In that light, the Florida Supreme Court recently warned about the use of fake judicial letterhead involving inheritance notices, threatened deportation, or payment demands from recipients.2 Now…If the reader looks at the bio below, it can be seen that this writer is a transactional lawyer. But, like all other lawyers, getting a J.D. and taking the Bar examination required at the minimum a working knowledge of civil and criminal procedure. Which means to the non-lawyer consumer there is a process underlying judicial activity. The courts do not simply send out decision or collection letters. There is an entire Constitutional series of events starting with service-of-process before a case starts, the end of which (not the beginning) is a formal decision by a court in the form of a judgment, order, verdict, or decree. The lesson to be learned, then, is if one receives a judicial letter of questionable origin, they contact a lawyer or the court clerk and inquire about the reality of the letter and its demands.
Staying on the topic of scams and its progeny of nefarious deeds. Florida’s new Attorney General warns there is a growing e-trend (possibly a new word by this writer – let that one marinate3 and go viral…) is the ability of a hacker to jump in on an e-mail conversation, impersonate one of the parties to the dialogue, and things can head downhill from there (such as sending phishing or virus-laden attachments). One should be wary these days about seemingly normal e-mails…which are in fact, not normal. A story. – Last week this writer received a hyper–short e-mail from a lawyer cousin at another law firm. The e-mail was abnormally brief, so a text went to that cousin to see if the original e-mail was actually from him. It was. But as explained to the cousin, several e-mails are received weekly which appear ‘OK’ and would lead to problematic consequences if followed. (Typical clues #1 and #2: An e-mail address which does not match – even closely – the sender’s name and gross – often comical – misspellings.)
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And, staying just a bit longer on the e-theme (another new word?), during summer 2018 Florida’s SunPass electronic toll system was taken down temporarily for maintenance.4 That should be no problem; online account management systems are routinely halted for short times to attend to updates and improvements. But with a big data system such as SunPass, that routine does not always work as intended. The result? Delays in posting charges and other account problems. Although the issue appears to be resolved, Floridians are now taking the matter to legislators with complaints and oversight requests.5 The takeaway? With all digitized systems, individuals and businesses should not simply assume charges are correct. The inherent nature of platforms based upon binary digits and electrons should be intentionally monitored – even when fraud is not part of the equation.
…Florida Supreme Court recently warned about the use of fake judicial letterhead involving inheritance notices, threatened deportation, or payment demands from recipients.
A final matter for train aficionados (such as this writer…). The rebranding of the Brightline rail line to Virgin Trains USA due to an investment by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was reported here.6 The resulting new company was recently scheduled to go public by an equity initial public offering. A strategic decision was made, however, to keep the company private for the time-being, which decision may be revisited over time.7 More on that as more is learned. Over time. As the band Aerosmith has said “The Train Kept a Rollin’ ”.8
And a final note – Bogin, Munns & Munns, P.A. has an updated website. Please visit (or even ‘bookmark’ or ‘favorite’) this writer’s business, real estate, and banking blog at kabler.
1See, for example, https://www.boginmunns.com/holiday-season-scams-2018/, https://www.boginmunns.com/blog_detail?blogid=2195&blog=floridabusinessesfamiliesandindividualsitistaxseasonattemptsatidentifytheftaboundbevigilantofscamsespeciallynow
3Source: The movie “Kissing Jessica Stein” for this unique use of the verb “to marinate”.
8https://youtu.be/_EvGn22Mplg. Note: This writer has been playing bass guitar since 1975, and his band played that song. A very, very long time ago at high school, middle school, and youth group dances.
– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Warrington College of Business Administration. And is now the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
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NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.