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.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Alternative Fuel Extension Bills Still Not Resolved
8:15 am edt
Both the Senate and the House have passed bills that would extend for one year the $1-per-gallon tax credit for alternative
biofuels and biodiesel but the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Sander Levin (D-MI), said recently
that it may be Memorial Day before differences in the two bills are resolved
and the legislation becomes law.
Many alternative fuel and biodiesel curtailed operations or shut down completely
at the end of 2009 when their excise tax programs expired. If the 2010 extension doesn't become law until the year's mid-point
it will have only limited value to the industry.
Read more at RenewableEnergy.com
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
State Incentives for Renewable Energy
7:30 am edt
Please join me for a webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association from 12 noon to 1:30 pm eastern. I'll be moderating the panel that will highlight
some of the topics covered in the Spring 2010 Report of the Renewable Energy Committee of the ABA's Public Utility Section.
We will address state efforts to create renewable portfolio standards (RPS), feed-in-tarriffs, and other incentives,
including income tax credits, loan programs and grant programs.
Program faculty includes:
Michael C. Barnas, Senior Counsel, Renewables, GE Power & Water, Schenectady, NY
* Daniel J. Boyle,
Managing Director, Heuristic Strategies LLC, Roseville, CA
* Katherine L. Konieczny, Clerk, DC Court of
Appeals, Washington, DC
* Lisa Novins, Law Clerk, State of Vermont Judiciary, Montpelier, VT
* Brandon N. Robinson, Balch & Bingham LLP, Birmingham, AL
* Ann B. Umlauf, General Counsel,
Mechanical Dynamics and Analysis Ltd., Latham, NY
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Supreme Court Cracks Down on Debt Collection Lawyers
9:01 am edt
The Supreme Court in Jerman v. Carlisle, McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich LPA
, held that a law firm, acting as a debt collector, could not rely on the "bona fide error" defense in connection
with a mistake of law concerning the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
All debt collection firms,
and especially attorneys, will need to be far more careful when writing collection letters to ensure that both their factual
and legal claims are accurate.
(Hat tip: Corey Cutter
What Happened to Obama
8:54 am edt
calls it right: The President campaigned as a moderate but, in reality, was not. His sinking poll numbers and a discontented
and growing opposition is the result when a politician dashes the expectations he has set for himself.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
International Lawyer Rich Kayes Joins Taylor English Duma
Rich Kaye, a former partner at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, has joined Atlanta law firm
Taylor English Duma LLP.
8:42 am edt
an attorney specializing in international business transactions, started his 27-year career working in France and the Ivory
Coast. He has helped establish multiple manufacturing joint ventures and technology transfers in China and has helped Chinese
clients do business in the U.S.
Mr. Kaye joins the Business Transactions, Corporate & Taxation practice at Taylor English, which was established in Atlanta in 2005. He will focus on issues ranging from reverse mergers and foreign
stock listings to advising clients on how to do business abroad, according to a news release.
expands the firm's capabilities in international corporate transactional work," said partner Joe English. "His experience will help us, and our clients, better serve foreign markets from Asia to Africa."
The firm has hired more
than 25 new lawyers over the past year.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
4:38 pm edt
An unhappy customer has filed suit against Groupon
, the fledgling alternative marketing service, for alleged violations of Illinois consumer protection statutes. Groupon
sells to consumers coupons for the discounted purchase of specified products or services. The coupons, however, usually
come with conditions. For example, you might be able to get a $10 appetizer for only $2 at XYZ restaurant, but only
if at least 100 people show up with the "Groupon coupon" between 5 and 7pm, etc.
It's an interesting
idea and I can see why it might catch on in larger metropolitan areas.
As the Illinois complaint highlights, however,
there are some concerns under state consumer protection statutes to the extent that the Groupon program imposes post-purchase
terms and conditions.
I'm even more interested to see if some enterprising plaintiff's lawyer can put together
a case that the Groupon system is a form of illegal lottery. In most states, the combination of "prize, consideration
and chance" constitutes an illegal lottery. That is one of the reason why most fast feed giveaway promotions (in
the small print) say that you can play for "free" by sending in your self-addressed envelope with your name and
address to obtain a game piece at no charge. By making the game "free" the promotional giveaway eliminates
the "consideration" element of the lottery claim.
Groupon's system, at first glance, seems to have a
problem under the anti-lottery rules. Consumers may only obtain coupons by paying for them (i.e., there is no 'free'
game) and the value of the coupon depends upon chance (i.e. whether enough coupon-holders arrive on time).
Time will tell.
Tax Credit Financings Spur Economy
Janet Conley’s DealWatch blog mentions my partner, Aaron Kowan, in a post on real estate deals pushed forward by the Recovery Act.
8:49 am edt
She writes, “In a market largely bereft
of real estate deals, federal stimulus programs and funds are creating work for dirt lawyers—and tax and bond counsel,
Conley cites a housing project financing in Decatur,
Georgia that brought with it some Georgia housing tax credits.
Those state tax credits were sold to equity investor Peachtree
Investment Solutions, LLC, represented by Aaron J. Kowan at Taylor English Duma. Kowan
said his client invested about $2 million, but that the deal’s sophistication and complexity was on par with $30 million
“For the size of the deal, it was probably the most complicated deal I ever worked on.”Kowan,
a tax lawyer who worked on the transaction with associate Brandon C. Hardy, said the deal was complex because it involved three to four levels of debt, each with unusual business and tax issues related
to the public-private partnership, and unusual guaranty provisions related to HUD backing.
Aaron is part of the Renewable Energy Finance team at Taylor English Duma and devotes a large portion of his practice to tax-credit financings and
developing structures to take advantage of tax credits and similar governmental incentives.
Phone: 404-353-4833 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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