Jonathan B. Wilson

Legal Resources
Business Law Updates
Out of Balance
Legislation for Renewable Energy

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 (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.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Smart Grid Standards
A group of state and federal regulators on March 26th proposed standards for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions (FERC) when developing regulations for the distribution of "smart grid" stiumulus funds under the 2009 Recovery Act.  (Proposal)

The FERC is expected to issue of Notice of Intent and public rulemaking for the criteria for the smart grid stimulus grants by the end of April. 
4:11 pm edt 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greenbriar Resort files for Bankruptcy
An icon of old school wealth and sensibilities, the Greenbriar Resort, owned by railroad company CSX, filed for bankruptcy on friday.


2:59 pm edt 

Friday, March 20, 2009

FirstCity Bank of Stockbridge Seized by Regulators
The FDIC tonight seized control of the FirstCity Bank of Stockbridge according to reports.  This is the ninth bank in the metro Atlanta region to be taken over by regulators since the start of the year. 
8:23 pm edt 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Renewal Energy Tax Incentives / Tax Breaks for Green Investments
One of my new colleagues, Greg Sanderson, has written a Business Law Update on the New Renewable Energy Tax Incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

Anyone looking at investments in green initiatives should take the time to review these new incentives. 
12:10 pm edt 

Monday, March 16, 2009

EEOC Discrimination Charges on the Rise
According to a press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges of discrimination in 2008 hit an all time high of 95,000, an increase of 15% over 2007. 

With climbing unemployment rates and continued layoffs likely in the short run, employers would be well advised to conduct a thorough review of an employee's file before making employment determinations.  Doing so many not prevent an aggrieved employee from filing the charge but often will make the employer's response more effective at decreasing liability. 
7:18 am edt 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Apples Grow Jobs
According to a survey published in the current edition of Forbes, record apple harvests on the Northwest U.S. have pushed employment prospects there to among the best in the nation. 

According to the article:

Thanks to last year's strong harvest of apples and the jobs that followed in juicing, packaging and shipping, Yakima, Wash., has the strongest employment outlook in the country for the second quarter of 2009, according to a quarterly survey by employment services firm Manpower.

"This is an agricultural base, a huge apple-growing region," says Bill Cook, director of community and economic development for Yakima. "Last year's apple harvest was huge, and it helped carry employment through the winter. Even in a normal economic year that wouldn't happen."

Cities in the Pacific Northwest and Texas have the best employment outlook for April through June, while cities in the Southeast have the weakest, according to the study.

1:30 pm edt 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Global Warming Consensus
A new Gallup poll reports that 41% of Americans believe that the threat of global climate change is "exaggerated".  This is the highest reading ever for this belief.

2:51 pm edt 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Changes to Regulation D Effective March 16, 2009
Beginning March 16, 2009 the SEC will no longer accept Form D filings on paper.  Instead, issuers will need to file via EDGAR.

The new rules include a host of changes affecting companies that rely on Regulation D.  If you are an issuer who is planning a Reg D offering, or has an ongoing Reg D offering covered by a Form D filed since March 16, 2008, you need to be aware of new rules that affect you. 

Click here for the full article. 
8:34 am edt 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Proposed Changes to Georgia's Law of Restrictive Covenants
For many years now, Georgia's law governing restrictive covenants has been one of the more difficult and more conservative in the U.S.  ("Restrictive covenants" are those agreements in a contract -- sometimes in the employment context and sometimes in connection with the sale of a business -- in which one party agrees not to compete with another party or not to solicit the other party's customers.)

A new bill pending in the Georgia legislature would make that law even more complicated and difficult for employers to follow.

House Bill 173, now pending, attempts to codify certain elements of Georgia's existing judicial law of restrictive covenants and tries to limit the ability for judges to revise the law going forward. 

Because it makes so many changes, however, it is more likely to prompt new litigation than it is to instill certainty in the law. 
2:04 pm est 

Monday, March 2, 2009

SEC Enforcement: Signs of the Times
Two recent headlines from

SEC Enforcement Lawyers Say Morale is Up

Companies in Dangerous Position as SEC Prepares to Flex its Muscles

Remember: You're not being paranoid if everyone IS out to get you!

Public company executives would do well to review their internal controls and reporting controls.  I think there's a storm coming and I can see the clouds on the horizon. 

12:56 pm est 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Memoriam: Paul Harvey
Famed radio broadcaster Paul Harvey died last night at the age of 90.


I first heard Paul Harvey on the radio while working at a country club in Pennsylvania.

I was responsible for the club's laundry facility and spent my days ironing table clothes and napkins through a giant rolling press called a "mangler".  The room was in the basement and was always hot from the heat of the mangler and the giant clothes dryers we used to service the club's three restaurants.

I shared my sub-terranean sauna with an older lady named Jeannette.  Jeannette had a little radio that played 1940s swing tunes in the morning and Paul Harvey's broadcast in the afternoon.

Harvey's stentorian tones were "old school" before anyone coined the term.  He hearkened back to the golden age of radio and brought joy to his listeners. 
8:28 am est 

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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 companies.