Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Legislation Puts Future of Greyhound Racing in Question

GREYHOUND-RACING,DOGS,FLORIDA-GREYHOUND-ASSOCIATION,PALM-BEACH-KENNEL-CLUB,ANIMAL-RIGHTS-ACTIVIST,DOG-RACESA bill proposed by the Florida Legislature could jeopardize the future of greyhound racing in the state. Animal rights advocates are pleased with the news. Those in the greyhound industry, however, worry about the thousands of people who could face unemployment as a result.

Though profits from greyhound racing have decreased in recent years, Florida remains one of the only states to allow the practice. Florida’s industry boasts more than 8,000 dogs, 4,000 workers, and 12 tracks. A law put into place years ago requires that tracks hold races in order to have slot machines and betting games. This law was put into place in the hopes of protecting greyhound racing industry workers, but animal activists do not see the benefit in allowing dog races to continue.

Animal rights activists have been pushing for state legislators to “decouple” racing and gambling, meaning tracks could decide whether or not they would continue to hold dog races. Multiple bills with decoupling language have died in the past. But, because the state is working to regulate several different aspects of the gambling industry at once, decoupling could be part of a bigger deal in 2016.

Spokesperson for the Florida Greyhound Association, David Bishop, said, “Clearly we do not support decoupling. This will bring an end to greyhound racing in Florida.” Bishop went on to explain that many tracks have “moved on” from dog racing, holding races only because they are required to by law if they wish to operate slot machines and offer other casino-type games.

Palm Beach Kennel Club is one of Florida’s biggest greyhound racing facilities, running more than 5,000 races a year. Spokeswoman for the club said that the track does GREYHOUND-RACING,DOGS,FLORIDA-GREYHOUND-ASSOCIATION,PALM-BEACH-KENNEL-CLUB,ANIMAL-RIGHTS-ACTIVIST,DOG-RACES 2not have any current plans to do away with dog racing. “We pretty much run year-round,” spokeswoman Theresa Hume said. “We feel like we’re successful at it. We have no plans to change that. Currently.” For more information contact a legal representative today to set up your 15 minute free consultation at 813-931-0840!

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What role can social media play in your personal injury case?

ATTORNEY,SOCIAL-MEDIA,INSURANCE-COMPANIES,MEDICAL-TREATMENTS,INTERNET,LAWYER,SOCIAL-MEDIA-POST 2Nearly everyone has some sort of social media account, and the majority of users post after big life moments, from exciting to startling. In the digital age, your social media posts, even the seemingly innocent, can be used as evidence in court. This is true in a case of any nature, but especially for personal injury cases.

Avoid posting anything about your case. This may seem to go without saying, but in an emotional moment, it is important to control your impulses, and your fingers, regarding leaking any information pertaining to your case on the internet. Information that could be potentially harmful to your case, and that you should not post on your social media accounts, include:
• Conversations with your lawyer
• Information about your medical treatment or diagnosis
• Disgruntles with the opposing party or your insurance company
• The exchange of contact with anyone involved in the case

Limit your location “check-ins,” photos posted, and photos friends tag you in. In a personal injury case, you and your attorney are working to convince the court that you are 1) injured and 2) experiencing a lesser quality of life because of it. Frequent posts about extreme sports or other physical activities, social events and parties, and regular trips out of the house could make it seem that you are living your life normally following an accident, not in a situation of pain, stress, and suffering.

While social media information is quite easy to obtain, even if your account is listed as ATTORNEY,SOCIAL-MEDIA,INSURANCE-COMPANIES,MEDICAL-TREATMENTS,INTERNET,LAWYER,SOCIAL-MEDIA-POSTprivate, in some cases insurance companies and other parties involved in the case may request to follow you or add you as a friend to obtain easier access to your posts and information. During your case, it is best to accept social media connections only from people you personally know well, and would want to see all your information. For more information contact a legal representative today to set up your 15 minute free consultation at 813-931-0840!

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Governor Scott Signs Questionable New Water Policy

FLINT-WATER-CRISIS,WATER-MANAGEMENT,FLORIDA-WATER-SOURCES,RICK-SCOTT 2The current Flint water crisis has many Floridians thinking about their own water situations. It’s no new opinion that Florida’s water should be regulated, but the recent Florida SB 552, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, will likely stand in the way of those desired regulations.

The bill’s original intention was to clean up Florida’s water sources and protect aquifers. The legislative process mangled the bill to advance special interests, tie the hands of local water management districts, and potentially, leave the costs of pollution clean ups to taxpayers.

Former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham personally contacted Gov. Scott, urging him not to sign the bill. Graham said, “This bill leaves the people and businesses of Florida unprepared to meet the water challenges of the 21st century.”

Graham feels the bill does very little in the way of restricting water usage for the more than 19 million Florida residents and will not be effective in controlling the amount of pollutants that enter Florida water sources. Instead, the bill loosens pollution enforcement standards and gives large water users decades to meet their cleanup goals.

The bill will not only affect Florida’s people, but could have detrimental effects on the wildlife by interfering with clean up of the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee. Both of FLINT-WATER-CRISIS,WATER-MANAGEMENT,FLORIDA-WATER-SOURCES,RICK-SCOTTwhich have elevated phosphorus levels from many years of farming and urban runoff.

The flawed water policy, meant to “modernize” Florida’s water standards, will leave Florida citizens wanting more from their state legislators. For more information contact a legal representative today to set up your 15 minute free consultation at 813-931-0840!

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Floridians Resurrect Medical Marijuana Amendment

MEDICAL-MARIJUANA,FLORIDA-SUPREME-COURT,FLORIDA-DEPARTMENT-OF-HEALTH,MARIJUANA-BUSINESS 1In 2014, Florida adopted a very restrictive medical marijuana program that has been tied up in legal challenges for nearly two years. Around the same time, some Florida legislators tried amending the state’s constitution to include legalized medical marijuana. Though Amendment 2 did not pass in 2014, the ballot initiative will make a reappearance this year.

Florida’s State attorney general tried to strike down Amendment 2 in 2014, claiming it misled voters of its intent. However, the Florida Supreme Court supported the document, keeping it alive. Florida licensed attorney, Hilary Bricken attributed Floridian’s lack of enthusiasm to vote in favor of the initiative to the many self-proclaimed medical marijuana experts that appeared on the scene.

Amendment 2 failed by a very narrow margin in 2014 and has received the necessary support for the Florida Division of Elections to certify its appearance on Florida’s November balance. Since 2014, the amendment’s language has become clearer regarding regulation and oversight of the medical marijuana business, qualifying patients, and caregivers.

Should the amendment pass, Florida’s Department of Health will oversee the medical marijuana program, through “Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers,” or MMTCs. The MMTCs will grow, process, and distribute all medical marijuana. A qualifying patient must suffer from an approved debilitating disease, get physician certification, and have a medical marijuana identification card. Of the qualifying medical conditions are cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, ALS, PTSD, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, among others.

The amendment clearly states that the Florida Department of Health will issue regulations within six months of the amendment’s passing, regarding the following issues:
• Procedures for issuing and renewing identification cards to qualifying patients.
• Procedures for establishing standards for caregivers, including security checks and issuing caregiver identification cards.
• Procedures for establishing, registering, and maintaining MMTCs, including proper security, record keeping, testing, labeling, and inspection.
• Regulations for prescribing the appropriate amount of medical marijuana for a given condition.MEDICAL-MARIJUANA,FLORIDA-SUPREME-COURT,FLORIDA-DEPARTMENT-OF-HEALTH,MARIJUANA-BUSINESS

Only time will tell how the amendment’s revival will fair; but, there is a much more positive outlook and attitude toward its success in 2016. For more information contact a legal representative today to set up your 15 minute free consultation at 813-931-0840!

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