Blog
Ethics

Christopher Hopkins Speaks at NBI “Estate Administration From Start to Finish”

Thanks to National Business Institute (NBI) for permitting me to speak at “Estate Administration From Start to Finish” on May 16, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. I’ll be covering “Commencement of Proceedings and Information Gathering” as well as the closing hour, “Estate Ethics.” Of note, the section in the …

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1st Amendment

“Valid Grounds for Employment Action” Deemed Not Enough for Stalking Injunction under F.S. 784.048 (Klenk v. Ransom)

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held today that a respondent’s behavior may be enough for an “employment action” (presumably, for termination due to sexual harassment) but, in this case, was not enough for the “exacting standard” for an injunction against stalking under Florida Statute 748.048. The case is Joseph …

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Clauses from Contracts

Another Exculpatory Clause Fails Under Florida Law (Fresnedo v. Porky’s Gym III)

To bind a customer or business partner to a liability waiver in a contract, using what is called an “exculpatory clause,” requires specific contract-drafting skills. This is a lesson which the (apparently now closed) business learned in Lazaro Fresnedo v. Porky’s Gym III, Inc. In the Fresnedo case, the majority …

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Data Breach

Is Your PC Keeping Your Information Private? Take This 10-Question Quiz

A law firm was behind that largest hack in history. How safe is your desktop or laptop PC? For both home and work, this article presents 10 questions in a quiz format about your security and privacy practices. The article also includes the steps how to find the answers — …

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Palm Beach

Palm Beach Bitcoin Case Heats Up With Plaintiff Deposition, Discovery Memo, and Hearing this Week (Est. of David Kleiman v. Craig Wright)

We have been following the bitcoin lawsuit pending down the street at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach between the Estate of David Kleiman and W&K Defense Research, LLC, on the one hand, and Craig Wright, on the other. Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that Kleiman and/or Wright may either be …

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Data Breach

U.S. v. Yujing Zhang — April 8, 2019 Filing of Passport, Articles, Receipt, Ad for Mar A Lago event

The unusual case of U.S. v. Yujing Zhang continues in the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. On the same day as a well-covered April 8 pre-trial detention hearing, the Defendant filed a number of documents: Two (?) passports and a visa; Receipt; Article (translated): “Trump said he is …

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1st Amendment

Applying “Old” Laws to New Technology: Smartphones, Recordings, Privacy (at FAU)

Special thanks to attorney / instructor Larry Buck for inviting me to speak to his Florida Atlantic University “Law in the Real World” honors class about my practice, particularly how we apply traditional laws to new, emerging technologies. We discussed: drone regulation First Amendment and social media (US v. Hobgood, …

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4th Amendment

Can A State Search Cellphone of Person on Probation Without Warrant or Probable Cause? (Florida v. Mark Leroy Phillips, Sr.)

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal considered the question whether, under the Fourth Amendment, the State of Florida could search the cellphone of a man on probation for child abuse convictions (and who was a registered sex offender) when there was no warrant or reasonable suspicion. The court, in Florida …

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1st Amendment

Is a Demand for an Apology = Extortion? (Social Media & First Amendment:U.S. v. Hobgood)

In the song, “Hello,” Adele sings as a jilted lover, calling “a thousand times… to tell you I’m sorry.” It became a hit song in 2015. Contrast that with the facts of U.S. v. Hobgood, out of the Eighth Circuit, where the defendant had a brief romantic relationship with “KB,” …

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Arbitration Mediation

Before Delegating Arbitrability to Arbitrator, Supreme Court Must Decide FAA Exclusions (New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira)

The case of New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira is the second arbitration / delegable / arbitrability question which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a week. This case may have limited application to disputes involving transportation workers however it is worth discussing to ensure a clear understanding the delegation of …

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Arbitration Mediation

“I Like Arbitration,” Says Justice Kavanaugh in His First Opinion on Arbitrability (Schein v. Archer & White)

Justice Kavanaugh issued his first Supreme Court opinion (unanimous) which helped streamline enforcement of arbitration AND provided contract-drafting lawyers some model arbitration language (which, as we’ll see, still needs some work). The question before the Court was whether a trial court could still decide the threshold question of “arbitrability” — …

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Proposals for Settlement

In Florida, Does a Lawyer Need to E-Serve a Proposal for Settlement? (Wheaton v. Wheaton)

Florida courts have long determined that the “offer of judgment” statute, Florida Statute 768.79, and the corresponding “proposal for settlement rule, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442, should be strictly construed. The problem, however, is that the “strict compliance” approach opened a pandora’s box of litigation by losing parties who …

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Arbitration Mediation

Drafting Arbitration Agreement in Florida To Reference AAA or Other Arbitration Rules (Adkins v. Memorial Motors)

When drafting an arbitration agreement, a party often may want the matter to be heard by a professional arbitration panel, such as AAA or JAMS. However, from time-to-time, some of these groups have declined to hear matters governed by pre-incident arbitration waivers in consumer agreements. How do you write a …

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Arbitration Mediation

Florida Courts Issue Three Arbitration-Related Opinions in November 2018

Florida cases involving disputes over the enforcement of arbitration most frequently arise out of auto sales or long term care facility contracts.  These three cases from late November 2018 fit the bill.  The topics are: waiver of the right to arbitration, parties to the agreement, and severance clauses.  Shamelessly, one …

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Privacy

Don’t Let LinkedIn Follow You Around the Internet (and other privacy settings)

Have you checked your LinkedIn privacy settings? Don’t be fooled with a “I barely even used LinkedIn” attitude. Take 2 minutes. From the article below, here are the key steps: [easier if you have two screens, keep this open and then open your LinkedIn account on your second screen] 1. …

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