4th Amendment

No Daubert Expert Witness Needed to Identify Marijuana, Rules Florida Court

The Third District Court of Appeal ruled in L.L., a Juvenile v. The State of Florida that a police officer who possessed sufficient personal experience with marijuana could offer a lay opinion — not an expert opinion — identifying the substance as marijuana.  The court held that meeting the five elements …

4th Amendment
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Find My iPhone Signal = Reasonable Suspicion for Police Investigatory Stop

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled on April 6, 2016 that a location signal from a robbery victim’s stolen iPhone provided the requisite “reasonable suspicion” to permit the police to make an investigatory stop of the suspects.  The court ruled that the evidence was properly admitted and the …

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 …

4th Amendment

Christopher Hopkins Speaks on Data Breach Law at Florida Atlantic University

Thanks to professor and attorney Larry Buck for inviting me to speak today about Data Breach & Cyber Security Law at Florida Atlantic University. We discussed:  Standing: how the Clapper case was filed too soon, they lost in the Supreme Court, and then three months later it was revealed, beyond their …

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 …

4th Amendment

One Year After Snowden: How Safe Are Your Calls and Emails?

Back in April 2014, I spoke to the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce about the security of emails and phone communications in the business world (materials are here). This article, “One Year After Snowden: How Safe Are Your Calls and Emails?,” summarizes the key Snowden disclosures over the last year …

4th Amendment

NSA Mass Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?

Special thanks to the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce for hosting “NSA Mass Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?“ If you would like to download a PDF of the presentation, it is here (also under “Materials, along the right column of this page).

4th Amendment

NSA Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls & Emails @ Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce

  The Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce is presenting “NSA Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?” on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. This presentation will explain NSA mass surveillance of email and phone communications and will discuss the security of your personal and business communications. It will provide …

4th Amendment

Conflicting Court Opinions on NSA Surveillance

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the case of Amnesty International v. Clapper and… few people cared. After all, “Clapper I,” as it became known, held that political activists had no standing to even discover if the government was spying on them. But four months later, the floodgates …

4th Amendment

Government GPS Tracking Since U.S. v. Jones

The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in U.S. v. Jones involving GPS tracking is trending towards being a landmark decision in how the Court interprets the Fourth Amendment in technology cases.   But what has happened to GPS tracking since the Jones decision? This February 2014 article from the Palm Beach …

4th Amendment

No Social Media Privacy for Alleged Colorado Theater Shooter

Defendant James Eagan Holmes, the alleged Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter, sought to suppress records obtained from two “dating” sites, Adultfriendfinder.com and Match.com (to be clear, the former is for “sex and swinger personals”). TMZ.com apparently broke the story that Holmes, using the alias “classicjimbo,” had a picture of himself …

4th Amendment
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A Tinfoil Hat Which Works: “Booster Bag” Is An Anti-Shoplifting Device Under Florida Statute

Make jokes about the paranoid and their tinfoil hats, but the “tinfoil bag” is the real-deal.  Until you stand right in front of the person you’re stealing from. Most retail stores, as you know, have security tower devices which detect when items with tags pass through the front door, sounding …