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Punitive Damages

Florida’s Second DCA Vacates Punitive Damages Award Which Equals 100% of Defendant’s Net Worth

In the consolidated cases of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v Arthur L. Brewer and Barbara J. Brewer / William Edward Goellner v. Arthur L. Brewer and Barbara J. Brewer, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed an award of punitive damages equal to 100% of defendant’s net worth …

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Evidence

First DCA Issues a Hybrid Opinion Re Daubert & Proposal for Settlement

Two of the more novel, confusing areas of Florida civil law were addressed this week by the First District in Andrew and Kenneth Maines v. Marcia Drasko Fox. This case arose from an auto accident where the plaintiff claimed that she suffered a neck injury.  The plaintiff won at trial. …

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Proposals for Settlement

Trump International Hotel at the Center of 1 of 2 Recent Florida Opinions on Proposals for Settlement

On April 27, 2016, the Third and Fourth District Courts of Appeal issued separate opinions on the much beguiled Proposal for Settlement. In Vanguard Car Rental USA, LLC v. Suttles, the Third DCA was confronted with the situation where defendant “Vanguard, Inc.” served a Proposal for Settlement on the Plaintiff. …

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Uncategorized

Florida Supreme Court Holds Workers Comp Attorney Fee Provision Unconstitutional

In one month, two Florida appellate courts have found separate provisions in the Florida Workers Compensation statute unconstitutional.  Most notably, the Florida Supreme Court held that the attorney fee provision is unconstitutional and that the courts are to revert back to the “reasonable” attorney fee standard according to the former …

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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 …

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Constitutional Law

Mildly Serious Analysis of Ted Cruz and the “Dildo Case”

You may have heard, in the last week, a story involving Ted Cruz, when he was solicitor general for Texas, defending an anti-“obscene devices” statute (more blithely referred to as the “anti-dildo” law). The case is Reliable Consultants, Inv. d/b/a Dreamer’s and Le Rouge Boutique / PHE, Inc. d/b/a Adam …

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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 …

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4th Amendment
1

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 …

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iOS

Introduction to Podcasts for Lawyers in 2016

The April 2016 Palm Beach Bar Bulletin includes the article, “Introduction to Podcasts for Lawyers in 2016” which you can find here: 2016_podcasts. This article explains how to use the Apple Podcast app on your iPhone/iPad — specifically how to download individual podcasts or subscribe to an entire “season” of episodes. …

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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 …

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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 …

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Drones

Christopher Hopkins & Shawn Holmgren of Palm Beach Drone at South Florida PRIMA

I am pleased to contribute to Palm Beach Drone’s presentation, Promoting the Safe Use of Aerial Drones in the Workplace, at the South Florida Public Risk Management Association meeting in Hollywood, Florida. Check out Palm Beach Drone at their website, here. For a copy of our presentation, it is 2016 …

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Arbitration Mediation

Two Florida Nursing Home Arbitration Cases in March 2016

The Second and Fifth District Courts of Appeal simultaneously issued two opinions regarding arbitration enforcement in the nursing home context and, in one case, the Fifth DCA certified an issue to the Florida Supreme Court as one of “great public importance.”  The nursing home setting continues to be a battle …

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Uncategorized

$5,000 Civil Penalty for Soliciting Prostitute in Florida is Constitutional Under 8th Amendment

The Second District Court of Appeal held in State of Florida v. Joseph Lloyd Cotton that a $5,000 civil penalty for soliciting a prostitute (at the time, a second-degree misdemeanor) was constitutional after the trial court had found it unconstitutional.  The appellate court acknowledged, in a rare discussion of the Eighth …

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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 …

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