1st Amendment

3D Gun Printing: Bad Idea the First Amendment Likely Will Permit

I read with interest Thomas Julin‘s article, “Weaponized First Amendment Does Not Protect Blueprints for Weapons” in the Daily Business Review. The link is here. Tom sets out the current status of the debate, cites an authority, and concludes that the First Amendment “will not protect publication of information for …

Privacy

Reddit Automatically Opts You In to Ads & Tracking — Here’s the Privacy Setting Changes to Make Now

While Reddit users tend to be savvy internetters, few of you have likely bothered to check Reddit’s privacy / personalization settings. You need to. Log into Reddit on your PC/Mac, click your user name in the upper right, and select user settings. Note: you cannot make these changes from the …

Data Breach

Protect the Privacy of Your iOS Devices – Palm Beach Bar Association July 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court recently noted, in Carpenter v. US, that Americans “compulsively carry cell phones with them at all times.” For those with iPhones and iPads, have you spent time in Settings protecting your private information? This article from the Palm Beach Bar Association Bulletin, explains ten different ways …

Social Media

Can Bloggers Use Any Image on the Internet?

The question about bloggers-using-images-from-the-internet is by no means a new debate but the latest log on this fire is Russell Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, LLC (E.D. Va. June 11, 2018).  This case, which is now on appeal, certainly comes to the aid of bloggers, website owners, and social media …

Constitutional Law

South Dakota v Wayfair – A Dormant Commerce Clause Case Will Likely Hit Intenet Etsy and Ebay Sellers with State Sales Tax

If you sell enough on Etsy and eBay, you may find yourself having to report sales tax in your buyers’ states. A recent opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al., is likely going to lead to new hassles for internet merchants, including possibly individual …

Space Law

Florida Informed Consent for Spaceflight Act (F.S. 331.501)

In order to encourage private spaceflight activities, Florida has its own Informed Consent for Spaceflight Act found at Florida Statute 331.501.  Let’s discuss how this statute works and assess, if tested, whether it might actually serve its intended purpose. It is not unusual for emerging technology companies to either request …

4th Amendment

US Supreme Court Touches on Social Media (Facebook) Discovery in Collins v. Virginia (2018)

On May 29, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a case involving a Fourth Amendment search of a motorcycle parked on the curtilage of a home.  In Collins v. Virginia (8-1), SCOTUS held that a motorcycle parked in an enclosed area of a driveway was within the curtilage of the …

1st Amendment

Trump Cannot Block Twitter Users: Knight First Amendment Institute et al. v. Trump et al.

A federal judge in the Southern District of New York has issued a 75-page Memorandum and Order concluding that President Trump cannot block Twitter users because aspects of his @realdonaldtrump account is a government-controlled forum and Trump’s viewpoint-based exclusion of the plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by …

Evidence

In Butoh Dance / Suicide Case, Court Rules that Emails & Skype into Florida Create Jurisdiction Over Katsura Kan, Dance Instructor

Can Florida obtain personal jurisdiction over someone just because he/she sent emails or Skyped with another person in Florida?  In the unusual case of Tibor Stern, as personal representative of the Estate of Sharon Stern v. Terugoshi Kotoura a/k/a Katsura Kan, the answer is yes. The Facts of the Case …

Data Breach

Christopher Hopkins speaks at ASIS International (West Palm Beach) on “Anatomy of a Data Breach Lawsuit”

Thanks to the members of ASIS International Palm Beach #254 for the gracious invitation to speak to about the “Anatomy of a Data Breach Lawsuit.” This was an educational opportunity to discuss the stages of a data breach lawsuit (from the lawyer’s perspective) and how to protect company assets. You …

Arbitration Mediation

Can a Company Add an Arbitration Clause to an Existing Contract that is Retro-Active?

For ongoing service agreements — which range from credit card, internet advertising, and even nursing home admissions — often there is a clause which permits one side to “update” its service terms and, in order to effect fairness, the other party may cancel the service in lieu of accepting the …

4th Amendment

Yes, Florida Police Check UPS Packages for Drug Shipments

In the recent case of James Johns, III v. State of Florida, the Second District explains the basics of 4th Amendment “Terry stops” while also illuminating the techniques that Florida police use to catch drug shipments sent via UPS (and presumably other carriers). The court sets the scene this way: …

1st Amendment

Christopher Hopkins discusses First Amendment & Social Media at University of Miami Law School

A special thanks to professor Jan Jacobowitz for inviting me to speak about the First Amendment and Social Media as part of her Social Media and the Law class at the University of Miami Law School. Some of the cases we covered include: Elonis v US US v Elonis In …

Ethics

Legal Ethics (presented by Christopher Hopkins) at NBI Estate Administration Boot Camp

A special thank you to NBI for inviting me to speak about legal ethics at their “Estate Administration Boot Camp” in Hollywood, Florida this year. There is still time to register or get the audio CLE, here. Some (unusual) ethical issues we covered: Statistics on Florida Bar disciplinary actions (what …

Privacy

Application of Law to Emerging Technology (at Florida Atlantic University)

Thanks to Professor Larry Buck for inviting me to speak to his Law in the Real World class  at FAU about the Application of Law to Emerging Technology. We discussed several cases and scenarios where lawyers and judges are called upon to apply longstanding legal principles to emerging technologies, such …