Jonathan Wilson is an
Atlanta attorney with more than 19 years of experience guiding growing private and public companies. He currently serves
as the outside general counsel of several companies and is the former general counsel of Web.com.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink
Services (NASDAQ: ESIC). He is also the founding chair of the Renewable Energy Committee of the American Bar Association's
Public Utility Section.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
May the Senate Refuse to Seat Blago's Appointment?
8:31 am est
Law professor Brian Kalt questions whether the Senate may refuse to seat
Governor Blagojovich's appointment of Roland Burris
to take the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. An interesting debate is developing in the comments to his post.
The debate centers on Article I, Section 3
, which generally empowers the states to prescribe the manner in which they elect their senators, subject to such rules as
Congress may establish and Article I, Section 5
which states in part:
"Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its
own members . . ."
Assuming that the Governor's appointment was lawful under the laws of the State of
Illinois, the Senate would have no authority to refuse to seat the Governor's appointment unless Article I, Section 5
could be read to allow the Senate to "judge . . . the elections . . . and qualifications" of that appointment.
Professor Kalt's post cites Powell v. McCormack
for the conclusion that the Senate's ability to judge the elections and qualifications of its members are limited to
the three constitutional qualifications (age, residency and citizenship) set forth in the Constitution.
the Supreme Court is interested in overturning that precedent, I see little leeway for the Senate in refusing to seat the
Governor's appointment. The position taken by the Senate leadership, that it would refuse to seat the Governor's
appointment, appears to be on a collision course with the courts.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Turning the Tide on Global Warming
5:00 pm est
Has the tide turned
in the public's perception that the globe's climate is warming and that the cause is man-made?
article notes, unusually cold temperatures in 2008 has un-done any net increase in temperatures for the past decade.
And, when governments were just about ready to start spending in search of a global warming "solution" worldwide
recession has eliminated both the political will and the financial ability to do so.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
God is a Problem, Sources Say
6:35 am est
Vincent Carroll's op-ed
does an excellent job at pulling apart the media's double-standards when covering Christianity.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Class Action Fairness Act /Analyzing the Data on the Number of Class Actions Filed
7:17 am est
An ongoing study of the Class Action Fairness Act is yielding some interesting results. Among the prelmiinary conclusions:
1. More class actions are being filed in federal court (which was an
expected results); but
2. It is not clear how many fewer clases are being filed in state court.
"The final word is not in, but it seems unlikely that the predicted revolution happened.
Here's a back of the envelope calculation to put this into perspective. We don't know how many class actions there
are in the state courts. But a 2000 RAND study estimated that about 40% of all class actions filed in the United States are
filed in or removed to the federal courts. In the three pre-CAFA years in our study period, the average number of federal
class actions (combining diversity and federal question jurisdiction) was about 3000. Assuming that the number of state class
actions was 1.5 times larger (60% of the whole), that yields a rough estimate of 4500 state class actions in each of those
three years, and a total of 7500 class actions per year. If CAFA had shifted an additional one-third of the state class actions
into the federal courts, then, we should have observed an increase of about 1500 new class actions in the federal courts per
year. Our results suggest a much more meager impact-more like 300-400 additional diversity cases in the post-CAFA years. Even
taking the estimate at the upper end of the range, that would suggest that CAFA shifted about 9% of state class actions into
the federal courts. Meaningful, perhaps (see below), but hardly revolutionary."
There is a logical flaw in
this reasoning however. The writer knows that there are "300-400" more federal class actions and posits that
this means that fewer cases are being filed in federal court than if all of the expected state court class actions had shifted.
This conclusion ignores the possibility that some class actions are not being filed in state court
as a result of CAFA and that those same cases are also not being pursued in federal court either.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sweet Home Georgia
6:38 am est
Some good news for the Peach State. According to a new survey
that compares the cost of higher education against the expected earnings of its graduates, the University of Georgia and
Georgia Tech are among the top five schools in the U.S., beating out Harvard and most of the Ivy Leage. On the list
of the top 5 schools, UGA was number one.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Good News from Iraq
7:23 am est
With the Dow losing 40% of its value, world credit markets lurching to a halt and the U.S. government bailing out just about
every major U.S. industry, you might forgive some of us for missing it, but there is good news in Iraq
As Charles Krauthammer reports, the Iraqi parliament has ratified strategic and military cooperation agreements
with the United States.
The agreements, which had been in the works for almost a year, contemplate the eventual
departure of all U.S. troops (by the end of 2011) The upshot is that the agreements cement in place a framework for cooperation
between the U.S. and Iraq, marking the strategic turnaround of that country from rogue state to broken state to developing
Much work remains to be done and many will remain divided over the wisdom of how Iraqi reconstruction
was handled, but this is the beginning of the end of that chapter in history.
Phone: 404-353-4833 | email@example.com
Jonathan B. Wilson is an Atlanta attorney at the law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP. Jonathan B. Wilson
provides legal advice to investors, companies and business executives involving corporate law, securities law, SEC matters,
intellectual property, website and Internet legal issues, start-ups, limited liability companies, partnerships, 1934 Act matters,
outsourcing, strategic alliance agreements, contracts, and other matters of importance to growing private and publicly-traded