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 …

1st Amendment

Conspiracy Professor James Tracy v. FAU – Court Ruling and Answers in a “story of two competing narratives”

Professor James Tracy was fired by Florida Atlantic University in January 2016 and filed suit shortly thereafter claiming, inter alia, his First Amendment rights were violated.  This case, you may recall, involves a South Florida professor who made national news claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  Going back …

1st Amendment

Bad Month for Sandy Hook Truthers in Palm Beach, Florida: (1) James Tracy v FAU dismissed and (2) indictment in U.S. v. Lucy Richards

In unrelated court proceedings in West Palm Beach, Florida, two Sandy Hook Truthers suffered losses resulting in a dismissal and indictment, respectively.  A university professor who writes blog posts denying the Sandy Hook shooting received a sternly-worded Order of Dismissal which gutted several of his claims while permitting his lawyers a …

1st Amendment

Can Your Clients Be Convicted for Threats on Social Media?

A Florida high school student posted online, “Can’t WAIT to shoot up my school.”  “It’s time” and “School getting shot up on a Tuesday.” He was arrested for violating Florida Statute 836.10 (“written threats statute”).  Then he was convicted.  But the appellate court reversed. You can read the Florida Second …

1st Amendment

Former Conspiracy Theory Professor James Tracy Sues FAU

A former tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida sued the school, president, trustees, as well as his former union and union representatives for inter alia wrongful termination and breach of contract premised upon First Amendment claims and a dispute over signing an “Outside Activity” form. This …

1st Amendment

Christopher Hopkins “Anatomy of an Internet Defamation Case” at University of Miami Law School

I am pleased to discuss “Anatomy of an Internet Defamation Case” with Professor Jan Jacobowitz‘s Social Media & the Law class at the University of Miami Law School. In this presentation, we briefly discuss Elonis v. United States and we analyze the claims, defenses, and potential strategies of a pending …

1st Amendment

Understanding Recent Case re First Amendment & Recording of Police

A recent trial court order from a federal judge in Philadelphia regarding whether a person has a First Amendment right to record or photograph police activity has gotten a fair amount of media attention and has even been labeled, “a bizarre ruling.” Agree with it or not, the analysis is …

1st Amendment

Injunction for Cyberstalking in Florida Reversed

During the May 2014 Billboard Music Award show, a hologram of Michael Jackson wowed the crowd as he/it performed the song, “Slave to the Rhythm.”  You can see the performance here. Lawsuits regarding the hologram arose between two companies involving patent and business tort disputes.  According to the allegations, Alkiviades David, …

1st Amendment

Fourth DCA: Internet Review of Lawyer Is Libel Per Se

Posting an online review of a lawyer’s services which include false claims that the lawyer lied about attorney fees and falsified a contract is libel per se, ruled the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal on January 6, 2016. Even though the parties had settled their case and at least …

1st Amendment

Eleventh Circuit: Florida Firearm Owners Privacy Act is Constitutional

The 11th Circuit has reversed a district court ruling and, instead, concluded that Florida’s “docs vs. glocks” law is constitutional.  This is a victory for gun proponents who voice concerns that inquiries from Florida doctors about gun ownership was an invasion of privacy. The case is Dr. Bernd Wollschlaefer et …