Yeargan & Kert - September 2020

THE DEFENSE REPORT

SEPTEMBER 2020

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WHY THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION IS AN ONGOING EXPERIMENT

“ No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying , and which we trust will end in establishing the fact that men may be governed by reason and truth.” –Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Tyler Washington. June 28, 1804. Imagine a time where Senate seats used to be left open for months or even years. It wasn’t necessarily what the writers of the Constitution intended to happen, but it did happen, partially because of the system the forefathers designed. Making state legislatures responsible for picking their own senators might’ve worked at the beginning, but time (and plenty of internal conflict) proved that a different solution was needed. The 17th Amendment — which gave citizens the right to vote for their senators — demonstrates that we are responsible for continuing the work of America’s founders to form a more perfect union and to continue to improve our government and Constitution. Today, it might be hard for us to imagine new Constitutional amendments being passed. Two-thirds of both houses of Congress would have to pass a proposed constitutional amendment before it would go to the states for ratification (or approval). Then, three-fourths of the states (at least 38) would have to ratify the amendment. Those challenges aside, the Constitution was designed intentionally to allow for possible changes, and for good reason: American democracy wasn’t a firmly vetted concept.

The forefathers saw the Constitution as part of a democratic experiment, and one they hoped would change with an evolving nation. When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, each state government had their own way of choosing two senators. By the mid-1850s, however, states increasingly struggled to elect senators as problems and political tensions heightened leading up to the Civil War. This often left states and the American people without representation in Congress due to infighting, political gridlock, and corruption. The movement to elect representatives to the Senate through popular vote grew by the early 1900s, and on May 13, 1912, the 17th Amendment was ratified. The amendment changed how elections are conducted, and it altered the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate. In the case that a senator has to step down for any reason, a governor can assign a temporary senator until the next election is held. This solved the problem of empty seats and made it such that newly

available seats wouldn’t be held hostage to political infighting.

With all of the political division today, as mentioned before, it might be tough to imagine what the next ratified amendment would look like, or how it’d ever be passed. Yet, I think one of the best things we can do as citizens is reread the Constitution once in a while, which might sound easy for me to say as an attorney. But Sept. 17 is Constitution Day. As a living document that continues to be the foundation for our changing nation, I think it’s worth revisiting. I hope I helped you learn a little more about it and the 17th Amendment today.

Happy Constitution Day!

–Jim Yeargan

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PAM MARMON’ S OUTLINE FOR EFFECTIVE POST-PANDEMIC TRANSFORMATION CHANGE CAN BE EASY

Pam Marmon understands what it means to adapt. After growing up in Bulgaria, Marmon had to modify her way of living when she emigrated to the U.S. Today, she’s a CEO, entrepreneur, wife, and mother who believes that change doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, she’s mastered it. Marmon has even established a company, Marmon Consulting, that helps other companies develop strategies for executing transformation. In Marmon’s book, “No One’s Listening and It’s Your Fault: Get Your Message Heard

searching for proactive solutions and the next step in finding post- pandemic success. Marmon’s book is the perfect guide for business leaders who recognize the need for tangible change and want to execute it as effectively as possible. The key, Marmon explains, is to identify your company’s culture and cater your plan’s language to suit what will resonate with your employees the most. This will establish a sense of alignment with your business’s vision and direction, which can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. You cannot achieve success in a period of change if your team is doubtful and unwilling. With your company united toward your vision, you can begin to enact real change. However, this is only the beginning. Marmon’s book also outlines how to connect with fellow leaders in your company to develop a framework for growth. By creating a stable foundation and inspiring change, you’ll find this time of major transition to be much smoother than you may have anticipated. As a result, your company will come out on top at the end of the COVID-19 era. Marmon’s mantra is inspiring: “With the proper process, change is not hard.” And with her book, “No One’s Listening and It’s Your Fault,” business leaders can see just how simple change can be.

During Organizational Transformations,” she outlines her proven methods for effective communication in any company setting, from a major corporation to a family business. Released on March 24, 2020, Marmon’s advice is timely in a period when many business owners are

Wait … Video Game Law Is a Thing?

HAPPY NATIONAL VIDEO GAME DAY!

game creators) that just want their games published and seen by the world.

parts should the studio further develop? The problem is, without a properly drafted privacy policy and terms of service agreement, studios can be in serious trouble when trying to answer these questions. And, as the gaming industry progresses, it’s becoming cheaper and cheaper to create new games and begin a studio. However, many video game startups don’t even consider getting a lawyer. They may not be against the idea, but it doesn’t even cross their minds. This makes it even easier to prey on new gaming startups. That’s a little bit about the world of video game law. From everyone at Yeargan & Kert, we hope you enjoy National Video Game Day on Sept. 12 this year!

In a world where Candy Crush Saga tried to trademark the word “saga,” how do you navigate the gaming industry, legally speaking? That’s what video game law is all about. Video game law often focuses on contract language or arguing for office action from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But one of the biggest differences between video game lawyers and generic entertainment lawyers is that video games demand different priorities than other forms of entertainment because of their context. Video games often rely on tracking user data to a certain extent in order to understand how the game is being enjoyed by its players. Are players spending a lot of time in one part of the game? Which

Once in a while, movie production companies and animation studios need lawyers. Disney is famous — or infamous — for its hefty protection over its intellectual property, and video games can require the same kind of protection. For example, it’s rather easy for large game publishers (think: distributors) to take advantage of small gaming studios (think:

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LAUGH IT OFF

CAN YOU GET A DUI FOR CBD?

With recent changes in federal and state laws related to hemp plants, Georgians are confused about how to handle the use of CBD oil and hemp products. Many are wondering if using CBD and hemp products can get you a DUI, but first we have to ask ourselves another question: Can CBD get you high? While CBD is extracted from hemp — which is closely related to marijuana — CBD generally won’t get you high and is said to have numerous health benefits (none of which have been proven with certainty). THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical found in marijuana that often gets you high, and very low levels of it, if any at all, are ever found in hemp. Under federal and state law (thanks to the 2019 Farm Bill and Georgia Hemp Farming Act), it is now legal to grow industrial hemp and extract CBD oil from it. Here’s where the problem comes into play. You can extract CBD oil from either hemp or marijuana, and if you extract it from marijuana or a hemp plant that cross-pollinated with a nearby marijuana plant, then your CBD oil could have higher THC levels that will get you high. Under state and federal laws, hemp plants can’t contain more than 0.03% of THC. However, not all growers are careful enough. Some CBD products could contain higher THC from either cutting corners or buying plants from disreputable companies.

EASY STUFFED SWEET POTATOES

INGREDIENTS • 4 medium sweet potatoes • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed • 2 medium tomatoes, diced • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp cumin

• 1 tsp coriander • 3/4 tsp salt

So, could you get arrested for using CBD? Maybe.

• 1/4 cup sour cream • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The main problem is that the tests used by law enforcement officers only detect whether THC is present. They do not tell the officers the percentage of THC. Someone using hemp could have very low levels of THC in their system. Therefore, if they are pulled over and tested, the test may be positive for THC, and the officers might make an arrest. Also, if someone is in possession of a green leafy substance that smells like marijuana, it might be hemp, but the officer may not be able to tell the difference. An arrest is not a conviction. The state must prove that you had an illegal substance in your system that impaired your ability to drive to convict you for a DUI charge. However, if you used legal hemp products, like CBD oil, you should be able to get out of a DUI arrest with the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney. Find one with our expert legal team at Yeargan & Kert! We hope this information helps you, and please drive safely.

DIRECTIONS 1. With a fork, prick each sweet potato a few times. Microwave the potatoes on high 12–15 minutes, or until cooked through. 2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, coriander, and salt. When the potatoes are done, microwave the mixture on high for 2–3 minutes. 3. Cool potatoes slightly, then cut each potato open lengthwise. Pull the halves apart to create space to spoon the warm bean salsa inside. 4. Add a scoop of sour cream to each potato, garnish with cilantro, and serve!

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INSIDE

Why the American Constitution Is an Ongoing Experiment

How to Enact Effective Change

Wait … Video Game Law Is a Thing?

Can You Get a DUI for CBD?

Easy Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Streaming Services Change Entertainment

ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE FILMS EARLIER

STREAMING SERVICES CHANGE THE FACE OF ENTERTAINMENT

The way we watch our favorite shows and movies has changed drastically in recent years and even more so this year. With the pandemic impacting the world, people found themselves stuck inside their homes looking for new sources of entertainment, and many found exactly what they were looking for through the numerous streaming services available to us. The pandemic made time for people to watch their favorite shows again and again, and it also changed the way businesses, such as Disney and Universal Studios, release their movies. Throughout the spring, many movies were released early and some skipped theater showings all together. “Trolls: World Tour” was released through video-on-demand and earned nearly $100 million in rental fees on its April 10 debut, grossing far more than the first “Trolls” movie debut in 2016. Other movies, such as “Onward” and “Frozen II,” were released early on different digital platforms for purchase or rent. One of the most anticipated early releases under this new system is “Hamilton.” This hit Broadway show has drawn thousands of people to the theater since its debut in 2015. A stage performance of “Hamilton” was filmed in 2016 in just over three days. The resulting movie creates an opportunity for everyone to see the show, whether

or not they were able to catch it live on stage. Disney bought the rights to the film last year and announced this February that it would be released on Oct. 15, 2021, in theaters. However, due to the pandemic, Disney decided that what people needed most was something they could enjoy, even if they couldn’t leave their homes. On May 12, the studio announced the film would be available to stream on Disney+ starting on the July Fourth holiday. “Hamilton” fans and those who’ve never seen the play are thrilled to watch the film 16 months in advance of the originally scheduled release. Streaming services have changed how people consume their entertainment, and the pandemic has changed how streaming services offer it. Both changes are helping people get through these difficult times.

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