Blog
E-discovery

ESI, e-Discovery & Other Tech Issues for Mediators (Florida Dispute Resolution Center Conference 2021)

Thank you to the Florida Dispute Resolution Center for inviting me to speak at the 29th Annual Conference this year. This session focused on: Venmo & recent Florida Bar ethics opinion Defining ESI terms Rules of eDiscovery Steps of eDiscovery (preservation letter, litigation hold, duties, spoliation) 4 recent 2021 eDiscovery …

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Defamation

What is the Proper Venue for an Alleged Defamatory Facebook Post in Florida? (James Lowery III v. Shane McBee)

A Martin County resident alleged posted a defamatory Facebook post which was read by a third party in neighboring Palm Beach County. Where is the proper venue? According to James Cullen Lowery, III v. Shane McBee, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that “there was no“injury” to Plaintiff until …

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Arbitration Mediation

Can Florida Lawyers Require Arbitration In Engagement Letters? (Lemos v. Sessa)

In a divorce case, the wife’s lawyer negotiated a marital settlement agreement requiring the former husband to make lump payments that were sent to the law firm. Someone hacked into either the wife’s or the lawyer’s email account, resulting in the lawyer receiving fraudulent wiring instructions. Money was lost and …

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Data Breach

Lessons From the Pandemic (APRL Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers)

I recently hosted a panel of experts at the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) conference discussing “Lessons from the Pandemic.” My colleagues include Brian Faughnan from Lewis Thomason; Joseph Corsmeier from the Law Office of Joseph Corsmeier, and Nicole Hyland of Frankfurt Kurnit. We covered current issues of ethics, …

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1st Amendment

Are Ordinances Prohibiting Begging Constitutional in Florida? (Florida v. Watrous)

The following order is from a County Court in Lee County, Florida. It has little to no value as precedent. That said, the reasoning is well-organized and appears solid (there is always a chance for appeal). So here is the long legal answer to a simple question: is it constitutional …

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Clauses from Contracts

Florida Court Approves Exculpatory Clause in Workers Compensation / Third Party Negligence Scenario (Merlien v JM Family)

Florida’s Fourth DCA issued an opinion upholding an exculpatory clause on the grounds that the clause lacked a preamble which would create a fatal ambiguity and because it did not violate the Workers Compensation Statute. This case is instructive even if workers comp is not at issue in your case. …

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Florida

Understanding the 2020 Update to Florida’s Firework Statute

Florida recently passed a new law allowing certain fireworks to be bought and used on July 4 and New Years Eve/Day. Understand how Florida Statute 791.08 works by reading this article from the June 2020 Palm Beach Bar. Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

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Clauses from Contracts

How to Obtain a Jury Trial in Florida When There is a Jury Waiver in Your Contract (Revival of the “Advisory Jury”)

A new case revives an old method to avoid an express contractual jury waiver by asking for an “advisory jury.” Here’s how it works for plaintiffs and how lawyers who write contracts can address it. For years I have recommended that clients consider an express jury waiver in their contracts …

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Privacy

Privacy Settings for Zoom Video and Alexa (Palm Beach Bar Association)

While people are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is wise to ensure that privacy settings on Zoom and Alexa (and all your devices and applications) are up-to-date. This guide will assist you in correctly securing your Zoom video conferences and Amazon Alexa. Quick note: while this article was …

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Data Breach

Webinar: Cybersecurity for Remote Lawyers and Employees (by Christopher Hopkins)

Thanks to the Florida Defense Lawyers Association for sponsoring the free webinar (for members), “Cybersecurity for Remote Lawyers and Employees.” You can find out information to join the webinar here and here. This one-hour session will explain the risks and provide hands-on solutions that you can use right away. This …

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Data Breach

WEBINAR: Employers & Employees Working from Home – Cybersecurity

Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches for hosting this webinar, “Employers & Employees Working from Home – Cybersecurity,” today. Christopher Hopkins (lawyer, McDonald Hopkins LLC) and Christine Vanderpool (IT Director, Florida Crystals) discussed cyber security risks and measures during the coronavirus lockdown. THE REPLAY VIDEO IS …

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iOS

Protect the Privacy of Your iOS 13 Device (Palm Beach Bar March 2020)

Are you leaking data and revealing your privacy through your iPhone or iPad? In the March 2020 Palm Beach Bar Bulletin, the article, “Protect the Privacy of Your iOS 13 Device,” explains how to ensure you are not unknowingly being tracked, heard, recorded, or located. Written from the perspective of …

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Data Breach

Christopher Hopkins to Discuss CyberSecurity and Technology Trends for Mediators and Arbitrators (Palm Beach Bar Association)

A great thanks to the Palm Beach Bar Association for inviting me to speak about cyber security and technology trends at the annual ADR CLE/CME on Monday, February 10,. 2020. This year the theme is “The New Flavors of ADR” and I can assure you that “the cyber” and tech …

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Ethics

The Misguided Practice of CC’ing Clients on Emails to Opposing Counsel (Palm Beach Bar Association, January 2020)

Is it ethical (or wise) to cc or bcc your clients on emails sent to opposing counsel? It is a widespread practice but not a wise choice. This article, published by the Palm Beach Bar Association in January 2020, explores the six bar opinions discussing the ethics and (lack of) …

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4th Amendment

Florida Police Can (1) Search Your Car After Smelling Marijuana and (2) Cut a Hole in Your Underwear to Find Drugs (Jevin Hilliard v. Florida)

Florida drivers (and those in the car) should be aware that it is fairly well-settled that police have probable cause to search a car and occupants during a traffic stop based on “the faint odor of cannabis.” But how far can the search go? We find out in Jevin Hilliard …

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