Ward Stone Jr.

Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


During the Survey Period, the Georgia appellate courts handed down a number of decisions underscoring the requirement that contractors hold valid and current contractor’s licenses issued by the Secretary of State’s office in order to be able to enforce construction contracts.Several attempts to side‑step the statute,carve out exceptions, or avoid the harsh consequences of violating the statute were rejected in favor of strict interpretation. As several courts noted concerning the licensing statutes:

[I]n construing any statutory text, we must presume that the General Assembly meant what it said and said what it meant. To that end, we must afford the statutory text its plain and ordinary meaning, we must view the statutory text in the context in which it appears, and we must read the statutory text in its most natural and reasonable way, as an ordinary speaker of the English language would.

During the Survey Period, Georgia courts also affirmed the eight year outside limit under the statute of repose for bringing contract or tort claims arising out of a contract of construction, examined the standards for awarding attorney's fees in Miller Act fee shifting cases, examined the effectiveness of lien waivers, and examined the limitations on indemnity provisions in construction contracts.