Can Your Clients Be Convicted for Threats on Social Media?

A Florida high school student posted online, “Can’t WAIT to shoot up my school.”  “It’s time” and “School getting shot up on a Tuesday.” He was arrested for violating Florida Statute 836.10 (“written threats statute”).  Then he was convicted.  But the appellate court reversed. You can read the Florida Second…

53rd Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination: Lawsuit Over Kennedy Assassination “Nix Film” Languishes While All Eyes Are on October 26, 2017

Mark your calendars, Kennedy assassination research fans. October 26, 2017 is the date when the government is scheduled to declassify and release all of the remaining 3,600 JFK Assassination records (see here). There are two ardently divided groups on the topic of the Kennedy assassination — the amorphous conspiracy theorists,…

Another Proposal for Settlement Stricken Due to Inconsistent Release Attached

Proposals for Settlement in Florida (also known as Offers of Judgment) have a poor survival rate on appeal.  The chance is decreased, almost to zero, if the offeror mentions a release but does not attach.  Surprisingly, the offeror does not improve their chances by attaching a release.  There’s too much room…

Christopher Hopkins Speaks on Social Media Discovery CLE in Palm Beach (Earn Florida Technology CLE points via Web)

Interested in earning some Technology CLE points in Florida? Sign up for this January 24, 2017 CLE — possibly one the first CLEs in the State to offer Tech CLE points. AND… you don’t even have to attend in person.  Live or via Web. In one hour we will cover: All…

Does a Negative Employee Review = Defamation?

There is an exception to the general rule regarding defamation when it involves “parties [who] have a mutual interest in evaluating a person’s work.”  These evaluations occur frequently: employee evaluation, customer evaluation of employees, parents’ evaluation of teachers, and former bosses evaluating former employees to prospective new employers. Under those…

“Don’t Connect Your Phone to Rental Car” mentioned on CBS-Detroit Newsradio 850 Feldman Report

My article, “Don’t Connect Your Phone to Rental Cars” explained how rental cars (and your leased car!) can collect data from your smartphone which creates a vulnerability when the next driver takes the car. The original post was a Business Advocate post at McDonald Hopkins.com, here.  It was also cross-posted…

Christopher Hopkins to Speak at NBI “Mediation in Florida” in Fort Lauderdale

I am pleased to be one of three speakers at National Business Institute’s CLE/CME, “Mediation in Florida: Keys to Effective Settlement Negotiations.” The program is Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Courtyard Fort Lauderdale North/Cypress Creek in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Lawyers and mediators can collect 8.00 hours of CLE and/or CME….

Your House is Burning — Can the Fire Department Turn You In for Drugs and Guns in the House?

You may have constitutional protections in your house but the exigency of the circumstance gives constitutional permission to the first responders to enter your home.  Once the fire is extinguished, fire fighters are required to conduct an “administrative sweep” to confirm there is no other fire or danger.  During fire fighting or during…

Police Cannot Perform a “Terry stop” just because someone is wearing a “funny hat”

A first degree murder conviction was overturned by the Fourth District Court of Appeal on August 31, 2016 due to the Court’s Fourth Amendment analysis of a bizarre description of the events.  In Lorenzo Sanchez v. State of Florida, the defendant/appellant was convicted of murder of a Pompano Beach convenience store…

First DCA Finds Facebook Posts by Florida Lawyer about Trial to be “Outside the Bounds of Professional Conduct”

The case of David Edward Boyles v. Dillard’s, Inc. from Florida’s First District Court of Appeal is a mixed bag of issues involving Daubert, evidence, voir dire, closing argument, and alleged attorney misconduct during trial. Notable, from a legal/technology standpoint, is this somewhat cryptic final sentences from the Opinion about…

Will Judge Sasser’s Standing ESI Order Apply to Your Case?

The July/August edition of the Palm Beach Bar Association’s Bulletin includes the article, “Will Judge Sasser’s Standing ESI Order Apply to Your Case?” which you can download, here. The article provides a brief refresher of the 2012 amendments which brought electronically stored information (ESI) within the scope of the Florida…

Can a Court Order Someone to Stay Off Your Website? (Facebook v. Power Ventures says yes)

In Facebook v. Power Ventures, Inc. et al., the Ninth Circuit held that it was a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 for the defendant to continue to access Facebook’s site after receiving a cease and desist letter from Facebook: “a defendant can run afoul of…

Florida Defamation: Reporting a Doctor to NPDB – “Single Publication” or “Multiple Publication”?

The Fifth District Court of Appeal agreed with a Middle District of Florida ruling that a report of a doctor’s misconduct to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) begins the two-year statute of limitation for any possible defamation case because it is a “single publication” and there are internal safeguards,…

Florida Atlantic University and Other Defendants File Motions to Dismiss Against Conspiracy Professor James Tracy

Readers of this blog will recall the story of former university professor James Tracy, who taught and eschews conspiracy theories and was fired for breach of a Florida Atlantic University’s “Conflict of Interest / Outside Activities” policy which required professors to advise FAU of their outside activities.  He filed a massive…