Jonathan B. Wilson

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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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Monday, November 17, 2008

Freezing Heat
Last month, the primary scientists behind the public belief in man-made global warming announced that October 2009 was the hottest month of on record. 

Except that it wasn't

It turns out that October was actually one of the coldest months on record with arctic shelf ice 30% greater than it was at the same time the preceding year.  The discrepency was the result of using new data from new sources that hadn't yet been verified.  When pressed for an explanation for the error, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (the organization that monitors global temperatures) claimed that it didn't have enough resources to verify the data it used to track global temperature change.

Please keep this in mind the next time someone tells you that is a "commonly accepted" that the earth is growing warmer. 
8:42 am est 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Loser Pays and Lemon Law Claims

Sergei Lemberg, a lemon lawyer from the Northeast, takes a shot at my book on the loser-pays rule and the effect the rule would have on lemon law claims.

Mr. Lemberg certainly has the advantage on me, as I'm not very familiar with lemon laws and have been involved in a lemon case, but I've done a little reading.

The Georgia Motor Vehicle Warranty Rights Act creates a process by which a consumer who has purchased a motor vehicle can require the dealer to remedy any defects in the vehicle within a short period of time following the purchase. 

Dealers are required to give consumers a written copy of their rights under the Warranty Rights Act, and, if the dealer fails to remedy the problem or provide a full refund, the consumer may use an administrative process to get relief.  The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs has a website that walks consumers through the process. 

If the dealer fails to follow the process that leads either to a remedy of the problem or a refund, the consumer may bypass the courts to binding arbitration.  If the consumer prevails at the arbitration and the dealer persists in non-compliance, the arbitrator may impose a daily fine on the dealer. 

I don't know if Georgia's lemon law is similar to that of other states, but if it is it would seem to represent a good example of the underlying economics behind the loser-pays rule.

The loser-pays rule is based on the premise that the party responsible for a wrong should pay the entire cost (including the cost of litigation) of making the wrong right.  If, however, a plaintiff asserts a mistaken claim, the plaintiff should bear the defendant's cost of defense.  Thus, in each case, the party responsible for the mistake (whether the mistake is a tort or the mistake is an erroneous complaint) bears the cost of his or her decisions.  This sounds fair and reasonable, doesn't it.

The Georgia lemon law would seem to work the same way.  It requires dealers to either fix or repair faulty vehicles.  If the vehicle has no faults, there is not obligation to repair (and no obligation to defend a case in court). 

Perhaps there is some deeper secret of lemon law litigation that I am missting -- if so I would hope that Mr. Lemberg would enlighten me.  But based on what I've read so far, the Georgia lemon law illustrates precisely the fundamental fairness of the loser-pays rule.

8:04 am est 

Full Employment for Lawyers
Lawyers scramble to position themselves for jobs in the Obama administration and ex-Clinton counselers find themselves playing the role of headhunter. 
7:34 am est 

October's MIRLIN
The latest issue of Vince Polley's "miscellaneous IT-related legal news" covers twittering terrorists, the extended deadline for the FTC's 'red flag' rules and the demise of business method patents. 
7:30 am est 

Saturday, November 1, 2008



Zogby's daily tracking poll shows McCain trailing Obama by less than the margin or error but shows McCain's one-day polling beating Obama 48-47. 

Zogby writes, "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on."
7:06 am edt 

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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.