What is a Trust?

Odds are you have heard of a Trust Agreement, but what is a Trust?  What types of trusts are there?  My latest legal article in The Sanford Herald discusses this!


Recent Posts

Attorney Lewis Discusses Employment Law in Florida

In his latest legal article in The Sanford Herald, Attorney Lewis covers some employment laws governing workers in the State of Florida.


Employment Law in Florida

Most adult Floridians have a job, and most workers have either a boss or a set of rules that must be followed, or both.  Florida has also codified many laws regarding what an employer can or cannot do, or what regulations or requirements can be placed upon employees.  Most employment laws exist for a good reason, either to protect you as an employee, your rights, the safety and rights of your co-workers, or the well-being of the business.  Sometimes it seems hard to keep up with all of these rules and regulations, and employees often wonder if their rights are being violated or if they are being treated unfairly.  Here is a very brief overview of Florida employment and labor law that may apply to you.


Florida permits preemployment background checks and drug testing.

Florida prohibits texting while driving, and also smoking in any indoor areas of workplaces occupied by one or more persons, which are totally or predominantly enclosed.


Florida permits employees to carry a firearm in their personal/private motor vehicle, even while on the employer’s property.

An employer may not ask an employee whether he or she is carrying a firearm inside a vehicle in the employer’s parking lot, and they cannot search an employee’s vehicle.  Employers cannot prevent any employee from entering their parking lot because they know or suspect the employee’s vehicle contains a legal firearm that is out of sight and is being lawfully carried.

Time off/Leave

Employees are entitled to certain time off or permitted leaves for jury duty, court witness, domestic violence (employers over 50 employees), military leave, and Civil Air Patrol service (employers over 15 employees).


When school is in session, 16- and 17-year-olds may not work more than 30 hours in a week, more than 8 hours in a day when school is scheduled the following day, or more than 6 consecutive days. There are no restrictions during holidays and summer vacations.

14-and 15-year-olds may not work more than 15 hours in a week, before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm when school is scheduled the following day, more than three hours in any school day, or more than 6 consecutive days in a week. During holidays and summer vacations, they may not work before 7:00 am or after 9:00 pm, and no more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, and no more than 6 consecutive days.

Any minor who works for more than four continuous hours is entitled to a meal break of no less than 30 minutes.

Final Pay:

If an employee dies before all wages due have been paid, the employer may pay any amount of wages or travel expenses that are due to the following individuals in the following order: Surviving spouse; Child(ren) over age 18; or Parent.


Attorney Lewis Discusses Artificial Intelligence and Lawsuits

In his latest article in the Sanford Herald dated September 9, 2023, Attorney Lewis discusses pending litigation regarding artificial intelligence platforms.

Artificial Intelligence Platforms Raise Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues

Over the last 12 months, the Artificial Intelligence “revolution” has grabbed headlines worldwide. Spreading from the financial sector and Silicon Valley into the classrooms across the United States, “AI” is the new buzzword on the lips of both CEOs, teachers, students, and anyone else with a smart device and a sense of curiosity.  This week the New York Times commented publicly that their legal staff is exploring whether to sue leading platform OpenAI and their user interface ChatGPT “to protect the intellectual property rights associated with its reporting.” pending litigation would raise some interesting questions in the fields of both intellectual property and copyright law.

Recently ChatGPT and The Times have been negotiating a licensing deal that would allow OpenAI to compensate the newspaper for using stories from The Times as part of the data scraped to compile “original” text pieces.  Negotiations have soured, and in no small part because The Times (and all traditional media, for that matter) feels threatened by a business directly competing with papers and print media “by creating text that answers questions based on the original reporting and writing of the paper’s staff.”  A lawsuit, if filed, would set the stage for a high-profile court proceeding over copyright and intellectual property rights in this new era where artificially generated stories, books, songs, and content is becoming more common and indistinguishable from man-made works.

Microsoft has invested heavily – billions of dollars – into OpenAI and has begun to use ChatGPT to produce results in its search engine ‘Bing.’ Run a search online on any general topic, and the response is generated from an AI interface that ‘scrapes’ data from numerous online sources and reconfigures it into a cogent, multi-paragraph response.  According to The Times, the scraped data comes from their journalists.  This affects their web-traffic and ability sell advertising based on ‘clicks,’ or visits to their page, and repurposes their work without compensation.  Unauthorized data mining of large libraries of online information by AI platforms has already occurred. In this permissionless online world most of our information now operates within, in moments a large AI platform can download massive amounts of data and repurpose it according to their specific algorithm.

Litigation from a large media company would force the courts to address whether any copyright laws have been violated by these actions.  Under federal law allowing for the destruction of “stolen” work, OpenAI and other AI companies could be directed to destroy their data and limit their response algorithm to using only authorized works.  This standard may pave the way for negotiated compensation of the authors, artist, and content creators.

Movie studios have speculated that they may contractually take an actor’s likeness and utilize it in any manner they see fit via AI platforms.  AI can download a recording artists’ entire library and generate new songs or covers that are indistinguishable from a work created by that artist.  Drawing lines will be difficult for courts but seems more and more necessary as the AI content and platform’s abilities grow.