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Aug. 12, 2022

Ohio attorneys can hold crypto in escrow, ethics board says: Law 360
Ohio attorneys may hold cryptocurrency in escrow when representing clients, but they must keep funds segregated and ensure they're not facilitating illegal activity, the state's Board of Professional Conduct said in one of the few advisory opinions to address the question.

Great Lakes offshore wind gets boost from Ohio Supreme Court ruling: Bloomberg
Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. may resume its long-stalled efforts to build the first offshore wind project in the US Great Lakes after the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a challenge to its permit. 

Ohio Supreme Court decision gives Lake Erie Icebreaker wind project a green light: Ideastream
The Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling Wednesday that greenlights the first-ever wind farm on the Great Lakes known as Icebreaker.

First Circleville Municipal Recovery Court graduation ceremony honors wo: The Scioto Post
The work of helping Pickaway County residents overcome substance abuse and addiction was celebrated Tuesday night during the first Circleville Municipal Recovery Court graduation ceremony held at the Starkey Pavilion at the Mary Virginia Crites Hannan Community Park.

Monroe officials looking into courthouse renovations: The Times Leader
Now that the Monroe County Ohio State University Extension office has moved into its new facility, commissioners are looking to renovate its former office space in the courthouse and to possibly create a new front entrance for the building.

Legal battle brewing ahead of murder trial for Westerville man: WBNS
Prosecutors in the trial against Matheau Moore, the Westerville man charged in the murder of his wife, are calling the trial court’s attitude “unreasonable, arbitrary and unconscionable” for not granting a request to continue the trial.

Butler Twp. shooting: Suspect signs extradition papers, will come back to Ohio: Dayton Daily News
A man accused of killing four people in Butler Twp. last week signed extradition papers Thursday in Kansas and will be brought back to Ohio to face murder charges.

BGSU asks that Foltz lawsuit be dismissed: Sentinel-Tribune
Bowling Green State University has requested a lawsuit, which was filed by the family of Stone Foltz over his 2020 hazing death, be dismissed.

Black Costco worker’s race bias, disability case headed to trial: Bloomberg Law
A Black Costco bakery employee who was denied a position in the membership department four times and didn’t receive a schedule accommodation to attend therapy will have her race and disability claims heard by a jury, a federal Ohio court ruled.

 

Aug. 11, 2022

Ohio high court upholds project to build Lake Erie wind farm: U.S. News & World Report
A company can proceed with plans to build what will be the first freshwater offshore wind-powered electric-generation facility in North America, in Lake Erie off the coast of Cleveland, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

Ohio Supreme Court gives green light to first-ever Great Lakes wind farm: Ideastream
A nearly unanimous Ohio Supreme Court has signed off on North America’s first project designed to test the viability of wind farms in the Great Lakes. The 6-1 decision approving a six-turbine wind project in Lake Erie near Cleveland by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) goes against opponents who said there wasn’t enough required data for a permit.

Ohio Supreme Court allows construction of offshore wind farm in Lake Erie to proceed: WKYC
The project, which has faced a steep climb toward regulatory approval, is set to be the first freshwater, offshore wind farm in North America.

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for offshore wind farm on Lake Erie: Ohio Capital Journal
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a decision Wednesday granting a permit for developers to build the nation’s first offshore, freshwater wind farm off the coast of Lake Erie.

Advocacy group sues Ohio panel overseeing state opioid money: WFMJ
A drug policy reform group has sued the state panel that will decide how Ohio distributes more than half of the money it will receive from a nationwide settlement regarding the opioid addiction crisis.

LaRose makes criminal referrals; says non-citizens registered to vote: Ohio Capital Journal
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose sent 11 criminal referrals Wednesday for purported election crimes from “non-citizens” to the Ohio Attorney General.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose accuses 11 non-citizens of being illegally registered to vote: WKYC
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office has accused 11 non-citizens living in the state of being illegally registered to vote and has referred the matter to law enforcement for further investigation.

Butler County auditor trial postponed until after November election: Cincinnati Enquirer
Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds' corruption trial has been rescheduled to begin after the November election. Reynolds is facing six corruption charges after a new indictment was filed in July. There are three felony charges and three misdemeanor charges.

Ohio group sues to boost charter schools: Ohio Capital Journal
An Ohio group that supports charter schools has joined in a lawsuit fighting against what they say is “hostility” in rule making by the U.S. Department of Education. The D.C. and Ohio-based Thomas Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank, spoke as a “charter school sponsor” for the state of Ohio, arguing that rules regulating enrollment and use of charter schools in the state by the federal education agency will “disadvantage some or all of the charter schools sponsored by Fordham.”

Northeast Ohio's mixed support and opposition for EdChoice lawsuit: The Daily Record
The EdChoice voucher scholarship program is facing a legal battle against 123 public schools, including some in Cleveland and Akron, to determine whether or not it is constitutional.

Lawyer: Butler Twp. shooting suspect intends to waive extradition to Ohio: WHIO
A man suspected of killing four people in a Butler Township neighborhood made a second court appearance in Kansas Wednesday and intends to waive his extradition to Ohio.

Second Tipp City school board member asks for judge to dismiss claims: Dayton Daily News
The second Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education member whose removal is being sought by a citizens group has asked a judge to reconsider a decision that dismissed some claims and instead throw out all allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Cleveland City Council passes ‘pay to stay’ eviction protection for renters: Cleveland.com
Cleveland City Council Wednesday approved “pay to stay” protections for tenants at risk of eviction because they’ve fallen behind on rent. The measure allows for renters to stay in their homes if they settle up with their landlord before an eviction hearing is held, or before the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court renders judgment in an eviction case.

Kentucky prosecutor who got a defendant pregnant is now running for judge: Louisville Courier Journal & Cincinnati Enquirer
An elected commonwealth attorney in Southern Kentucky who admitted getting a criminal defendant pregnant, then moved to rescind her pretrial diversion agreement when she told his then-wife about the affair, is seeking higher office.

 

Aug. 10, 2022

In 6-1 decision, Ohio Supreme Court approves Icebreaker wind project in Lake Erie: Cleveland.com
The Ohio Supreme Court ruledWednesday that a state permit to construct the first freshwater, offshore wind turbine facility in North America was appropriately granted for the Icebreaker project in Lake Erie.

Ohio Supreme Court approves permit for Lake Erie wind turbine: WFMJ
The company wants to build a six-turbine wind farm about 10 miles off the coast of Lake Erie near Cleveland.

Ohio Supreme Court rules that Oberlin College doesn’t have to pay bakery $36 million judgment while appeals play out: Cleveland.com
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday morning that Oberlin College doesn’t have to pay – for now, at least – a $36 million judgement to a bakery that claims the liberal arts school defamed it when students accused it of racism.

Oberlin doesn't have to pay $36M, at least for now: Inside Higher Ed
The case started in 2016, when Allyn Gibson caught three Black Oberlin students stealing wine from Gibson's Bakery, which is located near the college. The students claimed racism. The fallout led to student protests, elevated by then dean of students, who handed out fliers protesting the bakery, and Oberlin’s student government, which passed a resolution accusing the bakery of a history of racial discrimination.

Ohio Supreme Court allows Oberlin College to hold off on paying $36 million defamation verdict — for Now: Law & Crime
Oberlin College does not need to pay up on a $36 million judgment for wrongfully encouraging the boycott of a local bakery just yet. The court issued a stay on Tuesday, meaning that the college can hold off on paying damages until after all appeals are completed.

Dayton man convicted in 2014 rape case can file for new trial, Ohio Supreme Court rules: Dayton Daily News
A Dayton man convicted and sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison will be allowed to file for a new trial, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

Drivers ticketed by speed cameras despite Ohio court ruling: Here’s why: WKBN
The FOX 8 I-Team followed the money paid by drivers ticketed by local speed cameras. We found why so many towns keep collecting fines even after a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling that said the state can hold back some tax dollars from towns using speed cameras. A state report shows municipalities collecting millions, sometimes, only losing thousands in tax dollars.

Jackson Township attorney accused of stealing more than $250,000 from trust funds: Canton Repository
A Stark County attorney who has been practicing law for nearly 60 years is accused of swindling more than $250,000 from a local family's trust fund and purchasing a home in Hills and Dales.

OneOhio, nonprofit in charge of state opioid money, sued over transparency: Columbus Dispatch
The nonprofit tasked with distributing $440 million in opioid settlement money isn't following public records and meeting laws, according to lawsuits filed Monday.

Lawsuits: Group deciding how to distribute millions in Ohio opioid settlement money violated open-meetings, public-records law: Cleveland.com
The OneOhio Recovery Foundation Board, set up to decide how distribute hundreds of millions of dollars of opioid settlement money, is refusing to divulge records or allow the public to attend meetings, according to lawsuits filed by a drug policy reform group.

Judge Williams Byers abruptly resigns to become TV judge: Cleveland Jewish News
Judge Gayle Williams Byers, who resigned abruptly from her post as administrative and presiding judge in South Euclid Municipal Court, has a new career ahead of her as a television judge.

Ohio nursing homes accused by EEOC of sexual orientation bias: Bloomberg Law
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio alleges that the maintenance director was falsely accused of performance deficiencies and fired because of his sexual orientation, according to the EEOC.

 

Aug. 9, 2022

Another redistricting deadline coming up, no action expected from Ohio legislature: Ohio Capital Journal
As the deadline approaches for the Ohio General Assembly to redraw congressional district maps ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court, it seems no action is planned. The state’s highest court struck down the map for congressional voting districts in the state on July 19, giving the GA 30 days to draw a map that wasn’t unduly partisan, as they said the previous two maps had been.

Summit County warns residents of jury duty scam: WKYC
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh has issued an alert warning residents of a scam in which callers attempt to trick people into believing that a warrant is out for their arrest because they missed jury duty.

‘You are a predator,’ judge says while sentencing Indiana man to 130 years in prison for cold case murder and rapes: Law & Crime
An Indiana man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on Monday in Ohio. But the defendant’s would-be release is largely academic, as his life sentence was for 130 years behind bars.

Ohio board recommends suspension of Greene County attorney: Dayton Daily News
The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct has recommended a stayed six-month suspension for Brittany O’Diam, daughter of Greene County Probate Court Judge Thomas O’Diam, for berating a man in her father’s courtroom.

Judge scolds former GOP chairman, forbids him from intimidating whistleblower: Ohio Capital Journal
A federal judge lambasted a suspect in a criminal public corruption case for posting an FBI informant’s social security number and address on the internet. U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said he finds it “entirely incredible” that lobbyist and former GOP Chairman Matt Borges accidentally posted the information of the whistleblower online, as Borges claimed.

Court hearing set for Liberty shooting suspect: WKBN
We may find out Tuesday if a man accused in a Liberty shooting in June will be allowed to plead insanity. Kevin Mallard, 55, is facing several charges, including attempted murder. He’s suspected of shooting a Warren man in the face before getting into a shootout with police.

BGSU denies negligence in Foltz hazing death: Toledo Blade
Bowling Green State University denied that it tolerated hazing and was negligent in the March 2021, death of 20-year-old Stone Foltz as it urged a state court on Monday to reject a lawsuit brought by the late student’s family.

Group of 23 states tells U.S. court CDC lacks authority to set transit mask rules: Reuters
A group of 23 state attorneys general led by Florida told a federal court on Monday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacks the legal authority to impose a nationwide transportation mask mandate to address COVID-19.

 

Aug. 8, 2022

Maps in four states were ruled illegal gerrymanders. They’re being used anyway.: The New York Times
Since January, judges in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Ohio have found that Republican legislators illegally drew those states’ congressional maps along racial or partisan lines, or that a trial very likely would conclude that they did. In years past, judges who have reached similar findings have ordered new maps, or had an expert draw them, to ensure that coming elections were fair.

Amid patchwork of abortion enforcement in Ohio, advocates turn up the heat on local prosecutors: Cleveland.com
Republicans who control the Ohio legislature promise a near total abortion ban is coming to the state, though enforcement of it will be mostly left to city and county prosecutors – many of whom have already pledged not to pursue abortion crimes.

Time for redemption? Ohio's violent offenders imprisoned as minors may seek earlier parole: The Columbus Dispatch
Released from prison after nearly 27 years, Mincey Meece is slowly rebuilding her life on the outside: landing a job, attending family events and dreaming of the future.

Feds arrest ex-Portage County court employee accused of mailing feces to Republican lawmakers in Ohio, including Jim Jordan: Cleveland.com
Federal agents on Friday arrested a Mogadore man and accused him of sending more than three dozen feces-laden letters to Republican politicians in Ohio, including U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, and those in other states.

Findlay agrees to pay couple $100K settlement: The Courier
Findlay has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement to end court challenges made by a Findlay couple who claim the city's zoning code interfered with their business. In the lawsuit, George Martens and his wife, Thelma, argued city officials violated their civil rights and ruined their business.

Legal aid, courts ally to instruct law students: The Vindicator
Law students from northeastern Ohio are getting a first-hand look at the court system this summer working with Community Legal Aid. On July 27, some of the Legal Aid’s 14 “summer associates” visited the 7th District Court of Appeals in Youngstown to experience the feel of the courtroom.

 

Aug. 5, 2022

Case of 2016 fatal Eaton Township crash headed to Ohio Supreme Court: The Chronicle
The case of a Cleveland man who admitted to causing a fatal crash in Eaton Township in 2016, and then appealed over a sentencing technicality, is headed to the Ohio Supreme Court. Attorney Giovanna Bremke filed a motion in May for the state's highest court to hear her client Justin Tancak's appeal. The court accepted on July 27, according to its docket.

Toledo joins cities' opposition to Ohio abortion law: The Blade
The city of Toledo has joined Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland in support of a lawsuit seeking to strike down the state's six-weeks abortion ban as violating the state's constitution. In filings, the cities urge the Ohio Supreme Court to reject the state's motion to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it should have started in lower courts and then worked its way up through the normal appeals process.

Party slows down on filling judge’s seat: The Vindicator
The Trumbull County Republican Party has slowed down the process of filling the vacant common pleas court judicial seat with plans for a screening committee to recommend three finalists to the governor later this month.

Ex-Cuyahoga County recorder charged with assaulting Parma police officer during mental-health crisis incident: Cleveland.com
Former Cuyahoga County Recorder and Cleveland City Councilman Patrick J. O’Malley pleaded not guilty on Thursday to felony charges accusing him of assaulting a Parma police officer during an April arrest in which authorities responded to a mental-health crisis incident at his home, according to a police report.

Magistrate tells trash-hauling business he's got enough info to rule: The Blade
Although a couple doesn’t expect to know for months if they’ll be allowed to bring their trash-hauling business into a restricted part of the historic Oak Openings region, they recently learned a magistrate isn’t seeking more evidence.

Lawyers get OK to work local appeal for Danny Lee Hill: The Vindicator
Judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals who previously had been favorable to convicted murderer Danny Lee Hill’s legal attempts to avoid Ohio’s death chamber are allowing his federal public defenders to work his latest appeal in Trumbull County court.

Columbus man sentenced to prison for robbing mail carriers: WBNS
A Columbus man has been sentenced to prison in U.S. District Court following two separate robberies of United States Postal carriers. Brandon J. Campbell, 21, who robbed two separate postal carriers at gunpoint last September, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison Thursday.

Ohio election boards flooded with record requests seeking 2020 voting machine tapes: WXIX
Some county boards of elections in the Tri-State are receiving an influx of records requests from the 2020 elections, potentially clogging up public resources ahead of the 2022 contests.

Ohio seeks to require disclosure of employees' withheld taxes: Law 360
Ohio would require the state tax commissioner to tell employees how much of their taxes are being withheld under a bill introduced in the House of Representatives.

 

Aug. 4, 2022

Spencer Township settles suit with former fire chief: Toledo Blade
The case had climbed as high as the Ohio Supreme Court, which heard arguments in December but dismissed the case without a decision on Thursday.

Primary elections are over, so what's going to be on the ballot for the midterms?: WYSO
Jim Gaines is the statehouse bureau chief for the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News newspapers. In this interview with WYSO’s Jerry Kenney, he talks about voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary and what voters will face in the November midterms.

Ohio man charged after threatening to shoot voting machines: Fox News
An Ohio man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly entering a polling place at an elementary school in Lucas County and threatening to shoot up the voting machines.

Following Kansas, an Ohio constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights is expected for ballots: Cleveland.com
Ohio reproductive-rights groups are planning to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to protect abortion rights in coming years, according to officials with the groups.

Out-of-state doctors apply for Ohio licensure on law's first day: The Center Square
Doctors from across state lines have begun applying to work in Ohio, which entered the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact last year. The state received 15 applications from doctors in seven states Tuesday, the first day applications were accepted.

Summit jurors return confusing verdicts in Akron man’s murder case: Akron Beacon Journal
Summit County jurors returned a confusing set of verdicts in an Akron man’s murder case Wednesday, with everyone from the attorneys to the deputies leaving the courtroom wondering what happened. Summit County judge Mary Margaret Rowlands asked the prosecutors and defense attorneys to file briefs with her about the verdicts and she’ll then decide how to proceed.

Convicted killer of Warren Boy Scout in 1985 given more time to fight execution: WFMJ
The man convicted of torturing a murdering a Warren Boy Scout 37 years ago has been given more time to try and prevent his execution. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Danny Lee Hill’s motion to give his attorneys more time to pursue Hill’s claim that he shouldn’t have been sentenced to death because Hill allegedly has an intellectual disability.

Appellate court upholds rape convictions of former Village of Highland councilman: The Highland County Press
The Fourth District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a former Village of Highland councilman who received four sentences of life without parole last August after a jury found him guilty of raping a child over an eight-year period.

Chill-Can, city attorneys square off at first hearing: Youngstown Business Journal
Attorneys representing the city and the developer of the Chill-Can project appeared in court for the first time to argue whether the city is entitled to monetary damages over the stalled development.

Ohio pizza delivery driver sues for unreimbursed car use: Law 360
Companies that operate a chain of Marco’s Pizza locations are facing a proposed class action filed by a suburban Cleveland delivery driver who said they did not properly pay for the wear and tear on her car, amounting to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Fifty years in, death penalty still unworkable, group says: Cleveland Scene & Ohio Capital Journal
If there’s a way to make the death penalty nonarbitrary and nondiscriminatory, the United States hasn’t found it, a group that studies capital punishment said in a report released Tuesday.

Judge invites Supreme Court to further erode Miranda warnings: Bloomberg Law
Police officers are supposed to warn during an arrest that you have the right to remain silent. But what if that warning wasn’t given, and it’s not clear if you were actually in police custody when the questioning started? Do judges in those situations have to look at the costs and benefits of allowing self-incriminating statements made to be used against you in court? A Fifth Circuit judge thinks they should, and points to a recent US Supreme Court decision as to why.

US Attorneys General will take legal action against telecom providers enabling robocalls: Engadget.com
The Attorneys General of all 50 states have joined forces in homes of giving teeth to the seemingly never-ending fight against robocalls.

U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case: Ohio Capital Journal
U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

A changing climate: The rising tide of ESG liability and implications for D&O coverage: JD Supra
The latest legal buzzword, ESG, represents the environmental, social and governance factors that many corporations are now required to consider and disclose alongside traditional financial information such as operating results and management compensation.

 

Aug. 3, 2022

Ohio Supreme Court chief justice hears last oral arguments: Ohio Capital Journal
With term limits signaling the end of her tenure as Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor took time on Tuesday to reflect. “The Ohio Constitution is telling me it’s time to do something new,” O’Connor said.

After 2,500 arguments and 24 years in statewide office, Maureen O'Connor takes a bow: Columbus Dispatch
After hearing her last oral argument, more than 100 current staffers and justices gave O'Connor an impromptu "clap out" as she strolled down the grand concourse of the Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center. She soaked up the tribute, brushing away a tear and waving to her colleagues.

Ohio Justices Mull Time Limit To Sue Fleeing Surgeon: Law 360
The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed whether the time limit for medical malpractice claims can be stretched due to an “absent” defendant, as lawyers for an indicted Cincinnati surgeon who fled the country look to toss a patient’s claims that he was severely injured by a botched surgery.

Ohio Justices Take Up Docs Dispute In Bad-Faith Case: Law 360
The Ohio Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will take up a discovery dispute between a Travelers [Insurance]unit and a manufacturer accusing the insurer of acting in bad faith.

Ohio Justices Skeptical Of Co.'s Cyber Coverage Argument: Law 360
Ohio Supreme Court justices seemed mostly unwilling to accept that something intangible like software can suffer direct physical damage, grilling a medical billing company's attorney in a case of first impression.

Judge to decide whether Ohio State Marion faculty can form first faculty union: Marion Star
Months after filing to form the first faculty union at The Ohio State University, Ohio State's Marion campus faculty will finally receive the answer of whether or not they will be able to organize after a hearing through the Ohio State Employee Relations Board (SERB) Sept. 20.

South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams Byers abruptly steps down after turbulent decade: Cleveland.com
South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams Byers has stepped down from the bench after a decade in which she was at frequent public loggerheads with the city’s administration over her handling of the court’s business.

FBI names new Special Agent in Charge of Cleveland Field Office: WEWS
Gregory D. Nelsen has been named the Special Agent in Charge by FBI Director Christopher Wray. Nelsen most recently served as a deputy assistant director of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division in West Virginia.

Feds ask judge to sanction ex-lobbyist charged in House Bill 6 case for publishing key witness’s personal information online: Cleveland.com
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sanction an ex-lobbyist charged with bribery in the Ohio House Bill 6 corruption case for using his legal defense website to publish the personal information of a key witness in the government’s case.

Police departments see increase in mental health, substance use calls both locally and nationally: WEWS
Mental health-related calls to police departments are up an estimated 20% nationwide. Local police departments are seeing an increase as well. Several departments form Crisis Intervention Teams to deal with the growing number of mental health calls.

Stephen King testifies for government in books merger trial: Associated Press
Stephen King didn’t break any legal ground on the stand Tuesday as he testified against his own publisher’s efforts to merge with Penguin Random House. But he did know how to please a crowd and even get the judge to thank him for his time.

 

Aug. 2, 2022

Major Ohio Cities, Including Cincinnati, Ask Ohio Supreme Court to Rule in Favor of Lawsuit Stopping Abortion Ban Enforcement: Ohio Capital Journal & Cincinnati City Beat
Officials in Ohio’s major cities officials say a six-week abortion ban in the state “willfully jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of Ohioans,” and therefore should be rescinded by the Ohio Supreme Court. Cincinnati and Columbus, further joined by Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland Heights, wrote to the state’s highest court asking them to rule in favor of a lawsuit led by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Ohio to stop enforcement of abortion restrictions in Ohio.

Oil and gas royalty interest miscalculated in 1954 not extinguished: The Highland County Press & Akron Legal News
An oil and gas company cannot claim the full mineral rights to property in Belmont County because a claim to one-quarter interest of the minerals might still be owned by the heirs of a man who sold the property in 1954, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled last week.

Consumers’ office says AES Ohio electric customers are due $60M refund: Dayton Daily News
In a recent flurry of legal filings before state regulators, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel accused Dayton electric utility AES Ohio of unlawfully collecting a charge from local customers from August last year until June — for an alleged lack of a proper tariff filing.

Same-sex marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell runs for Ohio office: NBC News
Jim Obergefell, whose landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally, is hoping he and fellow Democrats can make gains in the Ohio Statehouse this year with a message grounded in equality.

Moundbuilders fights state to keep golf course on historical site, lease not up until 2078: Fox28
About 35 miles east of Columbus sits a golf course and a 2,000-year-old landmark. The county and the city of Newark leased the land in 1910 to what is now the Moundbuilders Country Club. Ownership of the property was transferred in 1933 to the Ohio History Connection. OHC's current lease with Moundbuilders runs through 2078.

 

Aug. 1, 2022

Probate and juvenile court receive grant to digitize records: The Daily Jeff
The Guernsey County Probate/Juvenile Court was recently awarded a 2022 Technology Grant through the Supreme Court of Ohio. The objective to this project is to allow Guernsey County residents and other users increased access to the court records and document collections, including relevant docket and detailed case information. Once completed, users will be able to retrieve information such as wills, marriages, deaths, births and naturalizations.

Property Insurance Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2022: Law360
Policyholders and insurers will be eagerly awaiting rulings from several state high courts on coverage for COVID-19 business interruption losses in the back half of 2022, as well as guidance on when property appraisals can proceed and whether insurers can depreciate labor costs when calculating payments to homeowners.

Trial postponed in case of YMCA basketball game assault: Limaohio.com
Monday’s scheduled trial of Quintez Burns, charged with felonious assault for an altercation that took place during a basketball game at the Lima YMCA earlier this year that left one man seriously injured, was postponed Thursday at Burns’ request.

Out of bounds? Why Ohio’s redistricting fight matters: Christian Science Monitor
For the second time this year, voters in Ohio next week will head to the polls. The state will be using maps – this time for the state legislature – that Ohio’s highest court struck down as unconstitutional. Of the states where the redistricting process has devolved into chaos this year, Republican-run Ohio stands out for its legal labyrinths and political hardball, as well as the dashed hopes of reformers.

Ohio Supreme Court power could change under ‘independent state legislature’ theory: Ohio Capital Journal
An obscure legal theory is in the sights of the U.S. Supreme Court, and that theory may create shockwaves, changing the power of the Ohio Supreme Court and the state legislature.

President Biden Names Twenty-Fourth Round of Judicial Nominees: News Release from The White House
The President is announcing the nominations of eight new federal judicial nominees and his intent to nominate a ninth federal judicial nominee—all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution. A candidate for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio is on the list.

 

July 29, 2022

Death penalty stands for man who murdered Lake Township couple: Canton Repository
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for George C. Brinkman, who murdered a Lake Township couple after they returned home from vacation in 2017.

Ohio Supreme Court upholds death penalty for man who shot and suffocated longtime family friends: Law & Crime
The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence for a man who killed a couple he’d known for more than a decade inside of their home.

Lake County Clerk of Court employees push to unionize amid dysfunction they say continues under boss Faith Andrews: WKYC
Lake County Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews, who’s been accused of creating dysfunction that threatens the operations of the common pleas court, is challenging efforts by employees to unionize…For months, employees and judges said Andrews verbally abused employees, publicly mocked elected officials and failed to learn the job. The allegations are so serious that the court’s judges banned Andrews from coming to the office all but one a day a month.  Andrews responded by filing a complaint against the judges in a case that remains before the Ohio Supreme Court.

Trial for Euclid officer accused of assault, civil rights violations reaches closing arguments: WOIO
The next step in the trial against Euclid police officer Michael Amiott, who is accused of assault and civil rights violations during a August 2017 traffic stop, will be closing arguments. The defense rested Thursday in Euclid Municipal Court following testimony by an expert witness who said Amiott’s use of force was within policy.

Judge appoints Ohio as lead plaintiff in Facebook class-action lawsuit: Spectrum News1
A judge has selected Ohio to lead a class-action lawsuit against social media giant Facebook, which claims the company, now called Meta, misled users and investors about how its algorithm promoted dangerous content to users, resulting in a $3 million loss for an Ohio retirement system.

Legal experts say Supreme Court abortion decision has raised myriad ethical, legal dilemmas: Cleveland.com
Recent anti-abortion laws and court rulings have shifted and disrupted the legal landscape.

 

July 28, 2022

Parma attorney suspended indefinitely, accused of failing to provide legal services to clients, Ohio Supreme Court says: Cleveland.com
A Parma attorney has been suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay more than $16,000 in restitution to former clients after he failed to provide legal work they paid him to do, according to an opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court.

Warren County Jail wrongful death lawsuit returned to trial court: Journal-News
A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of the Warren County Jail inmate who died by suicide will proceed in a Warren County trial court, according to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling.

Your questions answered: Understanding rejected maps and the redistricting problem in Ohio: Dayton Daily News
Like many voters in Ohio, you may find the repeated failed attempts at drawing new state and federal election maps confusing. We break down your questions and in an attempt to give you a straight forward explanation.

TV stations sue Cedar Point: The Courier
Three TV news stations filed a lawsuit against Cedar Point in the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the high court to compel the park to release police records.  A mandamus action filed against the park by WKYC-Cleveland, WTOL-Toledo and WBNS-Columbus demands the release of reports generated by the Cedar Point Police Department involving sexual assault complaints made by park employees.

Verdict overturned in pizza delivery killing of Jackson woman: WHBC
Permitting a key witness to testify via video hookup from prison spells a new trial for a Rittman woman. She faced a life sentence for her role in the killing of a Jackson Township woman ten years ago. The 9th District Court of Appeals overturned the aggravated murder conviction of 39-year-old Erica Stefanko in the death of 25-year-old Ashley Biggs.

Judge sentences Garcia to 10.5 years on compelling prostitution charges: Star Beacon
Phil Garcia was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison after a partially successful appeals process. Garcia, a former Conneaut Council member, caterer, and high school sports official, was previously sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty in May 2020 to four counts of compelling prostitution, third-degree felonies, and seven counts of sexual imposition, third-degree misdemeanors.

Bethel resident sues school board, claiming open meetings violation: Dayton Daily News
A resident of the Bethel Local Schools district filed a complaint in a Miami County court claiming the Board of Education has violated Ohio’s Open Meetings Act.

Ohio condo says insurer withholding storm damage payment: Law 360
The owner of an Ohio condo that was allegedly ravaged by a summer hailstorm is fighting with its insurer for full coverage, arguing in a suit moved to federal court Tuesday.

 

July 27, 2022

WBNS, Ohio sister stations file lawsuit against Cedar Fair and Cedar Point police: WBNS
WBNS, WKYC and WTOL are taking legal action against Cedar Fair - Cedar Point's parent company – and its police department alleging that the amusement park’s police agency has failed to provide access to public records. The TV stations are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in.

Religious leaders: Abortion law violates constitutional freedoms: Ohio Capital Journal
In court documents supporting an attempt to overturn an abortion law in Ohio, physicians and religious leaders spoke to the safety of the procedure and religious freedoms that could be infringed with the law. The briefs were part of a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court fighting against Senate Bill 23, the law that was implemented the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the legal decision that had previously allowed the right to abortion nationwide.

Ohio Attorney General sues to stop USDA rule banning gender identity discrimination: The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost thinks new federal rules about discrimination in schools could jeopardize the state's money for nutrition assistance.  And he's joined a lawsuit with 21 other state attorneys general to block it.

Men abused by Ohio State doctor ask court to revive lawsuits: AP News
Attorneys for some of the men who sued Ohio State University over decades-old sexual abuse by a team doctor argued Tuesday that a federal appeals court should overturn a judge’s dismissal and let the lawsuits continue toward trial. But a lawyer for the school contends their claims were made years too late.

Residents renew opposition to proposed new municipal court location: Knox Pages
Two residents reiterated their opposition to the city's proposal to locate a new Mount Vernon Municipal Court on the northeast corner of Public Square, citing historical concerns and business disruption as their reasons.

6th Circ. Upholds Ohio clinic's win in worker's FMLA battle
The Sixth Circuit said Tuesday that the former activities director for a Parma, Ohio, nursing home can't move ahead with her lawsuit alleging the facility bucked the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Mogadore man, who authorities say idolized Unabomber and has swastika tattoo, on trial in witness intimidation case: Cleveland.com
A Mogadore man who authorities said idolized the Unabomber and has tattoos of him, serial killer John Wayne Gacy and a swastika, threatened to kill the mother of his children after he learned the woman gave information to federal probation officials after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, according to federal prosecutors.

 

July 26, 2022

Cleveland Bar Association hosts symposium breaking down legal and medical landscape in Ohio post-Dobbs: WEWS
In the weeks since The Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, we’ve seen protests, trigger laws go into effect and confusion. Becky Ruppert McMahon is the Chief Executive Officer at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She said the organization has been flooded with calls from people asking where Ohio stands, post-Dobbs.

Special prosecutor asks to delay Butler County auditor’s criminal trial: WXIX
A special prosecutor for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office wants to delay Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds’ criminal trial until the fall. It was supposed to begin on Aug. 15.

P.G. Sittenfeld seeks mistrial after juror posted on Facebook during trial: Enquirer
A juror in the P.G. Sittenfeld trial made multiple posts on Facebook during his trial and then when questioned about it gave “spurious and inconsistent” testimony, Sittenfeld’s attorneys said Friday in court documents.  That juror’s posts, they say in the documents, show bias and call the verdicts into question.

Ohio City Backs Taxpayer in Cincinnati Telecommuter Tax Dispute: Bloomberg Tax
The city of Lebanon, Ohio, is backing a taxpayer’s constitutional challenge to Cincinnati’s income tax on telecommuters working for in-city employers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Appeals judges raise questions over no prison for John Raphael in Convention Center bribery: The Columbus Dispatch
Former Columbus City Hall lobbyist John Raphael's sentence last year to no prison time for accepting bribes to steer a food service contract presents a "pretty significant risk" that a sentencing disparity may have occurred, a federal appeals court judge said.

Appellate court to hear Strauss arguments Tuesday: WCMH
A three-judge panel is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday morning from attorneys representing about 100 of the sexual assault victims of Ohio State University doctor Richard Strauss, who are asking the court to allow their claims to go to trial.

Youngstown Patrolman calls jail sentence for not wearing mask in court 'unreasonable': WFMJ
“The court didn’t make a finding of how Wisner actually interfered or disrupted a court hearing”, says Daniel Leffler in his brief filed on behalf of Wisener.

Court denies Centerville request to dismiss fired city employee’s lawsuit: Dayton Daily News
The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a former Centerville police officer as the next step in an ongoing case where that officer is challenging his firing by the city. Former Sgt. James Myers was fired in March 2020, then he sued the city of Centerville, City Manager Wayne Davis and Police Chief Matthew Brown in U.S. District Court in September of that year, seeking job reinstatement and back pay, plus compensatory and punitive damages.

Insurer Doesn't Have to Defend Ind. Soil Cleanup Suit: Law 360
An Ohio federal judge ruled James River Insurance Co. is not responsible for defending a Cleveland-based manufacturer from a pollution lawsuit, finding in an order entered Monday that the manufacturer's insurance policy clearly states the insurer isn't liable for damages that happened before its coverage period.

Judge OKs $8.9M Insurer Deal In Claims Underpayment Suit: Law 360
An Ohio federal judge signed off on an $8.88 million class action settlement, with $1.74 million going to the plaintiffs' lawyers, to resolve allegations that a property insurer "under-indemnified" policyholders by including labor costs when calculating the actual cash value of claims.

Court Agrees With Insurer: Amazon Can Be Sued Under New Jersey Product Liability Law: Insurance Journal
Online marketplace Amazon can be sued under New Jersey product liability law for defective products sold by third-party sellers on its website…Courts have been divided over whether an online marketplace like Amazon can be sued over defective products under state product liability laws. California courts have allowed such claims while courts in Maryland, Ohio, Texas and New York have disallowed them.

 

July 25, 2022

Ohio Supreme Court re-institutes mask mandate as Columbus COVID-19 cases rise: Cleveland.com
The Ohio Supreme Court has re-implemented a mask mandate for visitors, hours after health officials in Columbus and Franklin County issued a mask advisory in response to locally rising COVID-19 numbers.

Bail as public safety issue heading to voters: WCMH
Bail reform is set to be one of the issues on the ballot this November. At the beginning of 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that “the sole purpose of bail is to ensure an accused person’s attendance in court,” saying “public safety is not a consideration with respect to the financial conditions of bail.”

Fracking Co. Tells Ohio Justices Its Equipment Is Exempt: Law 360
A hydraulic fracturing company asked the Ohio Supreme Court to find that its equipment purchases used in oil and gas production were exempt from sales and use tax.

Ohio Supreme Court reinstates Jeanette Robinson's law license: The Chronicle
The Ohio Supreme Court has reinstated the law license of an Elyria attorney convicted of felony theft almost two years ago. Jeanette Robinson applied for reinstatement of her law license on June 29, and the Ohio Supreme Court announced Friday it had granted her request.

Hill attorneys trade legal maneuvers: The Vindicator
As a local court prepares for hearings on reconsideration of mental retardation claims from convicted murderer Danny Lee Hill, attorneys for both sides are trading motions at the federal appellate court level. Over a two-day period last week, federal public defenders, and a special prosecutor assigned by Ohio’s attorney general to Hill’s reconsideration bid, have asked the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for certain rulings prior to upcoming hearings in Trumbull County.

Former Ohio doctor wants his sex trafficking conviction thrown out: WDTN
A former Valley doctor serving time in prison for sex trafficking wants his conviction thrown out. Albert Aiad-Toss, acting as his own attorney, filed a motion Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio asking that his conviction be overturned.