Monday, October 25, 2004

New AG Opinions on Employment, County Reimbursement, and Other Questions

The Attorney General of Ohio issues opinion letters. These four were issued on October 19.

The Attorney General's office responded to a request from the Adams County Prosecuting Attorney about whether a qualified veteran is available for employment and what job protections are available. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 5901.06, 5901.07 and Ohio Administrative Code chapter 16, 5902-1-03.

In response to a request from Union County Prosecuting Attorney, the AG reviewed whether a board of county commissioners could increase a construction estimate to account for inflation. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 6137.11.

The Madison County Prosecuting Attorney made a request regarding payment from the ambulance and emergency medical services funds for township trustee reimbursements, for a fire district employee's salary and benefits, as well as what proportion of expenses incurred by a fire district are owed from ambulance and emergency medical services funds. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 505.24, 505.37, 505.84, 5705.10, 5705.19.

The Chairman of the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board requested an opinion on the scope a licensee has in making a diagnosis and in treating mental and emotional disorders. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4757.01

Monday, October 18, 2004

Electronic Discovery

There're several articles on e-discovery around this morning.

Sharon D. Nelson & John W. Simek have an article in the June GP Solo titled "Electronic Discovery: What Dangers Lurk in the Virtual Abyss"

Anita Ramasastry has an article on proposed federal e-discovery rules in Findlaw's Modern Practice magazine @ . A link in that article will take the reader to the Federal Judiciary U.S. Courts page on "federal rulemaking" news to view those proposed rules. Comments on the proposed amendments are due by Feb. 15, 2005.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Judges, Lawyers, the Public & Google

Google is probably the best known Internet search tool to many, including doctors, lawyers, and judges along with the candlestick makers. An article in the October ABA Journal looks at how much judges and lawyers are relying on Internet search results, and offers a word of warning.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Amendment to 1st. District Court of Appeals Rule 16: Electronic Filings

The First District Court of Appeals has made several minor, clarifying changes to Local Rule 16 on electronic filing. Most of the changes were additions or corrections to rule definitions, and were not substantive in nature.

Questions or comments may be directed to Mark E. Combs, administrator at the Court of Appeals at 946-3500

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

National Jury Center Website

The American Judicature Society's National Jury Center has launched a "website on the jury," designed for use by potential jurors & court administrators, as well as the media, judges, lawyers, people in research, and members of the general public interested in the jury system.

The largest section of the site, juries in-depth, provides information on jury summons & eligibility, the process of jury selections, juror privacy, and recent efforts at improvement. Also included are sections on a jury's powers & decision making. Visitors can find the statutues from each state on juror note taking and asking questions.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Google tries text messaging

Google is trying out a new service that allows people to use mobile phones and other handheld devices to access its search engine.

Called SMS (Short Message Service) it "enables you to easily get precise answers to specialized queries from your mobile phone or other device..... No links. No web pages. Simply the answers you're looking for."

Quoted in USA Today, Georges Harik, director of Google's incubator Googlettes, said, "We're not charging anything for the service and we have no plans to do so in the near future. We're trying to see if this is compelling enough to get people to use it."

An explanation & overview of Google SMS is available at

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Antispyware legislation

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill 415-0 that would give the Justice Department the power to impose jail time for those convicted to trying to install spyware on machines without the users' permission.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Domestic Relations Court Form to Restrict Case Information on Internet

The Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Division of Domestic Relations has issued a form motion (8.21) that can be filed with the court to request that the Clerk restrict case documents posted to the Court's Web site.

US 6th Circuit Reverses Approval of Contingency Fee in Bankruptcy

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded a ruling by the Circuit's Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) that determined the Northern District Bankruptcy Court of Ohio had "pre-approved" a contingency fee agreement. Nischwitz v. Miskovic, Docket No. 03-3303 (6th Cir. 2004).

Mr. Nischwitz represented the appellee as part of its bankruptcy and used a contingent fee agreement. The case was resolved and Nischwitz applied for fees from the court based on the agreement. The court awarded "reasonable fees" which were substantially less than the contingent fee request. The determination was appealed twice to the Sixth Circuit's Banktrupcy Appellate Panel before ending up at the Court of Appeals, which reversed the BAP and remanded for the panel to determine if the trial court abused its discretion in its award.

Monday, October 04, 2004

US 6th Circuit Affirms Enjoinder of Capital Review Board

The United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the U.S. Southern District Court of Ohio's ruling in Parks v. Finan (PDF), 2004 FED App. 0331P (6th Cir.). Parks entered the State Capitol grounds, preaching on one occasion and wearing a sandwich board proclaiming his religious beliefs on another, and was asked to leave until he received a permit. Parks sought an injunction against the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and Ohio State Highway Patrol from enforcing the permit requirement.

The trial court enjoined the review board, determining that the permit scheme was invalid with respect to individuals. In affirming, the court of appeals was not wholly persuaded that the permit scheme was entirely invalid.