Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Long Arm Spam Statute

Law.com reports that NY spammer liable under Maryland spam law, even though he didn't "know" messages were being opened in Maryland. The special appeals court in MaryCLE v. First Choice Internet reversed the lower court, finding that personal jurisdiction was appropriate in the case. The opinions analyzed Maryland's Commercial Electronic Mail Act (MCEMA) Md. Code § 14-3001. (LexisNexis online version of Maryland Code, Commercial Laws).

MaryCLE (pronounced Miracle) is a consumer protection group formed by a George Washington U law student in 2003, after the Maryland General Assembly
passed the MCEMA in 2002. First Choice received e-mail addresses from individuals who, allegedly, had "opted in" to receive mail from "WOW Offers", and then sent out messages to those individuals. MaryCLE sued after receiving more than 60 messages, and replying to many of them asking to be removed from further mailings.

Free ORC - No Longer

LexisNexis removed the annotations, etc., that I announced yesterday, indicating that they had made an error and should not have been included. So much for enhancing the free Ohio Revised Code!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Free Annotated Ohio Revised Code

Anderson has added annotations, legislative commentary, and more to its free version of the Ohio Revised Code, online. This was a useful service in the past, but it's even better now that you get case citations and cross-references to secondary materials like Ohio Jurisprudence 3d.

The case citations are not cross-linked but the statutes are, so you can jump around the ORC without having to retype your citations. I tested the citation list against the Lexisone free case law search. There are fewer citations (Lexisone brought up 41 cases in the past 2 years citing ORC § 2903.06 while there are far fewer annotated cites for the same time period in Andersons ORC online) but it doesn't diminish the great enhancement the case annotations provide.

Keen eyes will have noted that both the Lexisone free case law cite and Anderson are LexisNexis subsidiaries.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ohio home inspectors' licensing

With buying a home being one of the most expensive & long-term commitments a person makes in his or her lifetime, a number of aspects of that venture continue in the news as the year begins.

With housing prices soaring last year, the National Association of Realtors reported earlier this week “an eye-popping 43% of all first-time home buyers purchasing their homes with no-money-down loans,” and mortgage applications climbed again according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity for the week ending Jan. 13th.. (See article on USAToday.com and CNN/Money)

“Sixty-five percent of the nation’s 299 biggest real estate markets are severely overpriced & subject to possible price corrections,” according to a CNN/Money article the beginning of the year. Other areas were undervalued, including, though slightly, the Greater Cincinnati area.

Not everyone buying or investing in real estate can be a property expert, and backers of some new Ohio legislation are saying consumers need better assurances in the experts they hire.

There are currently two similar bills in the General Assembly (See HB 427 and S 207) which, if passed, would have Ohio join 30 other states in the country which have statutory guidelines & regulations for home inspectors—twenty-six, including Kentucky and Indiana, having passed such regulations in the past eight years, according to an Enquirer article yesterday morning. Kentucky’s law was passed & became effective in 2004, but does not require home inspectors to be licensed until July 2006. The American Society of Home Inspectors has a list of states with licensing requirements and contact information on their website.

Kentucky SB 142 would further require home inspectors to have license insurance.

The Enquirer article has links to further information for in Kentucky & Indiana.

Last summer, too, legislation was introduced for similar measures for home repairs and remodeling in Ohio. (See posting )

Monday, January 09, 2006

Job Compatibility: Attorney General Opinions

The Attorney General's office has issued an updated list of opinions which indicate which government jobs are compatible (a county law librarian can also be a county constable) and which are incompatible (a county law librarian may not also be a county judge) to be held at the same time.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Unfolding Future Trends

Now that presumably the rest of the entire world’s gotten over their predictions for 2006, let me try introducing our own format, which, hopefully, will provide some value in the year just embarked upon.

Principally local—meaning Ohio, Indiana & Kentucky—and more specifically, Greater Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio—we’ve delved into the wash of prognostications and sought out common threads. The test will be how close we are, and if we are we’re going to be posting corresponding pathfinders, possibly on our web site. Stay tuned.

The Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association in their regional economic outlook summarizes Ohio’s progress as “on track, but glacially slow.” Indiana “has been among the stronger performers in the Midwest, despite the auto-related soft-patch afflicting many of its neighboring states,” and Kentucky’s “expansion’s proceeding at a steady, although unspectacular pace.”

The Enquirer at the beginning of the year, in overviewing predictions for Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and principally Paul Barada of the Greensburg Daily News in Indiana, came up with health care issues—especially for those of us in the “baby boom” generation— and school funding & public education, as the predominant, shared major concerns among our three states in the coming year. Ohio and Kentucky are going to be concerned with developing the riverfront as well.

The National Conference of State Legislatures on December 29th. published a list identifying what they considered key issues for 2006. Public education was on their list as well. Other concerns noted by the NCSL were eminent domain, immigration, sex-offender issues.

Mary Campbell McQueen, President of the National Center for State Courts, in the preface to NCSC’s “Future Trends in State Courts” 2005 report, says “Courts are traditionally conservative institutions that run on precedent & procedure. But ‘the only thing constant is change,’ and courts also need to anticipate the future, rather than just react to it when it happens…. The implications of some issues such as our aging population, increasing cultural diversity, and identity theft are fairly clear. But the implications of others, such as bioethics and nanotechnology, aren’t as yet—but courts need to be aware of them.” The Future Trends report has articles on population demographics; political, social, & judicial trends, economic conditions, and technology & science, including public access & data regulation, electronic filing, and trends in identity theft.