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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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: …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Data Breach

Accessing Someone Else’s Facebook Account in Florida is a Crime

Relying upon a statute which has been amended twice since 1978, it is a crime in Florida to access someone else’s social media account without their authorization.  This likely happens dozens of times a day in this state, likely as a joke or a prank, which have or could lead …

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4th Amendment

Can You Record Someone in Florida?

The question of whether you can record someone’s conversation in Florida arises frequently.  The answer lies first in a statute and second on the individual circumstances.  As a general rule, secretly recording someone in Florida is not going to lead to admissible evidence and could get the person who did …

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4th Amendment

What Does Texas Shooting Case Tell Us About Subpoenas / Warrants for iPhone & iCloud Information?

  On November 5, 2017, 26-year old Devin Patrick Kelley allegedly shot and killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  Mr. Kelley’s body was reportedly recovered from a Ford Expedition; he was found deceased from a single bullet wound (entering above right ear and exiting …

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E-discovery

Third DCA Pharmacy Negligence Case Leaves Florida (Still) Without an ESI Discovery Appellate Opinion

In the case of Walgreen Co. and Holiday CVS, LLC v Jonathan Rubin, two national pharmacy chains were somehow convinced by their counsel to appeal an adverse discovery production order despite the fact that the lawyers failed to get (basic) affidavits establishing that production costs were unreasonably burdensome. In the …

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Ethics

A Lot of Lawyers Claim That They Accept Bitcoin… But Are They Doing It Wrong?

A lawyers’ ethics committee appointed by the Nebraska Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding whether lawyers in that state could receive payments in bitcoin; receive payments from third parties in bitcoin; and/or hold bitcoin for their clients.  This applies to any digital currency.  The committee was clearly well-informed and wrote …

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E-discovery

Social Media Discovery in Florida After Nucci v. Target

Litigators and the courts continue to put heavy emphasis on social media discovery but, surprisingly, the case law has not significantly developed in Florida (or really around the country) since the 2015 case of Nucci v. Target.  However, the few cases that have arisen in the last two years are …

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