences quickly and judiciously through the business court, businesses can get back to doing what they do best: creating jobs and opportunity for hardworking Georgians."
“We realize that in order to stay the number one state for business, we have to continue to promote business-friendly practices like the state business court. However, we realize that the court’s effectiveness will depend on having high-quality judges that bring confidence to the institution. Walt Davis will bring that and more. I completely support the Governor’s appointment,” said Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan.
“Governor Kemp’s selection of Walt Davis as Georgia’s first state-wide business court judge demonstrates our commitment to keeping Georgia the nation’s #1 state for business. This court will help expedite complex business cases and keep litigation costs down for all involved. We, in the General Assembly, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Governor Kemp in trying to ease burdens on Georgia businesses and ensure a fair marketplace. I want to thank all those who have worked to make this business court a reality over the last several years, including Chairman Chuck Efstration, Chairman Barry Fleming, Attorney General Chris Carr, and former Governor Nathan Deal. I congratulate Walt on his selection and know that the Judiciary committees will work expeditiously on his confirmation to this important position,” said Speaker David Ralston.
“As a sponsor of the enabling legislation, I want to thank Governor Kemp for announcing his choice of Walt Davis for appointment to the newly created position of judge for the Georgia State-wide Business Court. I pledge to work closely with the Governor’s office and Chairman Fleming in carrying out the approval process through the House and Senate Judiciary Committees,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Jesse Stone.
“Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of getting to know Walt Davis personally and enjoyed working with him as the General Assembly developed its plan for a new, state-wide business court. Without question, he offers the right legal background and mindset to lead this effort. I applaud Governor Kemp’s appointment of Walt Davis for this important position, and I am confident that Walt will lead with integrity to ensure the court’s long-term success,” said House Judiciary Chairman Barry Fleming.
Walter "Walt" Davis currently serves as the Administrative Partner of the Jones Day Law Firm in Atlanta where he oversees a wide range of operational and financial matters. Over the last seventeen years, Walt has focused his practice on securities litigation, shareholder disputes, and corporate governance matters and regularly counsels boards of directors and senior management in connection with governmental and internal investigations. He has significant experience handling insider trading, accounting, and corporate compliance matters, among others. Walt recently first-chaired a well-publicized appraisal dispute in Delaware Chancery Court (In re Appraisal of Jarden Corporation), and currently leads the defense of The Southern Company and some of its officers and directors in a securities fraud class action and related derivative lawsuits pending in federal court in Atlanta.
Walt currently serves as co-chair of the Securities and Corporate Litigation Subcommittee of the Atlanta Bar Association, and he is also a member of the Atlanta Bar Association's Judicial Selection and Tenure Committee. He also serves as the Administrative Partner for the Atlanta Office.
Walt is active in the Atlanta community where he currently serves on the board of directors of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and he is a member of the leadership council of Zoo Atlanta. He formerly served on the boards of directors of Kate's Club, Inc. and Make-A-Wish Georgia, and he was a member of the alumni board of Mercer University's College of Liberal Arts. Walter is also a member of Leadership Atlanta's Class of 2018, as well as L.E.A.D. Atlanta's Class of 2007.