Why You Shouldn't Accept an Easement for the Palmetto Pipeline

May 11, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Question

Why shouldn’t landowners accept an easement for the Palmetto Pipeline?

Answer

You have the legal right to use and protect your property. While eminent domain may be ultimately granted for projects deemed necessary for public convenience, you have no obligation to provide access or accept easements from private companies until mandated by state authorities.

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Topics: Commercial Law in Georgia

What Role Do Foreign-Trade Zones Play in Georgia Ports?

April 22, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Question

What role do Foreign-Trade Zones play in importing goods to ports such as those in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia? 

Answer

Foreign-Trade Zones encourage economic growth by leveling the playing field with international competitors, encouraging companies to maintain and expand their operations in the United States. Imports to Foreign-Trade Zones now account for more than 12% of total U.S. imports.

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Topics: Commercial Law in Georgia

Palmetto Pipeline Raises Questions of Eminent Domain in Savannah, GA

March 31, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Question

How would the Palmetto Pipeline affect Georgians?

Answer 

If the Palmetto Pipeline is deemed to have public value, property owners in Savannah, GA and elsewhere may have a tough fight to prevent the pipeline from crossing their property.   Federal precedent in eminent domain suggests that landowners would be offered one-time payments for easements on land that would need to remain permanently fallow despite the fact they would have to continue to pay property taxes on that land.  

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Topics: Commercial Law in Georgia

Do Georgia Business Owners Truly Have the Right to Refuse Service?

March 2, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Answer: Not Always

Many businesses have signs on the wall which read “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone,” but that is not necessarily true. The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin." The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees the right of public accommodation to physically and mentally disabled citizens. Sex, age, veteran status, genetic information and citizenship are also federally protected. Refusing service to anyone based solely on one of these federally-protected classes is definitely illegal.  Setting those factors aside, we are oten asked whether businesses have the right to refuse patrons based on their appearance, attitude, sexual orientation or other non-federally protected factors.

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Topics: Commercial Law in Georgia

New Finance Law May Allow Georgia Businesses to Lease Solar Technology

February 22, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Generating electricity with solar technology for commercial and residential use is not a new idea; home systems have been widely available for purchase for more than fifteen years. So why haven’t more business and homeowners adopted this clean technology? The initial investment to outfit a building or property with solar power can be anywhere from several thousand or tens of thousands of dollars. Like most evolving technologies, prices decrease as adoption increases but the biggest agent of change in Georgia may well prove to be House Bill 57.

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Topics: Commercial Law in Georgia