ATLANTA Technology attorney John Yates, who helped pioneer Atlanta’s technology community, will be a weekly columnist for Local Tech Wire. His first column appears today.

“I’ve been looking for an outlet that helps unite the tech community of the entire Southeastern region,” Yates says. “Local Tech Wire gives the opportunity to examine the big picture from a regional perspective.”

Topics will include entrepreneurism, venture capital financing and corporate governance as well as intellectual property, contracts and other legal issues. The importance of philanthropy and community service for tech companies and regional business cooperation will be addressed as well. The column, titled “The Yates Perspective” will occasionally feature prominent co-authors.

His first column, to appear tomorrow, concerns specific challenges facing Southeastern tech companies when compared to companies in other parts of the U.S. “In our region, the negative impact has been more pronounced in several unique ways,” Yates writes. “By understanding our shortcomings, we can prepare ourselves for a stronger rebound when the economy improves.”

“John’s national stature in the technology community will give insight into issues that will greatly benefit our readers,” says Local Tech Wire Managing Editor Rick Smith. “We expect that his insider’s perspective, and regional view, will be invaluable.”

Widely respected as a leader in his field, Yates chairs the Technology Group at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, which has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte and Washington, D.C. He grew up in Charlotte, N.C. and received both his undergraduate and law degree from Duke University. He has represented hundreds of technology companies throughout the Southeast in the 20 years he has lived in Atlanta.

In addition to his work on the advisory boards of several public companies, he is President of the Technology Executives Roundtable. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and co-chaired the Chamber’s Business Recruitment Sub-Committee and Venture Capital Task Force. For the past two years he led United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Tech Initiative. Last year the United Way created the John Yates Award for Community Leadership honoring his work on behalf of the community.