First…Congratulations to the Brightline passenger train line1 for being named Florida Trend magazine’s 2018 “Floridian of the Year”.2 This series – being written by a bona fide “railfan”3 – has followed the development4 and expansion5 of Brightline from Miami north to an eventual terminus in Orlando…and outside of Florida.6 This writer looks forward to trying Brightline in due course (with a report to follow at that time).
Second…While time (and a season) has passed, and a hurricane has intervened, the physical and fiscal effects of red tide and algae blooms7 along and adjacent to Florida’s Gulf Coast continue.8 Human respiratory and aquaculture problems persist. Consistent with the overall theme of this series regarding proactive risk management, it is important for all Florida businesses, families, and individuals and wherever located in the state, to consider now and to implement on an ongoing basis plans to address the impacts of this phenomenon on their operational, financial, and personal interests. A question to consider: How will the proliferation of red tide as it continues over time (for it has been a biological situation which has existed for quite a while and not just recently) affect the insurance markets?
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Third…’You’ are reading this article on a computer or mobile device – it is not published in a hardcopy format. Since an online medium is being used, there is the possibility that an unwanted intruder can invade your network realm as a pirate or brigand and steal business, family, or individual financial and other personal and private documents, information, and data.9 Even though firmware, software, and business policy and procedural defenses come-and-go, the risk continues and spreads.10 (‘You’ are regularly – or even better automatically – updating protective software, correct?) One effect which ‘regular people’ can observe on their computers is a slowing of processing time as those computers are effectively hijacked for cryptocurrency ‘mining’.11
The ‘take-away’ from this is if something seems questionable it is worth questioning before proceeding to spend money and time and to provide personal information. Simply put, be alert.
As addressed in this column over time, and consistent with the ‘mining’ issue just described, a significant area of online privacy concern revolves around the issuance, pricing, and valuation volatility of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.12 Now, whenever investments and financial speculation are involved, matters of securities regulation are likewise raised. That is certainly the case with cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).13 The federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which is charged with enforcing the national laws on investments and capital markets (…among other things), is devoting considerable attention to private and public offerings of and trading in cryptocurrencies.14
While on the topic of ‘e-matters’…on to the fourth. This series has focused ‘an eye’ on holiday scams – even recently.15 And also on tax-related frauds.16 One recent scam which the Florida Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission have identified and shut-down involved telemarketing ‘robo-calls’ offering false debt-relief services to consumer following the payment of advance fees.17 The ‘take-away’ from this is if something seems questionable it is worth questioning before proceeding to spend money and time and to provide personal information. Simply put, be alert.18
And there are more update topics out there, such as Florida water resources, workers compensation rates, and overtime rules. But if everything is written about here today, there would be less to cover in the future…
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railfan or – even better – a ferroeuinologyphile (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ferroequinology). Yes, this writer stays awake at night listening to the wonderful sound of trains passing-by a few miles away.
8 For information on this topic, see, for example, https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article222709655.html, https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/environment/2018/12/05/red-tide-lingers-off-southwest-florida-coast/2217155002/
14 For information see https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-launches-cryptocurrency-probe-1519856266 (and, there is a video involving U.S. and international Bitcoin regulation!).
18 And to quote of this writer’s Mother’s favorite jokes, “Be alert, the world needs more lerts.”
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– 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.