Blog
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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Clauses from Contracts

Can a Florida Contract Waive Liability for Special, Indirect, Punitive, and Consequential Damages?

According to a new case from the First District, yes.  But be careful relying too heavily on this case of first impression, which may go a little too far without enough authorities. While this is a construction case, these issues apply to ALL business contracts. The case is Keystone Airpark …

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Ethics

Florida Supreme Court Allows Judges to be Facebook Friends With Lawyers But Four Justices Disagree With the Practice (“I write to strongly urge judges not to participate in Facebook”)

The Florida Supreme Court resolved a conflict between two intermediate appellate courts when it determined that a judge-lawyer “Facebook friend” relationship, alone, was not enough to warrant recusal of the judge.  The Court deemed its position was the majority position around the country.  However, four justices noted that caution, if …

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Clauses from Contracts

Florida Court Approves Forum Selection Clause As Mandatory and Enforceable

It’s not often that banking cases are “fascinating,” but the facts underlying Pablo Antoniazzi v. Hamed Wardak certainly are interesting.  More importantly, the Third District provides some guidance to lawyers writing and seeking to enforce (or avoid) a mandatory forum selection clause. First let’s discuss the points of law in the …

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E-discovery

Christopher Hopkins Discusses Social Media Discovery in 2018 at Palm Beach Bar Association

Special thanks to the Palm Beach Bar Association for inviting me to speak at the CLE, “How to Get Your Claim Move-In Ready for Trial.” Space is still available and you can sign up here. My small portion of the event was to discuss Florida social media discovery as well …

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Data Breach

Florida Court Finds Data Breach Not Covered by Travelers / St. Paul CGL Insurance Policy

A federal court in Florida has ruled that the “personal injury” provisions of a Travelers / St. Paul commercial general liability (CGL) policy does not cover a data breach caused by third party hackers.  The court left unresolved the question whether the “property damage” or the costs of compliance with …

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Arbitration Mediation

Lessons from Google AdWords Arbitration Clause: Novation, Retroactive Application, Scope

Google’s arbitration and class action waiver provisions in their AdWords agreement provides some lessons for lawyers who draft contracts, particularly ones accepted online and updated via notice, as well as lawyers who litigate over enforcement of arbitration.  The recent case of Mark Trudeau and Troy Martial Arts, Inc. v. Google …

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Data Breach

Christopher Hopkins Speaks to ASIS International (Broward / Fort Lauderdale) Regarding Anatomy of a Data Breach Lawsuit

Special thanks to ASIS International (Broward County, Florida chapter) for inviting me to speak to them about data breach and cyber security litigation. You can review my powerpoint, here, which explains data breaches in general and then discusses how claims / litigation arises.  Most importantly, we discussed how companies can …

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Data Breach

Want to Try Anonymity on the Internet or the Dark Web? New Tor Browser 8 is here… and free

The Tor browser, which helps anonymize your internetting, has been updated to version 8.  It’s free and worth having on your desktop. First, these steps simple install a secondary browser on your computer.  No spyware.  It’s not illegal.  It’s just a simple browser. Download it here.  It will ask you …

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