James May-June 2021 web - Flipbook - Page 4
Thoughts about lawyers, politics. . . and a fun readers’ poll
ay 1st is our country’s annual Law Day, so it is
appropriate to devote a portion of the MayJune issue to a chronicle of Georgia’s “Most
Influential Politically-Connected Attorneys.” It is our way
to inform readers about these legal movers-and-shakers
and in our prologue I explain how our staff came up with
those names. Of course, there are obviously lawyers who
are very influential in all 159 counties. But our listing of
up-and-comers and veterans has a political tilt— since
the world of politics many times intersects with the law.
We hope our listing— a one-of-a-kind in Georgia— serves
as an informative “snapshot in time.”
THE RULE OF LAW
I was 23 years old when I began writing editorials for
The Augusta Chronicle, a job I immensely enjoyed for 26
years. One of my first ones addressed the rule of law, that
our judicial system is an independent branch of government, and is unique: An accused person does not have
to prove innocence. Prosecutors must show evidence to
prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
I’m reminded of my old Law Day editorial while following former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin’s
high-profile trial for the death of George Floyd. I’m not
commenting on the verdict. That was up to the jury that
decided Chauvin deserved prison time. But all Americans
regardless of their politics should be concerned about the
incendiary public comments by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters
as jurors were deliberating. She shouted to angry protestors that “we’ve got to stay in the street… We’ve got to
get more confrontational…. You’ve got to make sure they
know we mean business. … We are looking for a guilty
verdict.” The rightly irritated judge described her comments as an “abhorrent” attack on the independence of
the judicial branch of government.
Famed Harvard Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law Alan
Dershowitz puts this in perspective, emphasizing that what
Waters said is much worse than inciting violence. “She is
threatening violence in order to get a jury verdict that satisfies her notion of revenge and vengeance.” That’s not the
way the American system of justice must operate.
with Georgia’s new election reform law, even many opponents of the law felt the boycott was not only economically
hurtful to innocent people but fraught with legal problems.
Let’s remember there are federal laws requiring corporate
executives to execute their fiduciary duty. Company executives can be accused of violating the law if they purposefully
take bad faith actions costing shareholders money. Columnist Jim Pinkerton tackles this issue, pointing out “that
cancelling the Atlanta All-Star Game on short notice is going
to be costly for Major League Baseball; all those broken
contracts must be paid off, and new contracts for Denver
to be written on short notice. That right there is an obvious
abrogation of fiduciary duty.”
Some U.S. senators from both parties also want the
federal government to enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust
Act. The statute flatly states that restraint of trade is
illegal. Again, Pinkerton makes a cogent observation:
“That’s exactly what the wokesters are doing: restraining
trade. Indeed, just about every day now, the elites are
actively bragging about their activities … hence a typical
headline: ‘Hundreds of Companies, CEOs Band Together
on Voting Access.’ We might pause over that wording:
‘band together.’ Does that suggest collusion?”
Several senators are proposing legislation that would
end Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption. But even
if that doesn’t go anywhere for now, Georgia and other states
can file antitrust suits. And so can private citizens.
READERS’ TOP BREWERIES, DISTILLERIES & WINERIES
Our staff had fun partnering with the Georgia Restaurant Association, Atlanta Wine and Beer Festivals, Georgia Distillers Association, the Hospitality Business Network Foundation and Georgia Grown for our annual online
Sippin’ Local poll of readers’ favorite Georgia breweries,
distilleries and wineries. It was gratifying to have received thousands of votes.
The top 10 vote getters in each category are listed— and the winners in each category are featured by
staff writer and adult beverage expert Baker Owens. We
plan to enjoy visiting a lot of these businesses around the
state, and hope you are too!
ARE BOYCOTTS REALLY THE ROUTE TO GO?
After Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game
from Truist Park because of pressure from activists upset
PHIL KENT CEO & PUBLISHER
M AY/JUNE 2021