Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Federal Internet employment application rules

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) back on October 7,2005, issued final regulations defining “Internet applications” and specifying what information employers have to collect & maintain for employment applications received over the Internet for federal contract jobs.

OFCCP regulations require covered federal contractors/subcontractors to collect & maintain information about gender, race & ethnicity of employees and applicants for several purposes relating to contractors’ administration of nondiscrimination & affirmative action requirements, and the OFCCP’s role in monitoring compliance with other regulations. [ 41 CFR 60-1.12 (c),
65 FR 68023, and 65 FR 26091 are cited as explanatory]

· DOL press release
· 41 CFR Part 60-1
· 70 FR 58946 (Oct. 7, 2005)

A article (registration) earlier this month discusses corporate America’s concerns about the new rules and possible discrimination lawsuits ensuing.

In March 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, along with the Department of Labor and Dept. of Justice, issued a “coordinated document clarifying recordkeeping provisions concerning who was an ‘applicant’ in the context of the Internet and related technologies.”

· 29 CFR Part 1607
· 69 FR 10152

Carson Strege-Flora, in the Shidler Journal for Law, Commerce + Technology on Oct. 24th., had an article entitled “Proposed Federal Definition of ‘Internet Job Applicant’ Suggests Need For Revised Human Resource Policies,” in response to the initial set of rules

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hamilton County Public Defender's Office

If Hamilton County commissioners and Lou Strigari, Hamilton County’s Public Defender, get their way, Hamilton County will be getting its own felony representation division for persons unable to afford counsel on their own, which will relieve the overwhelming caseload that strains that Office and those like it, according to an article in Wednesday’s Cincinnati Enquirer.(Article appeared in paper format, but not online).

Cuyahoga County’s public defender’s office, for one, has a special felonies division already.

Right of an accused in criminal proceedings to legal counsel includes that of indigent persons under the Sixth Amendment, but that’s abridged to felonies and offenses where the accused could be sentenced to imprisonment if found guilty.(Am Jur.,Criminal Law §1197)

Each of the states have some sort of public advocacy system, but there are differences in administration, procedure, etc. (Statutory links to Ohio, Indiana & Kentucky).

New Ethics Opinions: Advertising, Client Funds

New advisory opinions on lawyer advertising and preserving client funds were issued on December 2, 2005, by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.

Opinion 2005-09 prohibits lawyers from using discount coupons: "A lawyer may not advertise legal services with coupons for free consultation or dollars off the cost of legal services. Advertising legal services with fee coupons is a characterization of the fees as “discount” or “special” and does not comply with DR 2-101(A)(5)." The opinion does not restrict advertisement of fees and charges that comply with DR 2-101(B).

Opinion 2005-10 discusses whether a lawyer violates DR 9-102(A) and (B) by reporting client funds as "unclaimed" pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 169: Unclaimed Funds when the client's whereabouts are unknown. The opinion says that "An attorney does not violate the ethical duty to preserve a client’s funds under DR 9-102(A) and the ethical duty to promptly deliver funds to a client under DR 9-102(B)(4) by reporting “unclaimed funds” pursuant to R.C. Chapter 169, so long as the attorney has diligently tried to contact the client at the last known address and the client’s whereabouts are unknown."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2500 Ohio lawyers suspended

2500 Ohio lawyers were suspended last week for failing to pay their required $300 state registration fee, according to articles in this morning’s Enquirer. There is also an article on this morning.

This is the first time the Ohio Supreme Court has suspended as many as it did at the same time.

While 21 Ohio counties, including Adams, Brown, & Highland didn’t have any, Cuyahoga had the most representatives on the list with 412. Of the total number, 123 are from Hamilton County, 7 from Clermont, and 16 each from Butler and Warren Counties. A complete list is attached to the Court’s order, issued Dec. 2, 2005

Suspended attorneys can be reinstated upon application and payment of the registration fee, along with a $200- fine.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Federal abortion issues

The Supreme Court heard its first abortion rights case in five years Wednesday in a consideration of a minor’s requirement to inform her parents of her intent to secure an abortion. ( Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, 04-1144).

As many as 33 states have some sort of statutory parental notice or consent requirement for minors seeking an abortion. Ohio, Indiana, & Kentucky all require parental consent, with Ohio’s statute just having been tested in District Court last September.(See Post)

Although the outcome of Ayotte will not affect the 1973 Roe v. Wade standing that being able to have an abortion is a fundamental constitutional right, it is said to be significant in several other ways and has been getting its share of media coverage. (See SCOTUSblog and LegalBlogWatch postings yesterday & last Wednesday)

While the Supreme Court deliberates the Nebraska statute, the House Judiciary Committee will soon be considering the “Parental Notification & Intervention Act,” introduced last June. It would require written parental notification either by personal delivery or certified mail unless there is “clear & convincing evidence of parental abuse,” and a 96-hour waiting period.

And, having been passed in the House by a 270-157 vote the last part of April, the “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act” is now on the Senate’s calendar. This bill would amend the federal criminal code to “prohibit transporting a minor across a State line to obtain an abortion, thereby abridging a parent’s right under a law in force in the State where the minor resides requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion decision,” unless having the abortion is a matter of life for the minor.

Not even in the mix is the “fetal pain” issue brought up last month by the Wisconsin Assembly’s bill, and the fact that three states already have that consideration in their statutes. Versions in both the Senate and House of the “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act” are also in committee. (See Post)

"America's Most Literate Cities"

Cincinnati tied with St. Paul, Minnesota in 9th. Place, overall, in the Center for Public Policy & Social Research’s 2005 “Most Literate Cities in America” study last month according to a recent LLRX post. The study focuses on six factors seen as major indicators in the country’s major cities of 250,000 or more, including newspaper circulation, library resources, and, just this year, Internet resources.

The city tied with Seattle, Washington in 7th. Place as far as public library support, holdings & utilization were used as an index of measure, but only placed 39th. on the newly created Internet resource scale, tying with Chicago. “Of all the cities in the top ten for overall literacy,” the study said, “only Cincinnati and Pittsburg are low on the Internet variable, and they are both below the median.” Seattle, Boston, and Austin, Texas took the top three honors in that category.

“There are strong relations between three of the four internet literacy variables,” the survey noted, “including wireless internet access, and purchasing books & reading newspapers on the internet, but the availability of wireless terminals in public libraries isn’t related to those variables.”