Category: Legal

A Long-Overdue Red Carpet Event For Savannah

A Long-Overdue Red Carpet Event For Savannah
By Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

When it comes to the movie industry, Savannah is no Hollywood. Why? Because it is far better! For the past two years, the state of Georgia has been the world’s most popular filming destination (as evidenced by the ever-present Georgia Peach logo at the end of so many films and television shows). While the majority of these productions film in the Atlanta area, Savannah is the second-most popular destination in the state.

That’s right. Move over Los Angeles and New York. Over the past decade, Savannah has enjoyed record-breaking year after record-breaking year as a location for some of the most well-known productions in the film and television industry.

In 2018, more than 200 professional movie and television productions and 147 student projects were filmed in the Savannah area. According to the Savannah Regional Film Commission, these productions accounted for $120 million in direct spending locally and had a total economic impact of well over $250 million in FY 2018 alone. These figures shattered the record set in 2017 of $65 million in direct spending with $138 million in total local economic impact.

It would seem a celebration of Savannah’s rightful place in the television and film industry is long overdue.

As if right on cue, enter a glitzy new event on Savannah’s social calendar with the launch of the Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala. Developed to recognize and honor several key local professionals for their invaluable contributions to the Savannah film and television industry, the event will make its debut this September.

The Gala will be open to the public so that everyone in town has the opportunity to experience an evening of Hollywood glamour right here in the Hostess City of the South. It also affords a chance for local businesses to show their support for an industry that is now intrinsic to our area’s present economy and financial future. It will honor Savannah’s rightful place as a key player in today’s film and television world while also giving a fun nod to the industry’s history through its theme of “Old Hollywood.”

The people who are doing great things to ensure Savannah’s rightful place in the film industry will be recognized and honored for their contributions. The Gala will not only be wildly entertaining, but it will shine the spotlight directly on many of the industry members who are quickly becoming shining stars (not to mention economic drivers) in our community.

The Gala will also feature an immersive theater experience whereby guests will interact and engage with live entertainers at an old Hollywood “High Society” gathering. There will be amazing food and drinks, special guests, live musical performances, and many other surprises. The goal is to give every attendee an experience they will remember for a long time.

Unfortunately, threats of a Georgia boycott have dominated the news recently. It’s time to wipe away the negativity. The Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala aims to shift the focus to all of the entertaining, fun, and positive aspects of the local entertainment industry.

The inaugural Savannah Film Alliance Gala will be held Saturday, September 28, at the new event venue, Victory North, located at 2603 Whitaker Street. All of the details can be found at savannahfilmalliance.org.

Charles Bowen is an entertainment attorney and founder of the Savannah Film Alliance. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

Boycotts and Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill

Boycotts and Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill
By Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

As every parent knows, children’s fairy tales and fables are often founts of considerable insight and wisdom.

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” sheds considerable light on politicians who vainly strut on the state and national stage. “Cinderella” contains valuable lessons regarding the mistreatment of the poor. It is one of Aesop’s Fables that is most directly relevant to today’s headlines, however: “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs.”

The story recounts the tale of a farmer who owned a goose that laid a solid gold egg every morning. While these eggs made the farmer a wealthy man, he still wanted more. “Then one day the idea came to him that he could get all the golden eggs at once by killing the goose and cutting it open. But when the deed was done, not a single golden egg did he find and his precious goose was dead.”

The state of Georgia has its own such rare and valuable goose. It is our film and television industry, and we have fed and cared for it well. Due to a combination of economic incentives, workforce development, and commitment to infrastructure, Georgia has become one of the most preferred destinations in the world for film and television productions.

Over the past several years, these productions have had an economic impact in our state of roughly $10 billion annually. Locally, we hosted approximately 200 professional film and television productions in 2018 that accounted for $250 million in direct spending in Chatham County alone.

The question our state faces now, however, is whether the passage of Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” may result in a costly boycott by the film and television industry. Such a boycott has been threatened by several actors and professional organizations.

For those unfamiliar, the proposed law would ban abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which typically happens around six weeks into a pregnancy. This law would be one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country, particularly considering that most women do not even realize they are pregnant at six weeks. As of this writing, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has not yet signed the Georgia legislation, but there is little doubt that he will do so.

There is almost unanimous agreement, even among its proponents, that the law is patently unconstitutional. It is specifically designed to attempt to get the question of abortion rights back before a U.S. Supreme Court that is now stacked with conservatives. The real goal is to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1974 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. But it is a long way to the Supreme Court, and every effort to pass a similar bill in other states (18 at last count) has been struck down before it has reached that level.

It is this legal layer of protection that I believe is likely to temper any threatened boycott from the entertainment industry. While there will certainly be action and anger from some, it is unlikely to result in an industry-wide consensus to boycott the state of Georgia unless and until a fetal heartbeat bill were to survive the inevitable court challenge and actually go into effect.

By way of analogy, imagine if the Savannah City Council enacted a local ordinance stating that no one over six feet tall was allowed to own a local business. While such an action would obviously inspire immediate anger, most reasonable people would understand that due to our system of legal checks and balances, there would no need for panic because of the certainty that such an unenforceable ordinance would be immediately struck down by the courts.

As far as the heartbeat bill, the vast majority of the entertainment industry will likely wait and see what ultimately happens. But they will absolutely be taking notes.

 

Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting

Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting

(SAVANNAH, GA.) Charles “Bo” Bowen of the Bowen Law Group will discuss the Savannah area’s burgeoning film industry when Buy Local Savannah gathers for its May meeting Thursday, May 23, at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Bowen will discuss film and television production in the area, including existing barriers to its continued expansion and the risks presented by potential boycotts. Bowen’s law firm specializes in commercial and entertainment law, and he has expanded his involvement to larger interests in the film industry.

He is a frequent commentator and writer on entertainment industry topics in local media. In 2015, Bowen founded the Savannah Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.

He also founded Southern Gateway Production Services to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers coming to Savannah to film their projects.

Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he graduated with honors in psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law.

The Buy Local meeting will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch will be served. Reservations are required.

The local trade association boasts about 150 member businesses in varied fields. Buy Local Savannah’s mission is to support locally owned and operated, independent businesses in the greater Savannah area, to maintain the area’s unique community character, provide continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses by national and global entities.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

How to Get into the Film Industry By Charles “Bo” Bowen

How to Get into the Film Industry
By Charles “Bo” Bowen

So you want to be in pictures? Considering that Savannah is transforming into a thriving entry point for film and television careers, you are definitely in the right place.

Until fairly recently, almost all roads leading to the film and television screen started in Los Angeles or New York City. Over the past decade, however, advances in technology and financial incentives like those the state of Georgia adopted in 2008 have expanded the industry far beyond California and New York. Georgia has been the primary beneficiary of this expansion with Atlanta topping the list of current filming locations and significantly-smaller Savannah coming in second.

If you are interested in becoming a part of Georgia’s film industry, you should know one thing up front: no one starts at the top. The movie and television industry rewards experience and is merit-based. Anyone willing to work hard and maintain a positive attitude in the high-paced and stressful world of film production, however, will likely find themselves progressing quickly.

Granted, experience is crucial to success in almost all professions, but it is especially true in the entertainment industry. When a production begins filming, hundreds of strangers come together to work intensely on a single project — often for months at a time — and then immediately move on to the next opportunity. There may be a few stories of overnight success, but for the most part, those individuals worked hard for 20 years to earn that “overnight” success.

If you believe a career in movies might be a good fit, it is always a good idea to give your interests a thorough test drive. A great place to start is to work as an extra on one of the numerous productions in and around Savannah.

Working as an extra largely consists of waiting around for hours for a few minutes of work as a background player with no lines and minimal pay. But it is a prime opportunity to watch what film professionals are doing. Does it look interesting? Can you cope with the rigid top-down management and stressful environment? Does the reality look as appealing in person as it did in your imagination?

Casting calls are typically well covered in local media, thus finding an opportunity to work as an extra can be as simple as searching “casting in Savannah GA” on the internet. Casting calls are also often listed on the Savannah Regional Film Commission’s website, savannahfilm.org, or you can send a request to join www.facebook.com/groups/savannahextras.

If you still feel drawn to invest in a film-related future after being on a set, Savannah has you covered. Thanks to Savannah Technical College, our city hosts one of the 12 campuses of the Georgia Film Academy. This unique partnership of the University System of Georgiaand the Technical College System of Georgiaprovides a certification program of 18 credit hours, complete with internship opportunities.

Georgia Film Academystudents study a curriculum of on-set production, set construction and scenic painting, lighting and electric, grip and rigging, introduction to special makeup effects, post-production effects and, in the future, production accounting.

At $89.00 per credit hour (plus fees) at the technical college level, you can complete the entire course of study in just two semesters for a very affordable price. This can be a worthy investment to help break into a field where the Georgia Film Academyestimates an average salary is $84,000.00 a year (not to mention retirement benefits and health insurance coverage).

The required introductory course is currently on the schedule for Savannah Tech’s summer semester.

These types of jobs are on the production crew. There is a tremendous need for local crew in Savannah and once you receive the requisite training and experience, work should be easy to find. If you are more interested in the creative side of the process (directors, screenwriters, actors, etc.), there is still far more than just luck involved.

Savannah has a number of successful theater groups where you can audition for local productions to help you explore whether acting may be for you. There are also quite a few acting classes and workshops taught locally to help you hone your skills. Savannah offers college and university resources for those careers, as well. You can pursue theatrical performance degree programs at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong and Statesboro campuses as well as Savannah State University. Savannah College of Art and Designoffers programs in almost every spectrum of the creative side of the entertainment industry from highly-skilled and respected professionals.

Most importantly, do not give up.

Almost everyone enters the film industry slowly for little pay to learn firsthand what the entertainment world is all about while gaining practical skills and making all-important contacts prior to finding success. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, Savannah’s film production boom ensures the opportunity is there for the taking.

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Business and entertainment attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen is the founder of Southern Gateway Production Services. He started the production services company with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing them connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Bowen is also recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliancein 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Georgia’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. http://www.thebowenlawgroup.com

 

Attorney Charles Bowen Honored by Georgia Senate Resolution and Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award

Attorney Charles Bowen Honored by Georgia Senate Resolution and Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award

(ATLANTA, GA) A resolution passed by the Georgia State Senate has recognized Savannah attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen for his services to both the state’s entertainment industry and to its legal profession.

In addition, Georgia Secretary of StateBrad Raffensperger honored Bowenas an “Outstanding Georgia Citizen.”

The Senate resolution was sponsored by State Sens. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) and Ben Watson (R-Savannah) and praises Bowen’s role in promoting Savannah’s growing movie and television industry. The resolution cites, in part, the reasons for the recognition: “Bo founded the Savannah Film Alliancein 2015 to foster cooperation and collaboration within the local entertainment industry; he is also the founder and president of Southern Gateway Production Services, which provides support to all out-of-town productions coming to the region; and he is the co-founder of Aeroscope Studios, the author of three eBooks on business and entertainment law, and currently serves on numerous corporate boards and councils.”

The resolution also recaps business honors Bowen has received. They include being named “Business Advocate of the Year” by the Savannah Morning News, winning the “Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerceand receiving additional accolades from the legal profession.

The full text of the resolution can be found here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20192020/183638.pdf.

Bowenfirst met with Governor Brian Kemp before heading to the Senate floor. Sen. Jackson then read the resolution aloud and invited Bowento address the Senate. He was then named an Outstanding Georgia Citizen by the Georgia Secretary of State.

The recognition from the Secretary of Statereads: “May this Outstanding Citizen be afforded every courtesy as a Goodwill Ambassador from Georgia in his travels to other states, to nations beyond the borders of the United States of America, or wherever he may hereafter travel or reside. Thank you for your service to our State.”

Charles Bowen

(Left to Right): State Sen. Lester Jackson, State Rep. Craig Gordon, Alayna Bowen, Charles ‘Bo’ Bowen, State Sen. Ben Watson and Alexandra Bowen.

Bowen’s two daughters accompanied him to the Georgia State Capitol. In his remarks before the Senate, Bowenstated: “I am deeply honored, and I am very grateful that my two teenage daughters could be here today to see firsthand that working hard in your profession and trying to help others succeed does not go unnoticed. I know that is a lesson they will carry with them into adulthood. I also want to thank all of you, the leaders of the State of Georgia, for the tremendous work you have done in promoting the entertainment industry and helping ensure every year that Georgia remains the greatest place in the world to conduct business.”

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowenis a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law. Bowen attended Mercer Universityin Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown UniversityLaw Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowenhas received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Groupis located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Groupon Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

The Bowen Law Group Hires Attorney Ryan Schmidt

The Bowen Law Group Hires Attorney Ryan Schmidt

(SAVANNAH, GA) Ryan Schmidt, a former touring singer/songwriter, has joined The Bowen Law Group, a corporate and entertainment law firm, as an associate attorney.

The Bowen Law Group

Ryan Schmidt

Schmidt, who toured extensively as a musician prior to law school, appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” and his music has been featured on the Apple iTunes’ “New Music Page.” He also won “Critics’ Choice” at the Starbucks Music Makers Competition and served as community manager for Redstar Media, a two-time Emmy winning multimedia and production firm in Boston.

“Ryan is a rising star and a key addition to our team of entertainment sector advisers,” said Charles Bowen, Founder of The Bowen Law Group. “We are excited to have him join our office as the volume of work we do throughout Georgia and the Southeast continues to grow.”

Schmidt attended Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, where he graduated summa cum laude and served on the Law Review Executive Board. He also clerked for a Nashville-based law firm representing clients in the music industry, fine arts, and digital media.

“With everything happening in the film industry in and around Savannah, it is a great time to be working with a firm whose efforts are helping grow a sustainable local entertainment industry for generations to come,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt, a native of Atkinson, NH, is married to Hillary Schmidt, a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate who works with the Savannah-based museum and exhibit design firm DMDG2.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based in Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Groupis located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit www.thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Groupon Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Navigating Georgia’s New Hands-Free Law

Navigating Georgia’s New Hands-Free Law
By Joanie Iaco

Joanie Iaco, Peacock Automotive

Joanie Iaco

It’s the law. Georgia motorists will have to put down their phones while driving to comply with the new Hands-Free Georgia Act that becomes effective July 1.

The goals of the new law, signed earlier this year by Gov. Nathan Deal, are to lower incidents of distracted driving and rising insurance premiums by prying our eyes and our attention away from cell phones while we’re behind the wheel.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionhas reported that highway fatalities rose by one-third in Georgia from 2014-16. While cell-phone use cannot be pinpointed as a cause for this increase, the state Department of Driver Servicesprocessed 3,866 citations for using phones while driving in 2016, up more than 30 percent from 2014.

The costs associated with car crashes differ depending on the injuries sustained, but the average cost for the physical damage to one car is $7,500. If there is a fatality, the financial impact can reach into the millions. Even for non-fatal crashes, total costs can soar into the hundreds of thousands.

The hands-free law doesn’t allow drivers to support any wireless device with any part of their body when they’re behind the wheel unless they’re legally parked. This means that you cannot hold it in your hand, lay it in your lap or hold it against your ear with your shoulder.

While the new law prohibits you from holding your phone while driving, you can still talk and even text as long as you’re using hands-free technology.

You may also use your phone as a GPS, but you must set it up before you begin driving. If you need to change your route, you must be legally parked before you pick up or touch your phone. This does not include being stopped at a light or stop sign. You are only considered legally parked if your vehicle is parked in a parking space, parking lot or driveway.

The new law also prohibits drivers from watching or recording a video and from typing, sending or reading any text-based communication unless legally parked.

The only exceptions to the hands-free law would be if the driver is reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, crime, delinquent act or hazardous road condition. Law enforcement officers are exempt from the law as long as they are performing their official duties.

The prohibition is considered a primary enforcement law, which means an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safetysays the Georgia Department of Public Safetyand local law enforcement may issue warnings as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law. However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1. Penalties will begin at $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $150 for three or more violations.

With the passage of the new law, Georgia becomes one of 16 other states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

In South Carolina, it is illegal for motorists to text and drive, but hand-held cell phone use is still permitted and drivers are allowed to use the GPS feature on their handheld device for navigation purposes.

Joanie Iaco is Manager of Peacock Collision Center, part of Peacock Automotive, which owns and operates 24 automotive dealerships representing 31 brands in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The company’s headquarters are located at Peacock Auto Mall on U.S. 278, 5 miles east of I-95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. For more information about Peacock Collision Center, call 843-645-5500or www.peacockcollisioncenter.com.

10 Legal Questions Small Businesses Don’t Always Know to Ask

10 Legal Questions Small Businesses Don’t Always Know to Ask 
By Charles Bowen

Owning a small business is an exciting endeavor, particularly when it means turning your passion into an income-generating career. But as almost every entrepreneur learns somewhere along the way (often painfully), being a business owner, unfortunately, does not make you a legal expert.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

I’ve worked with small business owners for well over twenty years now and helped them manage corporate compliance issues, intellectual property laws, contract disputes, state and federal regulations, litigation, and countless other unexpected legal hurdles. As a result, I wanted to share the answers to ten questions that small business owners often don’t know to ask until it’s too late:

1. Do all of my agreements need to be in writing?
Keeping track of every transaction and conversation may be tedious, but it is crucial to your company’s success in the event of a dispute. Whether it’s contracts with your customers or just a receipt for merchandise, written records greatly reduce your liability and can serve as winning evidence if a disagreement arises. Even a simple email memorializing a conversation can make the difference between legal victory and a costly defeat.

2. How can I avoid getting sued?
Knowing and addressing the most common risks of your industry can greatly reduce your risk of getting sued. Lawsuits can arise in many areas, such as employee complaints, accidentally infringing on someone else’s intellectual property, and failing to meet all state and federal regulations for operation. The first step is to recognize where your company is most at risk and then taking steps to minimize that risk as much as possible.

3. What impact will investors have on my business?
Investors can be a great source of the capital, knowledge, and connections necessary to grow your business. However, it is important to remember that every investment also brings added duties to the investor and reduces your autonomy as the owner. Be sure to that your investment agreement is clear and comprehensive, and that you are not ultimately giving up more than you are receiving.

4. Can I use my personal assets to operate my business?
One of the most common and devastating mistakes made by small business owners is blurring the line between personal and business assets. It is crucial to keep them separated. When you are transferring assets, pay yourself with the same company checks you use to pay your employees. Remember: if you treat your personal and business assets as one and the same, then creditors and courts can do so, too.

5. What can I do to protect my brand?
Regardless of industry, the most important assets of any business are its name and reputation. That’s why making certain your brand is protected is an extremely important part of any business plan. Be sure to register trademarks for your brand name, logo, and other important identifiers of your company. Registering can also help you put a stop to any competitors infringing on your intellectual property.

6. Should I incorporate or operate as a sole proprietor?
If you do not form a formal business entity, you are placing all of your personal assets at risk. To prevent this scenario and limit your personal exposure, you can form a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or a limited partnership. Review each structure and how each will affect the way your business is owned, managed, and taxed. Then choose the style that best suits your vision.

7. How can I foster a good work environment and limit my risks as an employer?
Rule one: don’t be a jerk. Now that we have that out of the way, another very effective way to ensure a good relationship with your employees is to create a comprehensive company policy and procedure manual. Knowing the rules (and knowing they will be followed) allows all employees to feel valued, protected, and secure. In addition, stay informed on all federal and state employment laws that affect your business, including anti-discrimination laws, health and safety regulations, wage and hour laws, and licensing requirements.

8. What should I do if I get sued?
The unfortunate reality is that the more successful you are, the more likely you are to get sued at some point. More success means more employees, more customers, more transactions, and inevitably more complaints. If you do get sued, follow three simple rules: (1) remain calm and do not respond in anger; (2) gather together all of the documents and other evidence in your possession related to the lawsuit; and (3) contact your insurance company and/or attorney immediately. If you follow these simple steps, most lawsuits can be resolved quickly and easily.

9. What contracts does my business need?
Well-written contracts protect your company by clearly defining the responsibilities of both parties. They help avoid disputes, make sure you get paid, and provide a clear remedy if one side fails to fulfill their obligations. For most small businesses, I suggest preparing a form agreement that you can use repeatedly and that includes all of the important protections that your company needs. If you operate online, it is also important to make certain that your website includes written disclaimers, terms of service, and privacy policies.

10. Do you have all necessary licenses and permits?
Be certain to annually monitor all federal, state, and local licensing and permitting requirements related to your industry. One very easy way to determine your requirements is to simply visit sba.gov. This website allows you to simply enter your zip code and business type, and it will generate a list of required licenses and permits.
Following these rules can go a long way towards protecting your small business from legal snafus and lawsuits. There are many online and community resources for small business owners that can be of great assistance.

Adoption Bill Endangers Georgia’s Economy and Reputation

Adoption Bill Endangers Georgia’s Economy and Reputation

By: Charles Bowen, Esq.

In a clear effort to legalize discrimination against the gay community, the Georgia Senate recently passed a bill authorizing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to provide any service that violates their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

This bill was thankfully rejected.

The entertainment industry is thriving in Georgia, generating $9.5 billion in 2017. History has shown that legalizing discrimination can instantly destroy this progress.

In 2016, North Carolina passed the infamous “bathroom bill.” The fallout was immediate. The state lost $4 billion in revenue as major businesses pulled out of the state, film and television shows relocated, musical artists canceled concerts, and the NBA and NCAA withdrew sporting events.

In Georgia, numerous businesses and individuals have already publicly stated that they would stop doing business in Georgia passed any similar law legalizing discrimination.

Writer and producer Ben Wexler, the showrunner on “The Grinder” and “Arrested Development,” made his feelings about the adoption bill clear on Twitter: “To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let’s be done filming television shows in Georgia.”

Alyssa Milano, who is filming the Netflix series “Insatiable” in Atlanta, agreed. “If it does pass the House of Representatives and if the Governor signs the bill, I think the film and entertainment industry will take a strong stand and will pack up and leave the state of Georgia,” Milano said. “There is just no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”

Such discriminatory laws are also flagrantly unconstitutional. We are all constitutionally entitled to equal protection under the law. And while we also enjoy freedom of religion, personal religious beliefs may not be used to justify actions that are illegal or harmful to others. If you refuse to pay your taxes, stating that you did not pay because of your religion is not going to help.

If Georgia were to allow public adoption agencies to refuse adoptions based on religious beliefs, for example, nothing would require them to stop with gay couples. The same law could be used to discriminate against single parents, divorced men and women, unwed couples or individuals of different races or faiths, including Christianity.

Regardless of the rhetoric emanating from a few clock stoppers in the legislature who were pandering for votes, denying even one single child a parent who wants to love and support that child unconditionally is indefensible and immortal. We must remain vigilant that Georgia remains a state that is welcoming to all.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTHERN GATEWAY PRODUCTION SERVICES
Entertainment attorney Charles Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Southern Gateway Production Services is a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. Southern Gateway Production Services is located at 7 East Congress St, Suite 1001. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.comor 912-544-2050.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen
Southern Gateway Production Services
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

Divorce is About Making Good Financial Decisions

Divorce is About Making Good Financial Decisions

By Sam Hubbard
Principal, Coastal Divorce Advisors

While you’re in the midst of a divorce, you’re going to have to weigh a lot of financial choices while dealing with the weight of strong emotions. You can minimize emotional stress by anticipating what decisions you have to make and understanding what’s involved in making them.

Below are common hurdles that people who are divorcing need to be aware of and the factors they need to consider to make confident, constructive decisions.

Can you afford to keep your home?
While you may have a personal attachment to your house, especially since your kids call it “home,” it is ultimately a huge expense to maintain year after year. All too often, the spouse who wants to keep the house only analyzes whether he or she can cover the mortgage and the property taxes, but fails to consider the “oh no’s”: “Oh no, the built-in refrigerator broke,” “Oh no, the HVAC system needs to be replaced, “Oh no, we have termites.”

Unforeseen expenses can cost thousands of dollars and could cause you to lose your house, or worse, push you toward bankruptcy. While a house is an asset, it is ultimately an expense. Make sure to take all homeownership costs – anticipated and unexpected – into account and try to remove emotion when deciding whether you can afford to keep the house.

Should you divide your property down the middle?
When you begin a divorce, it’s only natural to think “all our assets should be split right down the middle.” But since no two assets are created equal, this type of thinking may put you at the short end of the stick.

In a divorce, it’s common for spouses to divide property by what they see as equivalent value. For example, if one spouse gets the house, the other spouse may get the investment accounts, both valued around the same amount.

But tread carefully. Some assets, like certain pensions, may be completely illiquid and cannot be sold or transferred to a spouse. Others assets may have significant tax implications from a low-cost basis or may have large transaction fees (like the sale of a house). Make sure you initiate a complete analysis of the assets before making any decisions.

Do you want to tackle debt before your divorce?
If your spouse ran up balances on your credit cards during your marriage, in the bank’s eyes, it’s a shared responsibility, no matter who did the spending — even if the court decides your ex-spouse is responsible for it all.

Banks can still come after you for payments your ex-spouse didn’t make, jeopardizing your finances and damaging your credit score for years. Making the choice to pay off as much debt as possible before you finalize the divorce is often a good one.

Should you protect yourself from unanticipated events?
If you will be receiving alimony and child support, what happens if your ex-spouse passes away or becomes seriously disabled? Would you be able to support yourself and your kids if you no longer receive these payments? Consider purchasing life and disability insurance specifically tailored for divorce so support payments continue if something unforeseen happens to your ex-spouse.

Should you evaluate your settlement agreement from a current perspective?
When looking at a settlement proposal, what may seem like a great deal now could quickly turn into financial ruin down the road. You need to make sure you don’t evaluate your proposed settlement by your current costs or budget but by how your finances will look in 5 or 10 years.

Projecting your cost of living will help you determine the long-term consequences of a settlement option and whether you’ll be financially well-positioned years after the divorce. Make sure you have accurate projections on-hand and do not rush into signing a proposal just to be done with it.

Can you be disciplined to make financial decisions in unison, not one by one?
When going through a divorce, looking at any single financial aspect in a vacuum and not seeing how it relates to others could cost you. The division of assets and liabilities, tax consequences, inflation, alimony, and child support are all pieces of the settlement puzzle that need to work together to help ensure the most favorable settlement agreement. For example, if you have income from your job and agree to take a large alimony payment, you may be pushed into a higher tax bracket than if you were to increase the amount you receive in non-taxable child support.

Take a careful, comprehensive approach to your finances to have a better chance of coming out ahead.

Sam Hubbard Coastal Divorce Advisors Savannah

Sam Hubbard

Sam Hubbard, MBA, CFA, CDFA is the principal of Coastal Divorce Advisors, LLC, (CDA), a firm specializing in helping clients understand their financial situation and options throughout the divorce process. CDA is an affiliate of Coastal Capital Management, LLC. For additional information, e-mail Sam@CoastalDivorceAdvisors.com, call 912-234-3657 or visit www.CoastalDivorceAdvisors.com. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, who is not an attorney. If you require legal advice, please seek appropriate legal representation.

Entertainment Attorney Charles Bowen Addresses Georgia Entertainment 101 Event

Entertainment Attorney Charles Bowen Addresses Georgia Entertainment 101 Event

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business and entertainment attorney Charles Bowen was a featured speaker at the Georgia Entertainment 101 Event in Atlanta.

Bowen’s presentation “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” focused on the importance of vetting production companies coming to the area as well as positioning Savannah as a top-notch provider of the local services required by productions.

Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015, and, more recently, he founded Southern Gateway Production Services, which offers seamless opportunities for out-of-town producers and movie executives to navigate finding the best crews, talent and location services available in Savannah.

“We started the Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration,” Bowen said. “My overall goal with both entities is to continue to build upon Savannah’s stature as one of the country’s most desirable and user-friendly filming locations in ways that will greatly benefit production companies while strengthening the relationship between visiting productions and local crew, vendors and service providers.”

Bowen’s presentation highlighted the importance of Savannah’s rising star as a production destination, with local spending on motion pictures and television in the area rising from $18 million in 2014 to an all-time high of $60 million in 2016.

The purpose of the Georgia Entertainment 101 event was to connect top-tier professionals at a targeted and strategic networking event. Key financial, legal, banking and governmental leaders were in attendance as well as studio executives and producers. Other presentations focused on event security, investing strategies, entertainment banking and a look at what’s happening in Savannah.

The invitation-only event, held at the Moonshine Post-Production in Atlanta, was sponsored in part by: Argentum Entertainment, Atlanta Sound Guy, Cinema Greens, Creative Financial Group, Endeavor Sound, FilmTribe, MatchKey Consulting, Moonshine Post-production, Paradigm Security, River Oaks Studios, Sapelo Insurance, Sonesta Hotels and Zoe’s Kitchen.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTHERN GATEWAY PRODUCTION SERVICES
Entertainment attorney Charles Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Southern Gateway Production Services is a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. Southern Gateway Production Services is located at 7 East Congress St, Suite 1001. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com or 912-544-2050.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen
Southern Gateway Production Services
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912-856-9075

Julie Wade Named Executive Director of Park Place Outreach

Attorney Julie Wade Selected as Executive Director of Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter

Savannah attorney and school board member Julie Wade has been named executive director of the Park Place Outreach — Youth Emergency Shelter, which provides support and temporary residential services for at-risk children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area.

Wade will succeed Linda Hilts, who’s retiring after 20 years, and will take office on May 8.

“I am honored to be selected for this position, and to build on the excellent programs Linda Hilts began and fostered over the past 20 years,” Wade said. “She became the voice of homeless and unaccompanied youth in our community, and I am eager to continue to work on their behalf.”

Park Place Outreach board chairman Todd Cellini praised Wade’s legal background and her experience in student and child advocacy.

“As a sitting board member of the Savannah-Chatham public school system, she has an extensive understanding of our largest population of at-risk children,” Cellini said. “Having served in various board positions for several non-profit organizations, she also has vast fundraising experience as well as expertise in grants compliance.”

Under Hilts’s leadership, Park Place Outreach helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more found stability through its non-residential programs. She developed many of the organization’s ongoing services, including the Street Outreach Program team, which offers peer mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to older youth, up to age 21, who are in need but might not wish to come to the shelter.

“My goal over the next few weeks is to meet with the board members and staff, along with community members and supporters,” Wade said. “By helping to ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will be able to focus from day one on continuing to provide a safe and loving environment to the youth who come to Park Place Outreach for assistance.”

Julie Wade Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Savannah

Julie Wade

Wade, a native of Atlanta, attended Georgia public schools from kindergarten until college. She attended the University of Georgia and then the University of Georgia School of Law. Currently, she is a lawyer at The Wade Law Firm in Savannah, with a focus on federal criminal defense and civil litigation. Additionally, Wade serves on the Board of Education for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, a position she has held since 2011. Wade will continue her service on the Board of Education as she assumes this new position with Park Place Outreach.

Previously, she served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Georgia from 2007 to 2008 as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, prosecuting violations of federal law, including child exploitation, firearms, narcotics, fraud, and immigration.

She is chair of the board of directors for Girls on the Run and chairwoman of United Way Women’s Legacy Council. She also serves on the boards of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham Foundation.

Wade is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia. She has been honored by the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 and as a Next Generation Rising Star by Savannah Magazine and Business in Savannah. She recently received the Coastal Center for Developmental Services’ Vicki Loughrey Volunteer Advocacy Award as well as the John B. Miller Service Award from the Savannah Bar Association.

She and her husband have three children who attend public school.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come into the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, Park Place Outreach has helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more find stability through its non-residential programs. Park Place Outreach is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information, visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
http://www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Local Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers

Local Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers

Skidaway Island Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers for the Second Quarter

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Kiwanis Club of Skidaway Island is pleased to announce their spring 2017 line-up of guest speakers. The club meets every Thursday morning at 7:25 a.m. in the Plantation Ballroom, The Landings, 1 Cottonwood Lane, Savannah, Ga 31411.

Guests are encouraged to attend the weekly program, and the organization is always accepting new members. To make a reservation for a particular program, please call Chris Butler at 912-443-1492. For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Skidaway Island, visit https://kiwanisofskidaway.com

SPRING 2017 PROGRAMS

Thursday, April 27
Bill Hubbard, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, May 4
Herb Windom, Anecdotes of Early Skidaway Island

Thursday, May 11
Jennifer Mykins, Army Combat Aviation Battalion

Thursday, May 18
Dr. Johnston, Medical Program

Thursday, May 25
Jerry Davis, Revenue Logistics, Supply Chain Expert

Thursday, June 1
Dan Pavlin, Buy Local & Landings Race

Thursday, June 8
Andrew Wilford, Patent Attorney

Thursday, June 15
Chris Roberts, Local Artist

Thursday, June 22
Allison Newberry, Mars Theatre

Thursday, June 29
Gary Sanchez, AT&T Regional Director

 

Kiwanis of Skidaway Island

Kiwanis Club of Skidaway is a service organization comprised of 133 men and women in the Savannah area. Since 1988, the club has raised and distributed more than $1.4 million and invested more than 300,000 service hours toward their mission of supporting at-risk children in our region.

Media Contact:
Cecilia Russo
912.665.0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Savannah Business Attorney Charles Bowen to speak about “The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” at the SMART Luncheon March 7

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business and entertainment attorney Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group will speak on Tuesday, March 7 at the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council SMART Lunch Series.

Bowen will present the second installment of the two-part series “The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” during the monthly luncheon at the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway.

Bowen’s presentation comes as the rise in popularity of livestreaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat, along with new features in mainstream apps such as Facebook, has inspired many smartphone users to get into the livestreaming game, broadcasting any event live using their device. While these apps ban users from posting content that violates others’ copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity rights in their standard Terms of Service, their warnings are often ignored.

Bowen will address these issues and the challenge of privacy concerns from a legal perspective, particularly when it comes to commercial use.

“Some users have tried to claim that the Digital Millennial Copyright Act’s ‘safe harbor’ provisions should shield them from liability, but that law only protects the livestreaming service itself, not the actual broadcaster,” Bowen said. “That law, which YouTube constantly relies upon to protect itself, states that streaming services are protected if they respond promptly to rights owners’ takedown requests and don’t have ‘constructive’ knowledge of infringement. But this will not protect you from an infringement claim if you knowingly broadcast illegal material.”

Bowen also will review basic livestreaming rules and how ignoring them could land some users in legal hot water.

“Livestreaming is likely here to stay, as it seems to be a perfect fit for today’s smartphone-carrying, internet-connected world,” said Bowen. “The best advice I can give is simply to be smart and use common sense. Do not broadcast copyrighted material that you do not own, do not be creepy and invade people’s privacy and procure releases if you are using your broadcast for business purposes.

“If you follow these simple rules, you will very likely protect yourself from any potentially expensive legal claims.”

The luncheon will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. and the program at 12 p.m. The cost is $12 for Chamber members. For more information or to RSVP, contact Stephanie Painter at SPainter@SavannahChamber.com or 912-644-6458.

charles-bowenMORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit http://www.thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
http://www.thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

The Legal Risks of Live Streaming By Charles Bowen

Over the past year, live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat have become extremely popular. Now even Facebook has gotten into the live streaming game. These apps allow users to broadcast any event live using their smartphone. Not surprisingly, this technology has raised a host of legal issues, primarily in the areas of copyright infringement and privacy concerns.

While these apps ban users from posting content that violates others’ copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity rights in their standard Terms of Service, these warnings are often ignored. The first major legal battle erupted last year when hundreds of people who purchased the Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao via Pay-Per-View live streamed the entire television broadcast. Anyone rebroadcasting a live simulcast is committing copyright infringement and can be subject to substantial fines.

The best approach in determining whether your broadcast is violating copyright law is to simply use your common sense. If you paid to view the content, that content is likely protected by copyright. If you live stream a movie in the theater, for example, you are obviously violating federal copyright law. Similarly, live streaming a concert would likely infringe on the copyrights of the artist, label, and publisher. Even broadcasting live sporting events carries significant legal risks as networks pay large sums of money for the exclusive right to broadcast games live.

Privacy concerns are a little more challenging from a legal perspective. The most important factor is location. If you are in a public place, neither you nor the people around you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Anyone can typically take your picture or stream video of you in public legally, provided they are not trespassing or going beyond innocent recording to actually harassing, stalking or peeping.

One major exception is commercial use. You are not allowed to film others for advertising or other promotional content without first procuring a release from that individual.

If you are not in public, however, live streaming is much more likely to be violative of others’ right to privacy. Recording someone in a private place (such as their home, a restroom or a doctor’s office) without their permission is generally illegal.

As a rule of thumb, the following rules apply:

(1) Do not stream any produced content that you do not own. This includes movies, television, music, and other entertainment that is a performance of a work of authorship and is likely subject to copyright protection. To do so will not only likely result in your account being shut down, it may also subject you to a copyright infringement lawsuit.

(2) Do not use another company’s registered trademark as a hashtag for your broadcast. These are easily detectable and large corporations are typically very vigilant in monitoring for the unauthorized use of their name.

(3) Respect privacy rights. Limit your live streaming of others to public places, and procure releases if you are using the broadcast for commercial purposes. The safest approach is simply to avoid streaming for business purposes from a public location.

Finally, there are also legal implications relating to the archiving of your live stream broadcast. Although Meerkat does not currently archive its streams, Periscope saves streams for 24 hours for unlimited rebroadcast during that time period, and Facebook videos are permanently recorded to your story. That means that if the original broadcast was illegal, you could be sued for multiple counts of infringing upon a copyright holder’s reproduction rights.

Some users have tried to claim that the Digital Millennial Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provisions should shield them from liability, but that law only protects the live streaming service itself, not the actual broadcaster. That law, which YouTube constantly relies upon to protect itself, states that streaming services are protected if they respond promptly to rights owners’ takedown requests and don’t have “constructive” knowledge of infringement. But this will not protect you from an infringement claim if you knowingly broadcast illegal material.

Live streaming is likely here to stay, as it seems to be a perfect fit for today’s smartphone-carrying, internet-connected world. The bottom line is simply this: be smart and use common sense. Do not broadcast copyrighted material that you do not own, do not be creepy and invade people’s privacy, and procure releases if you are using your broadcast for business purposes. If you follow these simple rules, you will very likely protect yourself from any potentially expensive legal claims.

Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, manufacturing and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

Savannah CFO Council Discusses Future of Healthcare Industry

(SAVANNAH, GA) How will healthcare be delivered in the next three to five years in the Savannah area and what impact will it have on local employers? The Savannah CFO Council sought answers to that question during its September breakfast meeting at the Coastal Georgia Center.

The event featured a guest panel representing the healthcare community, facilitated by local business attorney Charles Bowen, founder of The Bowen Law Group. The discussion focused on how laws affect healthcare practices and how providers envision the healthcare industry changing in the coming years.

This topic is of special interest to the CFO Council audience, which is primarily comprised of financial representatives of local businesses and organizations, each with the responsibility of financial oversight of their respective organizations.

Seacrest Partners, Inc. was the event sponsor. For more information, visit http://goo.gl/forms/4KbnEJL0Q4.

(Left to right) Dr. Bradley Heiges, Optim Healthcare; Dr. David Carney, Memorial University Health System; Dr. Brian Kornblatt, Georgia Emergency Associates; Charles Bowen, The Bowen Law Group; Sandi Roth, Savannah CFO Council

(Left to right) Dr. Bradley Heiges, Optim Healthcare; Dr. David Carney, Memorial University Health System; Dr. Brian Kornblatt, Georgia Emergency Associates; Charles Bowen, The Bowen Law Group; Sandi Roth, Savannah CFO Council

ABOUT SAVANNAH CFO COUNCIL:
The purpose of the council is to provide an educational forum for Senior Financial Executives (SFEs) to share best practices, to discuss current financial issues, and to learn about current topics related to the performance of their jobs, including but not limited to: finance, operations, legal, regulatory requirements, technology, risk management, and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices.
For more information about the organization, contact Sandi Roth at cfocouncilsavannah@gmail.com.

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, Bowen moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite for December 2014 in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law.

EVENT CONTACT
Terry Lemmons
CFO Council
912.629.6924
tlemmons@optimhealth.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
carriagetradepr.com

Savannah Filmmakers Moving Forward with Executive Reorganization

(SAVANNAH, GA) Savannah Filmmakers has announced the appointment of a president, the formation of a Board of Directors and plans to move forward with several new projects over the next few months.

The mission of the Savannah Filmmakers is to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education outreach and collaboration efforts. One of the group’s goals is to present awareness and training events to help those interested in becoming involved in the local filmmaking industry learn more about resources available to them.

“The primary purpose of Savannah Filmmakers is not to make movies, rather it is to make Savannah a preferred destination for those who make movies,” said business attorney Charles Bowen, founder of The Bowen Law Group. Bowen was recently appointed to serve on the Savannah Filmmakers’ Board as ex officio attorney, and is assisting with the finalization of the group’s nonprofit status.

“As a nonprofit, the organization will have better opportunities to seek grants and donations in funding our mission,” said David Harland Rousseau, who was recently appointed to be the organization’s president. “Filmmakers want to hire crews and background performers who know what they’re doing, and that’s where we come in, providing the networking and educational opportunities for locals eager to learn how to do it right.”

The group has presented several writing and acting workshops in the past and recently held a safety awareness seminar following the death of Sarah Jones on a South Georgia film set in 2014. It plans to offer similar events in the future.

“We’re a grassroots organization, promoting the efforts of independent filmmakers, but we also support casting directors for larger films like SpongeBob,” explained Rousseau, referencing The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the 2015 animated/live action adventure comedy filmed in Savannah last year. “We reach out to carpenters, electricians, accountants and others who have skills that are in high demand in filmmaking. We try to help people plug in where they can.”

In addition to Rousseau and Bowen, members of the Savannah Filmmakers’ newly-appointed Board of Directors include: Phillip Aultman (Secretary), Rebecca Etheridge (Treasurer), Bernie Ask, Craig Beck, Mehmet Caglayan, John Deifer, William Hammargren (ex officio), Jon Hudson, Jane King, Beth Graves Nelson, Benjamin Reid Phillips, Jody Schiesser and Tony Simmons Jr.

Rousseau noted, “We are working with and in support of the Savannah Film Office and other groups like Savannah Women in Film and Television (SWIFT) to ensure Savannah becomes known as the premiere place for film production.”

ABOUT SAVANNAH FILMMAKERS: Savannah Filmmakers promotes the film community within Savannah, Georgia, and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach, and collaboration efforts.

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN: Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, Bowen moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite for December 2014 in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law.

CONTACT
David Harland Rousseau, President
Savannah Filmmakers
(912) 596-3128
savannahtalentservices@gmail.com

Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
carriagetradepr.com

The Bowen Law Group Appoints New Legal Assistant

Emily L. Rice Joins Savannah Business Law Firm

(Savannah, GA) The Bowen Law Group is pleased to announce that Emily L. Rice has joined the business law firm as a Legal Assistant. Rice will be responsible for client relations, legal research and comprehensive litigation support.

“We are so pleased to have Emily on board,” said Charles Bowen, Founding Partner. “She has a tremendous amount of talent, intelligence and personality, and I am confident that she will be a great asset to our firm.”

Rice’s previous employment includes extensive experience in management and customer relations in the fashion industry. She is a graduate of Armstrong State University with a degree in Communication Sciences and she is a former member of the Junior League of Savannah.

“I am truly excited to be given this opportunity by The Bowen Law Group,” said Rice. “It is rewarding to be part of a practice that builds its principles upon a true passion for justice and which is so firmly dedicated to ensuring the success of its clients. I believe The Bowen Law Group will greatly enhance both my personal and professional growth.”

A native of Savannah, Rice enjoys crafting, traveling, exercising and musical theatre.

emily_rice_the_bowen_law_group.jpg

ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP

The Bowen Law Group was founded in 2012 by Savannah business attorney Charles Bowen. Bowen received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Georgia Bar. Bowen opened The Bowen Law Group after running the Savannah branches of two large Atlanta law firms for eight years and previously serving for ten years as a partner in a respected Savannah litigation firm. The Bowen Law Group focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Corporate law has deep ties to the Bowen family. Bowen’s great-grandfather (whose desk and other heirlooms are on display in the office) was an esteemed business attorney in New Orleans, a legacy that Bowen hopes to continue in Savannah. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com.

CONTACT
Emily L. Rice
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2056
erice@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com