Georgia Constitution - Current version is available in PDF from the Georgia Secretary of State website. (The current Georgia constitution which was ratified on November 2, 1982, and became effective July 1, 1983, repeals older constitutions). The annotated version can be found in volume 2 of the print O.C.G.A. and in volumes 2 and 3 of the print West Code of Georgia Annotated.
Earlier versions of the constitution may be found at Georgia Info.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Georgia Statutes and Court Rules > Constitution of the State of Georgia. You can use the "Effective Date" box to search annotated versions back to 2005.
Bills - Georgia General Assembly website - The Georgia General Assembly has met annually or biennially since 1777. Annual session begin on the 2nd Monday in January and run for 40 Legislative days. Sessions normally end in mid to late March, depending on the number of recess days. Its website contains texts of bills and allows for searching by bill number, status and code numbers. Under the Bill Number search template, select Advance Search for more options, and to research all sessions back to 2001-2002. There is a link on this screen which will also lead you to previous legislative sessions back to 1995-96 ( a separate website ), so it is possible to locate marked-up house and Senate bills back to 1995.
Lexis Advance - Bills can be located with a keyword search or by citation in the global search bar. Or use Browse Sources to locate Georgia materials, and then select Bills.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Georgia Proposed & Enacted Legislation > Proposed Legislation (Bills). Main page contains the 10 most recent documents from the current legislative session (conduct a word search to find additional bills). From this page, under Tools & Resources, you can also access Georgia Bill Tracking, Georgia Historical Session Laws (coverage begins with 2005), and Georgia Legislative History.
Atlanta Journal Constitution - The newspaper, AJC, contains articles on recent activities in the Georgia Legislature. You can access AJC on Westlaw by selecting News > Newspapers, or by typing Atlanta Journal Constitution in the global search bar. Once the newpaper is retrieved, enter "georgia general assembly" or "georgia legislature." On Lexis Advance, use Browse Sources, and then type Atlanta Journal Constitution in the Search Sources box.
Georgia Public Broadcasting Television (GPB) - provides live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Georgia General Assembly. In addition, "Prime time Lawmakers" airs Monday through Friday at 5:30 am and 7:00 pm and covers each day's legislative session.
Georgia Session Laws
Georgia Laws - 1799 - 1999 available through Galileo - Searchable full text collection of the Acts of the General Assembly, the House Journals, and the Senate Journals. You can search by keyword, or, if you have a citation to Georgia Laws, i.e., 1992 Ga. Laws 32, you can select Year / Page Search in the left frame and type in the citation.
Georgia Laws - hardcopy - the print source that contains the session laws; includes the Senate or House bill number of the enacted law. Georgia Laws is cited as (year) Ga. Laws. (page). Ex.: 1982 Ga. Laws 256. The law library's collection is complete from 1820. Each volume is indexed, and there are no cumulative indices. Location in Library: Georgia.
HeinOnline - Georgia session laws in PDF from 1735 to present. Session laws are also available on LLMC from 1900.
Lexis Advance - Browse Sources > Narrow by Jurisdiction > Georgia. Select Georgia Advance Legislative Service.
New Legislation on Georgia General Assembly website. To locate legislative sessions back to 1995, you may need to select an Advance Search link.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Georgia Proposed & Enacted Legislation > Enacted Legislation (Session Laws).
Georgia Code Website - Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) freely available on the Georgia General Assembly website through LexisNexis.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A) - hardcopy - contains the official version of Georgia statutes currently in force and includes only laws of general applicability (local and special acts are located in Georgia Laws). This code became effective November 1, 1982, and is commonly refererred to as the "Code of 1981." The OCGA recodified and reclassified the general laws of Georgia, eliminated obsolete and unconstitutional laws, and repealed the "Code of 1933." Laws become effective July 1st of the year of passage, unless specified otherwise. Locations in Library: GA1, Reference, Reserve. (Older OCGA volumes since 1982, and bound pocket parts since 1994, are located in Fourth Floor Storage.)
West's Code of Georgia Annotated - hardcopy - the unofficial publication of Georgia statutes currently in force. This publication also includes references to applicable state regulations and West/Westlaw topic and key numbers following a code section. Began publication in 2002. Location in Library: Reference. (Westlaw also contains this code.)
Code of Georgia Annotated - hardcopy. Published since 1935 by the Harrison Co., and commonly referred to as the "Code of 1933." It was discontinued in 2002. Note: To convert a former Harrison code section number to the O.C.G.A. code section number, consult a Tables volume accompanying either the O.C.G.A. or Code of Georgia Annotated. Editions and archived versions of the hardcopy Code of Georgia Annotated are located in library storage on the Fourth Floor - please consult a librarian for access.
Historic Georgia Digests and Codes - this digitized collection from the University of Georgia Law School represents all of the various versions of the laws of Georgia beginning "from its first establishment as a British province" in 1799 through the Code of 1933.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Georgia Statutes & Court Rules. To access archived versions, click on "Georgia Statutes Annotated - Historical" under "Tools & Resources." West's Code is archived back to 2002. The O.C.G.A is archived back to 1988 (Westlaw uses the publisher name of Michie to denote the O.C.G.A.)
Lexis Advance - State Materials > Georgia. Select Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
Other Legislative Information
Description of the Georgia General Assembly - Article from The New Georgia Encyclopedia online provides an overview of the legislative process and history of the Georgia General Assembly.
Georgia Track - Individuals can subscribe to "Georgia Track" to monitor the status of bills as they move through the General Assembly.
Legislative Information from georgia.gov - Provides current and past budget reports, lobbyist information, and legislative and congressional districts for Georgia.
Prime Time Lawmakers - Watch Prime Time Lawmakers every Legislative day at 7 pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Georgia Legislative History
There is very little direct legislative history in Georgia, other than the record of floor votes contained in House and Senate Journals. Floor debates and committee reports are not published. However, if your bill or code section was a significant piece of legislation, it might have been analyzed for legislative intent by student members of the Georgia State University Law Review. Their findings are contained in the Peach Sheets of the GSU Law Review (see below). However, Georgia courts have generally used the plain meaning rule when interpreting the language in statutes, and legislative intent arguments may fail. You may also contact the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of State to request copies of bills as introduced and amended.
Peach Sheets - Since 1985, the fall issue of the Georgia State University Law Review features an annual legislative review known as the Peach Sheets. Articles include analysis, personal interviews with legislators and sponsors of bills, and references to articles in the Atlanta Journal. The Peach Sheets are available on GSU website and on Lexis Advance and Westlaw in the Georgia State University Law Review databases. HeinOnline also provides coverage of the Peach Sheets back to 1985 in the GSU Law Review database (PDF format). The print versions of the fall issues of GSU Law Review are located in the Mulberry Wing, and they include a Table of Code Sections Affected and a bill index.
Mercer Law Review Annual Survey - Another potential source for legislative history information is the Annual Survey of Georgia law in the Mercer Law Review. Access back issues on HeinOnline, or in the Law Library's periodical collection.
50 States - To obtain information on how to research legislative histories for all 50 states, the Indiana University School of Law Library - Bloomington, provides a good start.
Lexis Advance - Browse Sources > Narrow by Jurisdiction > Georgia. Select Georgia Legislative Bill History. GSU Law Review is also available on LA.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia. On the right-hand side of the screen, you will find "Georgia legislative History" under "Tools and Resources." From here, you can click on "Bill Analysis & Other Reports," " Governor Messages," and "Votes" to search documents related to those fields. The GSU Law Review is also available on Westlaw.
Georgia Supreme Court - The Georgia Supreme Court held its first session in January 1846. It functions as court of review and has exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving a question of constitutionality. It has appellate jurisdiction in cases involving title to land; equity cases; cases involving wills; cases involving extraordinary remedies (mandumus, prohibition, quo warranto); divorce and alimony cases; cases certified to it by the Court of Appeals; and cases in which a sentence of death was imposed or could be imposed. The Court is composed of seven justices and it hears oral arguments every month, except August and December. The calendar normally begins on the second Monday of each month.
Both Westlaw and Lexis Advance contain Georgia Supreme Court decisions from 1846.
Georgia Court of Appeals - The Georgia Court of Appeals was authorized by constitutional amendment in 1906. Under the 1983 Consitution, it is a court of review and exercises jurisdiction over appeals from superior, state and juvenile courts in all cases not reserved to the Georgia Supreme Court. The status of all cases since Jan. 2003 are contained in Docket Information, and there are also links to Standards of Review, Caseload Statistics and Judges' Biographies.
Both Westlaw and Lexis Advance contain Georgia Court of Appeals opinions from 1906.
Georgia Superior Courts - The superior courts are Georgia's general jurisdiction trial courts. It has exclusive jurisdiction over trials in felony cases, divorce, equity, and cases pertaining to land. Superior courts are organized into 10 Judicial Districts, comprised of 49 judicial circuits. Each county has its own superior court, though a judge may serve more than one county. Site also includes a map to find a superior court.
Georgia Federal Appeals Court
11th Circuit Court of Appeals - The 11th Circuit was established in October, 1981 (previously in the 5th Circuit). Opinions are from 1995, and includes published and unpublished opinions in PDF and HTML. Also includes FRAP 36 and accompanying Eleventh Circuit Rules and Internal Operating Procedures.
Westlaw >State Materials > Georgia >Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Page displays the 10 most recent documents from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. You can use the search bar to search cases dating back to 1891.
Georgia Federal District Courts
Westlaw >State Materials >Georgia >Georgia Federal District Courts - This page displays the 10 most recent documents from all of the Federal District Courts in Georgia. You can use the search bar to search Georgia Federal District Court cases dating back to 1808.
Other Online Sources for Caselaw:
Fastcase - Georgia cases and other primary sources freely available to Georgia state bar members, and to Mercer law students. Fastcase currently contains a citator service, Authority Check, which provides citations to cases that reference a retrieved case. Access Fastcase from the State Bar of Georgia website. Please ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Each year, the Mercer Law Review publishes an Annual Survery which reviews decisions in major areas of Georgia law. Issues on the website begin in 1994; articles have been published since1949. Access current and back issues of Mercer Law Review in PDF format on HeinOnline, or in hardcopy in the Law Library's periodical collection.
Georgia Court Rules
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Georgia State Court Rules. Main page provides a table of contents for the current rules for every level of court in the state as well as other rules governing areas such as judicial conduct and admission to the practice of law.
The Georgia Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”) is found under Title 50, Chapter 13, Article 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The purpose of the Act is to provide a procedure for administrative determination and regulation which is authorized by law, statute or the constitution of Georgia.
According to O.C.G.A. § 50-13-3, an agency must adopt as a rule the description of its organization, method of operation and procedures through which the public can obtain information. An agency must also make available for public inspection all rules, final orders, decisions, non-confidential opinions and other written statements of policy or interpretations. Additionally, O.C.G.A. § 50-13-7 requires the secretary of state to compile, index and publish all the rules adopted by each agency either by printing or electronically.
The print compilation of the current rules and regulations is the Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia located in the Georgia Collection at KFG 35 1967.A23.
Office of Secretary of State Website - Current rules and regulations are available on this website in PDF format, and is considered to be more up-to-date than the print version of the Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia. To request earlier versions of a Georgia regulation, contact the Office of Secretary of State. Westlaw and Lexis Advance are adding older administrative codes in their databases but so far, their systems only contain the code back one year or so; however, Lexis.com contains the Georgia Administrative Code since 2004 and Westlaw contains the Georgia Administrative Code since 2002.
Lexis Advance - Contains current Georgia rules and regulations. Links are also available for Georgia Attorney General Opinions, Georgia Commissioner of Securities Decisions, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Decisions, Georgia Department of Revenue Rules and Regulations, Georgia Department of Banking & Finance Applications Manual, Kissiah's Georgia Workers' Compensation Law, Labor and Employment in Georgia: A Guide to Employment Laws, Regulations & Practices.
Westlaw > State Materials > Georgia > Regulations. Contains current Georgia rules and regulations. In the right frame, there is a link to Historical Regulations - archived versions from 2012 and 2013. Under Administrative Decisions and Guidance (State Materials > Georgia > Administrative Decisions and Guidance), you will find links to Georgia Attorney General Opinions, Georgia Banking Administrative Decisions, Georgia Environmental Administrative Decisions, Judicial Ethics Opinions, and Georgia Public Service Commission Decisions.
A list of Georgia administrative agencies with contact information is available at Georgia.gov.
Dougherty County Georgia Forms - legal forms freely available online to the public. Law faculty and students can also access legal forms on Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law.
Georgia Practice Treatises
Mercer Law Library's subscription to ProView on Westlaw provides access to select Georgia Practice treatises in PDF format, including Davis & Shulman's Georgia Practice and Procedure, Courtroom Handbook on Georgia Evidence, Agnor's Georgia Evidence, Daniel's Georgia Handbook on Criminal Evidence, Daniel's Georgia Criminal Trial Practice, Eldridge's Georgia Wrongful Death Actions With Forms, and more, to members of the public while in the law library. Please see a law librarian at the Reference Desk for instructions. Mercer Law faculty and students have access to these books in PDF format while in the law library or off campus by signing on to Westlaw, and clicking on the Practice Ready link on the top toolbar.
Georgia Attorney General Opinions
Lexis Advance - Georgia Attorney General opinions from 1970.
Westlaw - Georgia Attorney General opinions from 1977.
Jury Verdicts & Instructions
Georgia Legal Almanac – includes jury verdicts
Westlaw > State Materials >Georgia >Georgia Jury Verdicts & Settlements. Main page contains the 10 most recent documents. You can use the search bar to search for jury verdicts and settlements dating back to 1963. This secion contains summaries of jury verdicts, judgments, settlements, and arbitration awards from federal and state proceedings in Georgia.
Georgia Suggested Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil and Criminal) - Available to Mercer Law students and faculty on Lexis Advance.
Also available in hardcopy - Reserve, KFG542.6.A65.
The Georgia Trial Reporter - hardcopy - Reserve KFG 542.4.G46 (1999 forward) - contains a monthly summary of all available superior and state court civil jury trials in the Atlanta metropolitan area that result in a verdict.
Georgia Ethics & Bar Rules
State Bar of Georgia - Select "Bar Rules" tab to access Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, Disciplinary Records, Advisory Opinions, and Office of General Counsel Annual Reports. To access recent and archived issues of the Georgia Bar Journal, click "News and Publications." The Georgia State Bar Journal, Vols. 1-31 (1964-1995) is available on HeinOnline.
Members of the public who believe that a Georgia lawyer has violated the rules of ethics should contact the Bar's Consumer Assistance Program at 800-334-6865.
ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct - current ABA Model Code revised in February 2007. (note: as with rules governing lawyers' behavior, each state adopts its own rules for judicial conduct, and many states base their judicial rules on this model).
Find a Lawyer
State Bar of Georgia - list of local and voluntary Bars for the general public.