Blog
Clauses from Contracts

Is a Forum Selection Clause Mandatory When It Says Both “Exclusive” and “May Be Brought in…”? (Ecovirux, LLC v. Biolpedge)

The parties negotiated a contract and, in the final form, the forum selection clause read as follows: The debate over whether this clause was PERMISSIVE or MANDATORY came down to a question whether the phrase “exclusive venue” controlled over “may be brought in…” Other issues were whether this was a …

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Clauses from Contracts

Florida Court Declines to Apply Exculpatory Clause to Strict Products Liability Clause, Citing (Never Seen Before) “Clear” Public Policy (Harrell v. BMS Partners LLC dba Broward Motorsports)

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal opined yesterday that Florida has a “clear” public policy prohibiting the use of exculpatory clauses to avoid claims of strict products liability despite the fact that no Florida court had ever determined such a policy existed. Relying upon federal and non-Florida precedent, the Court …

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Arbitration Mediation

Arbitration Clause Enforced in Legal Malpractice Case, Even with Fee-Shifting Discovery Clause

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal enforced an arbitration clause in a law firm’s engagement letter even though the clause also included a shifting of fees for discovery. See Annie-Sophie Gonthiez Mavroleon v. Fernando Orrego and OC Estate and Elder Law, P.A. Here is the arbitration clause which the Court …

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Data Breach

Christopher Hopkins Speaks on “Protect Your Mediation Practice from Hackers” (Florida Dispute Resolution Conference 2022)

Thanks to the Florida Dispute Resolution Center for inviting me to speak about Protecting Your Mediation Practice from Hackers this year at their 2022 30th Annual Conference in Orlando. The PowerPoint for the presentation is here.

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Proposals for Settlement

Christopher Hopkins Speaks on Florida Proposals for Settlement: How This Fee Shifting Device Complicates Your Mediation (Florida Dispute Resolution Conference 2022)

Thanks to the Florida Dispute Resolution Center for inviting me to speak about Proposals for Settlement this year at their 2022 30th Annual Conference in Orlando. The PowerPoint for the presentation is here.

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iOS

Use of iPhone to Find a Bank to Rob and Use of iPhone Police Scanner App Leads to Conviction (McCarthy v. Dept. Corrections)

A Florida jury found Shola McCarthy of robbing a bank and using a police scanner in violation of 843.167(1)(a), Fla. Stat., which prohibits interception of police radio “to assist in committing a crime or to escape from or avoid… arrest… In connection with the commission of such crime.” In 2013, …

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Data Breach

Christopher Hopkins to Speak on “Cybersecurity & Data Breach Risks in 2022” at the Florida Creditors Bar Association

Special thanks to the Florida Creditors Bar Association for inviting me to speak at their annual conference in Orlando this year. We discussed spear phishing, business email compromise, and man-in-the-middle attacks as well as ethics issues and practical steps how to protect lawyers and law firms from these risks. For …

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5th Amendment

During a DUI Stop, Are Police Required to Tell the Driver that Her Lawyer is on the Phone? (Florida v. Alyssa Abache)

During an investigation of a car crash, police moved one driver away from others, advised her that he was conducting a criminal investigation, and read her Miranda warnings. He then requested that she perform field sobriety exercises. Before beginning, however, another person “held up a cell phone, stated that [the …

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E-discovery

Privacy Guide for Your Apple iOS 15 Devices

Take 5 minutes to run through the settings on your iOS 15 (iPhone and iPad) security settings to ensure you are not leaking data. This article, originally published in the Palm Beach Bar Association Bulletin, explains the steps in a single page article so you can protect your devices and …

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Arbitration Mediation

Is Your Arbitration Clause “Broad” or “Narrow”? And Do You Understand Buckeye v. Cardegna? (BREA 3-2 LLC v. Hagshama)

Most clients include arbitration clauses in their contracts with the intent that any and all disputes between the parties should be resolved by arbitration. Lawyers, however, don’t always write the contract that way… even though the rules have been crystalized for about a decade. Here’s the first test whether your …

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Data Breach

Dangers of the Dark Web (Law Firm Leaders Summit 2021)

Is your data on the dark web? How about your usernames and passwords? Likely. At the Law Firm Leaders Summit this week in Orlando, I had the opportunity to discuss the dark web; three ways people get hacked; and how to find your information on the dark web. Thanks for …

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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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