I. Continuing Legal Education. High quality continuing legal education programs continued to be a signature of the Technology Law Section in 2008-2009. The Section sponsored its annual flagship event, the daylong Technology Law Institute, on October 16, 2008. The event attracted approximately 100 paid attendees. The faculty consisted of contributors from lawyers at premiere corporations such as Cox Communication, Southern Company, ING, ARRIS Group, and Allstate. Participating law firms included Troutman Sanders; Smith, Gambrell & Russell; Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore; Morris, Manning & Martin; and King & Spalding. The keynote speaker was Dr. Diane Lewis from the National Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center, a nationally recognized leader in nanotechnology. In addition to the Technology Law Institute, the Section continued to offer smaller luncheon programs. The fall program was a joint presentation with the Atlanta Bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section on “Internet Advertising Legal Issues.” The presentation was lead by Stephen Combs, Discovery/HowStuffWorks.com and Kari Mueller, Turner Broadcasting System. The Section’s winter program was presented by Mari Myer of Friend, Hudak, & Harris on “Drafting and Enforcing NDAs and Covenants Not to Solicit.” II. The Georgia Journal of Technology Law. The Section also provides a valuable resource to its members in the form of The Georgia Journal of Technology Law. Stephen Combs and Sandra Gardiner served as co-editors for the 2008-2009 year. The Journal is filled with informative, scholarly articles that keep Section members up-to-date on the latest developments in technology law, as well as Section activities. It is distributed in an attractive, colorful, and completely web-based format. Past editions are archived on the Section’s website.
III. New Participation by Section Members. This year the Section renewed its goals to increase participation in the Section across Georgia and with different members of the Bar. The Section has had prior members return to participate on the Executive Committee. Current plans also include sponsoring events with law schools to mentor and provide information to prospective attorneys.
IV. New Initiatives. In fiscal year 2008-2009, the Executive Committee of the Technology Law Section continued to look for new ways to increase benefits to Section members. The Section completed the following initiatives in 2008-2009:
- Secured nationally recognized experts from outside of Atlanta for the Technology Law Institute, making it one of the premier CLE programs of its kind in the United States
- Implemented new website features including online event registration, RSS feeds, subscribe by email, video/audio podcasts, commenting on articles, and search capabilities.
- Enhancements to the website enabled the Section to host approximately 8 hours of video from the Technology Law Institute. This presentation and future presentations of the Section will be archived and available to people across the Internet.
IV. Community Involvement. In fiscal year 2008-2009, the Technology Law Section continued to actively support important community development efforts, through its annual financial contribution to a worthy non-profit. In October 2008, the Section donated approximately $1,000 in proceeds from the Technology Law Institute to Computers for Youth. Computers for Youth (formerly, Tech Corps Georgia) has been a long-time beneficiary of the Technology Law Section’s financial support. Computers for Youth is dedicated to increasing the availability of information technology to lower income households. In addition, the Section continued to encourage its members to volunteer pro bono legal services to non-profits with particular needs in the area of technology. The Section includes volunteer opportunities on its website. This year’s Technology Law Institute included a presentation on the “Environmental Friendly Law Firm.”
Gaines Carter Section Chair, 2008-2009 Technology Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia