Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

Preterm-Cleveland Inc. v. Governor John Kasich, et al., Case no. 2016-1252
Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

State of Ohio v. Richard J. Beasley, Case no. 2014-0313
Summit County Common Pleas Court

Linda Griffith Alford, et al. v. Collins-McGregor Operating Co., et al., Case no. 2016-1281
Fourth District Court of Appeals (Washington County)

Does Cleveland Abortion Clinic Have Standing to Challenge Abortion-Related State Laws?

Preterm-Cleveland Inc. v. Governor John Kasich, et al., Case no. 2016-1252
Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)


  • When challenging the constitutionality of a state bill on one-subject grounds, must the challenger prove standing for each provision challenged?
  • To establish standing, must a plaintiff identify an injury by the enactment of the bill that is both concrete and particularized, and actual and imminent?
  • When challenging a bill on one-subject grounds, is a challenger who establishes standing for one provision entitled to challenge other provisions where standing is not established?

Gov. John Kasich’s office and several state agencies have appealed a ruling by the Eighth District Court of Appeals that granted standing, or the right to sue, to Preterm-Cleveland Inc., an abortion and sexual health care clinic, to challenge portions of the 2013-2014 state budget bill, which included new requirements for abortion clinics.

The Ohio General Assembly passed its biennial state budget bill, House Bill 59, in June 2013 and Gov. Kasich signed it into law. In October 2013, Preterm filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against the governor, several state agencies, and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor challenging four provisions of H.B. 59. The clinic claimed the bill violates the “single subject rule” of the Ohio Constitution. Specifically, Preterm challenged:

  • the parenting and pregnancy provisions, which authorize spending federal funds for services to pregnant women and others through non-profit service providers that do not perform abortions
  • the written transfer agreement provisions, which require ambulatory surgical facilities have written transfer agreements with hospitals that are renewed every two years
  • the public hospital provisions, which prohibit Ohio public hospitals from entering into a written transfer agreement with an ambulatory surgical facility that provides abortions
  • the informed consent provisions, which require doctors who perform abortions to try to detect a fetal heartbeat, and if successful, wait at least 24 hours before performing an abortion

The state asked the trial court to dismiss the case for a lack of standing, arguing that Preterm failed to demonstrate how it was injured by any of the provisions.

In trial court, Preterm acknowledged it was not harmed by the parenting and pregnancy program because had never applied for funding from it. The clinic also stated that it had a written transfer agreement for the past 10 years with a private hospital and at the time the budget bill took effect, it wasn’t impacted by the restrictions on public hospitals later placed on it. However, the clinic stated it could be harmed in the future if it were to lose its agreement with the private hospital. The clinic’s operations director testified that securing a transfer agreement every two years, and attaching a copy of the agreement to its license renewal application with the Ohio Department of Health, was an increased burden, which wasn’t in the existing prior regulations. The director also argued the informed consent provision forced the clinic to amend its policies and procedures to accommodate the law’s new requirements.

The trial court granted summary judgment to the state and dismissed the case. Preterm appealed to the Eighth District Court of Appeals, and in a 2-1 decision, the appellate court ruled Preterm did have standing. It sent the case back to the trial court to decide the merits of Preterm’s claim that the budget bill violated the constitution. The state appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.

Must Suffer Injury to Gain Standing, State Asserts
The state asserts that the Ohio Constitution requires a plaintiff to establish an injury in order to have standing to file a lawsuit. And when a plaintiff such as Preterm challenges multiple provisions of the law, it must show standing for each claim raised, and not piggyback standing for one claim to apply to others. Because Preterm admitted it’s not impacted by the pregnancy and parenting funding program, it should be excluded from challenging the provision, the state maintains.

The state argues that because Preterm has a transfer agreement with a private hospital, its injury from the limitations on public hospitals is speculative and the new paperwork requirements for verifying the transfer agreements doesn’t create any concrete injury to the clinic. And since the informed consent provision applies to a “person” performing an abortion, the law governs the behavior of doctors, not clinics, and doesn’t apply to Preterm, meaning Preterm has no standing to challenge it, the state concludes.

The state’s brief also accuses Preterm of failing to explain why its lawsuit is needed to challenge the written transfer agreement, noting the Supreme Court has accepted another case, Capital Care Network of Toledo v. State of Ohio Dept. of Health, where an abortion clinic’s written transfer agreement with a public hospital was terminated because of the new law. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Capital Care Network on Sept. 12, and has not yet ruled.

Preterm Asserts Injury by Law
Preterm notes that in the four years since the passage of the bill, it has modified policies and procedures, and has been subjected to additional staff time to comply with the law. Additionally, the clinic asserts it faces criminal liability from the informed consent provisions because the law impacts more than just the doctor.

Preterm maintains the state mischaracterizes its position on the one-subject rule in Article II, Section 15(D) of the Ohio Constitution. Preterm asserts it’s challenging the entire bill as required by the rule, and requesting to sever the abortion-related provisions that aren’t part of the main purpose of the bill, which is state spending. That means the clinic only has to show it’s impacted by one provision to have standing, it contends. Whether a court will grant its requested “remedy” of invalidating all the provisions it claims are unconstitutional doesn’t affect Preterm’s ability to challenge the law, the clinic asserts.

Preterm argues the abortion provisions were added to the budget bill at the last stages of the process and there was little or no time for debate on the merits. It deemed the maneuver as classic “log rolling” where controversial subjects are added to a popular bill to garner votes and pass measures that would have trouble passing as stand-alone bills. The attempt to enact stricter abortion regulations by using an overall state spending plan locked Preterm and other clinics out of the debate and violated the single-subject rule, the clinic concludes.

Preterm points to specific injury it suffers by noting that while all 264 ambulatory surgical facilities in Ohio must have the transfer agreements, the bill targets the abortion providers by eliminating their ability to contract with public hospitals. Because Preterm would have fewer options to contract with another hospital if it were to lose its current agreement, it is harmed by the bill. The clinic notes that previous legal decisions have concluded that members of an industry targeted by a new law don’t have to wait until they actually suffer harm to challenge the validity of the law.

It also asserts the informed consent provision targets the clinics, and the legislation refers to any “person” performing abortions and not specifically the doctor. The clinic notes a corporation, including a non-profit corporation like Preterm, is a “person” under Ohio law. In its brief, the clinic “bears the administrative burden of developing, implementing, and monitoring policies and protocols that allow its physicians to avoid” risks for violating the law.  The bill not only requires the physician to detect a fetal heartbeat, but requires the doctor to allow the pregnant woman to hear the heartbeat, and document the detection of a heartbeat. The document must be retained for seven years. Preterm argues the use of the term “person” is used in the law because it recognizes that an ultrasound technician might be the one allowing the pregnant woman to hear the heartbeat, and the clinic rather than the physician is responsible for creating and retaining the documentation. Preterm argues these are examples of direct and concrete injuries it faces from the law, and gives it standing to sue the state.

Prosecutor Requests Dismissal from Case
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office explains that Preterm added the office as a defendant in the case because it would be responsible for enforcing any criminal penalties against the clinic for a violation of the abortion provisions of H.B. 59. The prosecutor asked and received summary judgment in the trial court, and Preterm raised no objections to dismissing the office from the case. The prosecutor requests the Supreme Court affirm the position of the trial court to remove it from the case, arguing the state, and not the county prosecutor, is in a position to address the clinic’s complaints.

- Dan Trevas

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing the State of Ohio from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Eric Murphy, 614.466.8980

Representing the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office: Charles Hannan, 216.443.7758

Representing Preterm-Cleveland, Inc.: B. Jessie Hill, 216.368.0553

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Death Penalty

State of Ohio v. Richard J. Beasley, Case no. 2014-0313
Summit County Common Pleas Court

Richard Beasley is appealing his convictions and death sentence for the murders of three men and the attempted murder of another, along with other crimes. Beasley and his co-defendant, Brogan Rafferty, were accused of using the classified advertising website Craigslist.org to list a job on a farm in southeastern Ohio to meet candidates and kill them for their belongings.

Men Take Farmhand Jobs
Ralph Geiger was a business owner whose endeavor failed, and he ended up living in an Akron homeless shelter. In summer 2011, he told a friend and a social worker at the shelter that he had been hired to work on a farm in southeastern Ohio. He left the shelter on Aug. 8 for his new job.

On Nov. 6, 2011, in the evening, Jeffrey Schockling was watching television in his home outside of Caldwell when his doorbell rang. The man at the door said his name was Scott Davis, and Schockling said Davis had a bloody wound on his arm and was pale.

Davis told law enforcement that he had been a landscaper in South Carolina, but applied for a job in Ohio that he saw on Craigslist because he wanted to move here to take care of his mother. Davis said the ad was for a position on a 688-acre cattle farm, paid $300 per week, and included a trailer in which to live. When Davis expressed interest in the job, a man calling himself “Jack” asked Davis for his driver’s license information to conduct a background check. After Jack later informed Davis he got the job, they arranged a breakfast meeting at a Marietta restaurant. Another person, who Jack said was his nephew, also attended the meeting, and Davis later identified Brogan Rafferty as the nephew.

After breakfast, the trio left for the farm. On a back road in a rural area, Davis and Jack got out of the car and walked into the woods. Jack was walking behind Davis when Davis said he heard a click and turned around to a gun pointed directly at his head. When the gun fired, a bullet hit Davis in the elbow. Davis fled, while Jack shot at him. After hiding in the woods for seven hours, Davis began walking and saw the Schockling house.

Maine Woman Worried About Missing Brother
On Nov. 11, a Noble County detective received a call from Debra Bruce, who said her brother, who had been living in Virginia, had told her he found a job on Craigslist that paid $300 a week to be a farmhand on a 688-acre farm in Ohio. Bruce and her brother, David Pauley, talked regularly, but she hadn’t heard from him since Oct. 22, when he called from Parkersburg, West Virginia, where he was staying in a hotel before meeting his new boss in Ohio the next day. Bruce, who lives in Maine, read about the Davis shooting online and contacted the Noble County authorities. She was able to provide emails showing communication between her brother and a man named “Jack.”

First Body Found
Local, state, and federal law enforcement conducted a search a few days later of the area where Davis said he was shot. Using cadaver dogs, law enforcement found a buried body, later identified as Pauley. He had died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The FBI began investigating the Craigslist advertisements. The person who posted the ad corresponded by email with Davis, Pauley, George Brown, Dan DeWalt, Tim Kern, and David LeBlond, among others. Brown, DeWalt, and LeBlond had in-person meetings about the job at the Chapel Hill mall in Akron. They each identified Beasley as the man with whom they met.

Suspects Arrested
The FBI tracked the computer used to post the ads to an Akron residence where Beasley had rented a room. His landlord said his tenant identified himself as Ralph Geiger. Law enforcement soon located Beasley at another home where he had been renting a room since Nov. 1 and arrested him. They searched his room, and they also conducted a search of Rafferty’s residence in Stow the same day.

Another Missing Man Reported
On Nov. 21, a woman contacted the FBI because her ex-husband, Tim Kern, had been missing since he left on Nov. 13 for a job as a farmhand in eastern Ohio. Their son had taken Kern to the job interview at a restaurant on Nov. 9.

Conducting another search in Noble County on Nov. 25, investigators discovered a grave containing a body, later determined to be Ralph Geiger, who had a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The autopsy indicated that Geiger had been dead two to three months. The same day, law enforcement went to investigate a hidden grave behind Rolling Acres mall in Akron. The body had five gunshot wounds to the head and was later determined to be Kern.

Trial Preparations Begin
Beasley was indicted on multiple counts, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, identity fraud, weapons charges, and death-penalty specifications. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in January 2012. In August, as the attorneys prepared for jury selection, Beasley’s counsel asked for a change in venue, to move the trial to another location because of the pretrial publicity surrounding the case. The court delayed a decision on this request to first determine whether a jury could be chosen in Summit County.

A jury was seated, and attorneys made their opening statements in the trial on Feb. 25, 2013. Prosecutors argued Beasley took on Geiger’s identity after murdering him. The state drew connections between Beasley and the crimes using numerous pre-paid cell phone records, computer files, and property found that had belonged to the victims. Beasley testified on his own behalf at the trial. He said he was placed on parole after a serving a prison sentence in Texas for burglary. Concerned about a possible parole violation, he asked Geiger to help him change his identity, which Geiger did by providing the necessary documents, Beasley stated.

The jury found Beasley guilty of the aggravated murders of Geiger, Kern, and Pauley; the attempted murder of Davis; and nearly all of the other charges and specifications. The jury recommended a death sentence for the Geiger, Kern, and Pauley murders, and the trial court accepted the recommendation and sentenced Beasley to death in April 2013.

Beasley appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which must consider the direct appeal in a death-penalty case. He has presented 11 legal arguments to the Court challenging his convictions and death sentence.

Certain Testimony Described as Hearsay
The federal and state constitutions give an accused the right to confront witnesses against him or her. Beasley argues the trial court allowed improper hearsay evidence through testimony from various witnesses about statements made by people not in court. He raises issues with testimony about the Craigslist job from Geiger’s acquaintances, Kern’s ex-wife, and Pauley’s sister, as well as statements made by law enforcement. He also challenges statements from Schockley about what Davis told him and testimony from the son of a gun shop owner who had done repairs on weapon brought in by someone named Ralph Geiger. Beasley contends that the trial court didn’t properly decide which exception to the rule prohibiting hearsay applied in each instance. Because he had no chance to cross-examine the people who allegedly made certain statements to others outside of court, Beasley maintains that the statements weren’t admissible in court, and he is entitled to a new trial.

The Attorney General’s Office counters that, based on several Ohio Supreme Court decisions, statements made by murder victims, such as Geiger, Kern, and Pauley, to others about their intent are allowed to be considered at trial. The attorney general also points out that Davis, not just Schockley, testified, contending that Schockley’s statements described Davis’ excited utterances when arriving at Schockley’s home, and excited utterances are statements that can be admitted. The attorney general notes that the gun shop owner’s son testified because his father had died and the son, who worked at the store, could speak to how the store’s records were kept. Regarding statements from law enforcement officers, the attorney general argues they were admissible to explain investigative steps that were taken and weren’t problematic because they weren’t given to “prove the truth of the matter asserted,” citing Ohio’s court rule on hearsay.

Pretrial Publicity Questioned
Beasley notes that co-defendant Rafferty’s trial generated substantial publicity and concluded in late 2012, before his own trial began. Beasley argues that the Ohio Supreme Court in 1972 adopted the U.S. Supreme Court’s standard from Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966) regarding pretrial publicity. The Ohio Supreme Court stated that the “mere likelihood” of prejudice to a defendant supports a change in venue, Beasley maintains. He adds that a juror’s personal evaluation of his or her ability to be fair and impartial to a defendant has repeatedly been considered inadequate, citing additional U.S. Supreme Court rulings. In his view, it was impossible to receive a fair trial with an impartial jury that would learn about the case only from evidence presented at trial because Summit County was inundated with details about the case. Because his constitutional rights were violated, he concludes he must be given a new trial.

The attorney general responds that, now and at trial, Beasley raised concerns about the volume and content of pretrial publicity, but he never submitted evidence to the trial court to substantiate the claims and he still hasn’t in his appeal. The record at trial “reveals scant and slight impact on the jury pool due to pretrial publicity,” the attorney general’s brief states. The attorney general adds that potential jurors were sequestered and individually questioned about publicity surrounding the case and notes that two were dismissed by the court when they indicated they thought Beasley was guilty based on media accounts. Quoting the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in State v. Mammone (2014), the attorney general states that “ a juror will be considered unbiased if the juror can lay aside his impression or opinion and render a verdict based on the evidence presented in court.” Beasley’s case doesn’t reach the “rare” and “extreme” level that would necessitate moving the trial, the attorney general argues.

Prosecutor’s Reference to Biblical Phrase
During opening statements, the prosecutor said the best way to describe Beasley was as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Using a visual display, the prosecutor started to explain her research on the biblical origins of the phrase. Beasley’s attorney objected, and the trial judge told the jury to disregard anything they has just seen or read. The use of religion to steer the jury toward a death sentence violates a defendant’s rights, Beasley maintains, and the trial court made no clear attempt to fix the damage. He argues the prosecutor’s inflammatory statement tainted the trial, depriving him of his due process rights.

The attorney general contends that the judge’s instruction to the jury did address any problem with the biblical reference. The judge also reminded the jury at that time that opening statements aren’t evidence. In the attorney general’s view, the comment isn’t a legal error unless the entire trial became unfair and affected the outcome, which it did not. In addition, “there was no concrete and clear message to the jury to shirk its duty to independently assess the evidence in favor of some biblical admonition,” the attorney general’s brief states. The comment was a singular reference to a common metaphor and didn’t result in prejudice to Beasley, the attorney general argues.

Beasley’s Prior Criminal Record Mentioned at Trial
Before the trial began, the trial court granted a motion from Beasley’s attorneys to prohibit the introduction of Beasley’s prior criminal record at trial because it would be too prejudicial. However, an FBI special agent testified before the jury that the Akron Police Department “had a lot of background and history on Mr. Beasley and his previous criminal activity.” Beasley contends that his right to a fair trial was violated because the court didn’t grant a mistrial at this point.

The attorney general maintains that, procedurally, Beasley never asked the court for a mistrial so the argument can’t be considered. Regardless, though, the attorney general states that the agent’s comments were consistent with what Beasley told the jury himself when he testified about why he took on Geiger’s identity. The trial court made no error by not declaring a mistrial in these circumstances, the attorney general concludes.

- Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Richard J. Beasley: Donald Gallick, 330.631.6892

Representing State of Ohio from the Attorney General’s Office: Stephen Maher, 614.728.7055

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How Deep Does Ohio Law Extend on Oil and Gas Leases?

Linda Griffith Alford, et al. v. Collins-McGregor Operating Co., et al., Case no. 2016-1281
Fourth District Court of Appeals (Washington County)


  • For oil and gas leases, does Ohio recognize an implied covenant of further exploration?
  • Can an oil drilling company only exercising its shallow drilling rights be forced to relinquish its deep drilling rights to the landowners through “horizontal forfeiture”?

A group of individuals that has acquired ownership of 74 acres of land in Grandview Township, Washington County, are contesting the lease for oil and gas drilling rights signed in 1980 with two oil companies, Collins-McGregor Operating Co. and Winston Oil Co. The oil companies drilled a well on the premises in 1981 and have produced small amounts of oil and gas from a shallow formation known as the Gordon Sand. The lease includes much of the traditional language for the industry, which required the company to drill wells within a certain amount of time, and if they did, they could remain in control of the land as long as the well continued to produce oil and gas in paying quantities. Collins-McGregor and Winston have met those conditions, and the wells they drilled over time still produce oil and gas from the shallow formation.

In 2015, the landowners filed a complaint in Washington County Court of Common Pleas to terminate the lease with the two companies for all their rights to drill at depths below the Gordon Sand. The landowners argued that the two companies didn’t have the ability to explore deep formations, and because the companies haven’t attempted to explore deeper in more than 35 years, they have abandoned their rights. The landowners also claimed that lack of exploration violated an “implied covenant.”

The oil companies asked the trial court to dismiss the case, noting the lease is silent as to the depth of the lease rights, and that they are in compliance with the lease terms by their continuous production. The court dismissed the case, and the landowners appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeals.

The Fourth District noted there is no precedent in Ohio for the termination of unused deep drilling rights and affirmed the trial court’s decision. The landowners appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.

Companies Obligated to Drill or Relinquish Rights, Landowners Argue
Both parties point to the Ohio Supreme Court’s 1897 Harris v. Ohio Oil Co. decision in their briefs, maintaining the terms and conditions of oil and gas leases govern the rights of the parties. The landowners noted the Court has cited the 120-year-old decision in recent cases. The landowners maintain that since Harris, courts have recognized that the leases have implied covenants, and unless an oil company expressly disclaims those covenants, they apply.

The landowners maintain the covenant to “further explore” is one of six implied covenants. In the era of shallow drilling, a breach of the further exploration covenant typically occurred when the drillers didn’t drill vertical wells on portions of the surface acres they leased, the landowners contend. The landowners point to a 1980 case where the Supreme Court affirmed an order for a company to relinquish rights to 90 of 150 acres it leased because it wasn’t seeking to drill in those areas.

Leases like the one signed with Collins-McGregor and Winston happened before the advent of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, which allows for deep horizontal drilling far below the surfaces shallow drillers reach. The landowners maintain the implied covenant should apply to layers of underground formations as it does to surface land, and if the oil companies don’t explore deeper, they should give up their right to and allow the landowners to contract with companies that do.

The landowners also maintain that Collins-McGregor and Winston lack the technological and financial resources to drill deeper, and the only reason they don’t release their rights is that the companies want to profit by selling the deep drilling rights themselves to another driller.

“Changes in technology should not negate the application of implied covenants. Landowners should still enjoy these protections to assure development,” the landowner’s brief states.

Oil Companies Maintain They Are Complying with Lease
Collins-McGregor and Winston note the lease didn’t require a specific number of wells, or specify how deep or how shallow the companies should drill. What the landowners seek is referred to in the oil and gas industry as a “horizontal forfeiture,” and the companies noted Ohio law has never recognized such a forfeiture.

Not only has Ohio not recognized the partial forfeiture sought by the landowners, it also hasn’t recognized the implied covenant of “further exploration,” the companies argue, noting that no other major oil and gas producing state has. Instead, they note Ohio and other states recognize the covenant to “reasonable develop” or “further develop” the land, which is distinctly different, they explain. Reasonable development requires the oil company to keep producing from a layer of land where production has been obtained, but doesn’t require the company to take the risks of exploring land that may not produce oil and gas.

The companies state in their brief that because there is no depth restriction in the lease, the rights granted to them extend from the surface to the center of the earth, and they note this agreement has been in existence for 37 years. To order them to terminate the lease is an “extreme remedy,” they state, pointing to 1977 Fifth District Court of Appeals decision (Clark v. Wolfcale), where the court rejected a horizontal forfeiture. The Fifth District characterized the landowner’s claim of a horizontal forfeitureas an attempt to get out of an economically disadvantageous lease with the current oil company with hopes of betting a better deal with another company. It noted there was no Ohio law to support the argument and it “decline[d] to blaze the trail.”

The companies also indicate the landowners filed their actions without alleging what their damages are from the lack of deep drilling and also didn’t take the typical step in a contract dispute by first demanding the companies deep drill in a reasonable amount of time.

“The Ohio Supreme Court has spoken to this issue on three occasions and has consistently held that the appropriate remedy for a breach of an implied covenant is not by way of forfeiture of the lease, in whole or in part, but by an action for damages caused by the alleged breach,” their brief states.

Friend-of-the-Court Briefs
Two amicus curiae briefs supporting the Collins-McGregor and Winston have been submitted by American Petroleum Institute, and jointly by the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the Southeastern Ohio Oil and Gas Association. The industry organizations note the dispute in this case centers on contracts that do not have two components now seen in many oil and gas leases. First, many oil company leases explicitly disclaim the implied covenants, and contain a “Pugh Clause.” The Pugh Clause specifies the obligation a company has to relinquish it rights to the landowner for not developing or exploring areas of the property it leased. For leases without those two components, the groups urge the Court to maintain the precedent since Harris¸ which only implies that an oil company has a duty to what is reasonable to continue to produce on the land, and doesn’t mandate the riskier actions of further exploring.

The groups also note that the landowners in this case are making an impractical request. Referencing Ohio Department of Natural Resource maps, the groups found that of the 2,000 permitted deep horizontal shale wells in Ohio, only 20 are in Washington County and none are in Grandview Township where the disputed land is located. Further, they state that to drill horizontally, an oil company needs at least 160 acres of land, and the 74 acres in question is too small for a prudent operator to consider deep exploration.

Dan Trevas

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Linda Griffith Alford et al.: Sean Scullin, 330.953.2045

Representing Collins-McGregor Operating Co. et al.: Bruce Smith, 330.821.1430

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These informal previews are prepared by the Supreme Court's Office of Public Information to provide the news media and other interested persons with a brief overview of the legal issues and arguments advanced by the parties in upcoming cases scheduled for oral argument. The previews are not part of the case record, and are not considered by the Court during its deliberations.

Parties interested in receiving additional information are encouraged to review the case file available in the Supreme Court Clerk's Office (614.387.9530), or to contact counsel of record.