MIAMI LAW EXPERTS IN THE NEWS: FB Live and Suicide, Nazis and Trump, RICO and Gangs, County Ethics in Question


Another Live-Stream Suicide Puts Spotlight on Social Media Ethics I The Wall Street Journal

The spate of incidents raises thorny questions, said Mary Anne Franks, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. While Facebook Inc. and other technology companies likely don’t have much legal responsibility, she said, they have an ethical obligation to consider the potential harm their products pose.

“We need to have a conversation about what the role is” of technologies like live-streaming, she said. “How much are products like Facebook Live encouraging people to commit these acts?

The Rise of the Nazi Government and Where Trump’s Ascent Is Both Alike and Different I Rhode Island Media Cooperative

Two-part podcast, Political Gingervitis, with David Abraham.

Million-dollar bond for alleged Lake Boyz members I Naples News-Press

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was enacted by Congress in 1970 to help prosecute the Italian Mafia, said University of Miami Professor of Law Donald Jones. The usage of RICO statutes has evolved with society’s evolution. States enacted their own RICO laws and in the 1980s, authorities began to use RICO to combat gangs, Jones said.

“There are big problems, especially the youth gangs,” Jones said. “They kill people, they sell drugs, they terrorize whole communities.”

“These cases often involve years and years of work, undercover agents, multi-agency task forces, statewide investigations,” Jones said. “This prosecution is the result of a lot of investigatory activity.”

Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board plays fast and loose with disciplinary process I Tampa Bay Times

In fact, the county could locate only one disclosure form filed by any of the 33 men and one woman who have served on the licensing agency's full board over the last seven years. Skipper, who was once the chairman of Cornerstone Community Bank, filed it in November 2015, after he abstained from voting on a complaint with ties to the bank.

Failing to file the disclosure could violate Florida's ethics laws, said University of Miami professor Anthony Alfieri, the founder and director of the School of Law's Center for Ethics and Public Service.

"The failure to do so should trigger a compliance investigation," he said, by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, the state Office of the Inspector General and even the Florida Attorney General's Office.