Sign Here, and Swipe There: Potential Impact of Florida’s New Remote Online Notary Law

image of laptop cimputer with an arm reaching out and handing keys to a house to an extended open hand

Photo Credit: https://www.chron.com/business/moneytips/article/Mortgage-Closing-Now-Done-Remotely-12193151.php

By: David Newman
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            In January 2020, Florida became one of the most recent states to pass a law allowing for remote online notaries.[1]  Florida is now one of 22 states that have passed laws allowing for remote online notaries.[2] Continue reading “Sign Here, and Swipe There: Potential Impact of Florida’s New Remote Online Notary Law”

Can a City Challenge the Constitutionality of State Monuments?

Photo Credit: https://www.al.com/news/2019/11/alabama-supreme-court-says-birmingham-violated-historic-monuments-law.html.

By: Nicki Lawsen
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Background

          In November 2019, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the Memorial Preservation Act is constitutional and reversed the lower court’s decision.[1] Continue reading “Can a City Challenge the Constitutionality of State Monuments?”

Enough is Enough: Hotels and Motels Profiting from Sex Trafficking Must Stop Here

black and white photo of woman sitting on ground hugging knees to chest

Photo Credit: https://ramblernewspapers.com/2020/01/lawsuit-charges-texas-hotels-willfully-blind-to-sex-trafficking-exploitation/ (last visited Feb. 19, 2020).

By: Landon Whatley
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

The United States enacted the Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act of 2000 (“TPVA”) as its first major move to combat human trafficking both domestically and worldwide.[1]  Continue reading “Enough is Enough: Hotels and Motels Profiting from Sex Trafficking Must Stop Here”

It’s All in the Genes

Black and white photo of a spraypainted design of DNA helicase with and someone's hands holding the "bars" of the DNA helicase structure

Photo Credit: https://fordlawokc.com/post-conviction-dna-testing-oklahoma/.

By: Savannah Stewart
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            Curating a personal family tree may reveal a lot about an individual’s origins, relationships, and whether a family member is a suspect in a criminal case.  When law enforcement identified and arrested the Golden Gate Killer through the use of genetic databases, genetic genealogy became a breakthrough tool for the police.[1] Continue reading “It’s All in the Genes”

Two Conflicting Views: Restrictions on Habeas Rights Under the AEDPA

Black and white photo of prison bars and an individual's hands grbabing the bars.

Photo Credit: https://longreads.com/2018/11/28/the-rising-tide-of-wrongful-convictions/ (Last Visited Feb. 3, 2020).

By: McKenzie Meade
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            What does a writ of habeas corpus and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) have in common?  A recent circuit split!   Continue reading “Two Conflicting Views: Restrictions on Habeas Rights Under the AEDPA”

The New ABCs of Employer Liability: Recent Changes to Employee-Independent Contractor Tests May Leave Some Businesses More Open to Liability

Image of two green signs on a pole. One sign points to the right and says "independent contractor," and the other sign points to the left and says "employee"

Photo Credit: https://cdn.cpapracticeadvisor.com/files/base/CSN/image/2016/04/16×9/640×360/Independent_contractors_1_.570f062a5d352.jpg.

By: Brettlyn Miller
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

The line between the classification of an employee and an independent contractor can be thin but important, especially in terms of vicarious liability for an employer.  While there exists a gray area between the two, one state recently tightened its differentiation.  California’s Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”) passed legislation late last year and became effective on January 1, 2020, as amendments to California Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code.[1] Continue reading “The New ABCs of Employer Liability: Recent Changes to Employee-Independent Contractor Tests May Leave Some Businesses More Open to Liability”

She Stole My Look — How Archaic Copyright Laws Hinder Litigation to Protect the Original Work of Fashion Designers

Left: image of a Gucci bomber jacket; Right: image of a Forever 21 model wearing a similarily-styled bomber jacket

Photo Credit: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4779144/Gucci-sues-Forever-21-ripping-trademark-stripes.html.

By: Caroline Smith
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

In a world of Instagram influencers and fashion bloggers, knock-off designer looks seem inevitable.  However, with retailer giants such as H&M, Zara, and FashionNova producing new collections seemingly overnight, how many of these designs are actually “original?” Continue reading “She Stole My Look — How Archaic Copyright Laws Hinder Litigation to Protect the Original Work of Fashion Designers”

An Update on Data Breach Litigation: Trends in Multidistrict Litigation

illustration of a "data pirate" reaching for binary code with a foggy blue-green background that fades to black

Photo Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveandriole/2019/07/30/the-capital-one-data-breach-is-no-exception-why-we-can-expect-many-many-more/#ab9831bfc48b

By: Nick Jackson
Managing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Data breaches are becoming the “new normal” in American society.  In what used to be “headline” news, major data breaches are no longer the rarity that they once were.  Today, data breaches occur on a small scale nearly every day across the United States.  In fact since 2005, more than 4,500 data breaches have been made public.[1] Continue reading “An Update on Data Breach Litigation: Trends in Multidistrict Litigation”

Stop Giving Away Your Identity – It Could Cost You Your Freedom

color photo of a 3D rendering of someone's face next to a phone app that was used to create the 3D rendering based on facial-scan technology

Photo Credit: https://phandroid.com/2016/06/03/snapchat-acquires-seene-3d-imaging-vr/

By: Dylan Scilabro
Articles Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            There is no denying the age of technology.  It is here and in full force.  People worldwide are adopting and using various forms of social media platforms for commerce, entertainment, and communication.   Continue reading “Stop Giving Away Your Identity – It Could Cost You Your Freedom”

Screening or Censorship: The Collection of Visa Applicants’ Social Media Information

two photos: left side: part of an immigration visa; right side: photo of an iPhone screen with social media apps on the screen

Photo Credit: https://www.gadgetguy.com.au/the-us-visa-application-needs-to-know-your-social-media-presence/

By: Elizabeth Hosmer
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

In March of 2018, the United States Department of State proposed a new requirement for United States visa applicants to disclose their previous addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, international travel and deportation statuses, and social media usernames.[1] Continue reading “Screening or Censorship: The Collection of Visa Applicants’ Social Media Information”