Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Friday, January 21, 2005

New Federal Legislative Tracking Service

From the Law Librarian Blog:

The site is called GovTrack.us and offers free monitoring services. All data is obtained from federal sources including THOMAS and the websites of the U.S. House and Senate. Users may track bills, issues or committees, representatives, or topics. Daily or weekly email updates are available for registered users, as well as news feeds. The site also includes blog postings on legislation, by authors registered with the site to have their comments appear on the GovTrack Blog.


The Friday Story

Before I head out for the Ohio State Bar Association Law Libraries and Legal Information Services Committee (say that five times fast) meeting later, I thought I would brighten your day with this story from the Business Courier (Cincinnati) reporting that Ohioans set a record in 2004 by purchasing $571 million of spirituous liquor, a 6.5% increase over 2003. That equates to 9.4 million gallons. Top seller: Kamchatka Vodka. Who says we don't know how to imbibe in this state?


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Vote Challenge Aftermath

From Gongwer News Service:

Attorney General Jim Petro is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to sanction four lawyers who filed "a meritless" challenge to the Ohio vote for President George Bush, and for their behavior during the course of the litigation.

Mr. Petro filed the motion (case no. 04-2088) on behalf of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Ohio's 20 presidential electors. The filing targets attorneys Clifford Arnebeck, Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt, and Peter Peckarsky. They represented former Columbus School Board member Bill Moss and 36 other voters who alleged fraud in the vote for President Bush and Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. Both election contests were subsequently withdrawn.

In related news... the polling firms whose exit polls formed the genesis of some of the democratic hysteria over voting "fraud" and "disenfranchisement" have admitted to a "number of problems" that may have caused the polling results to skew toward John Kerry in disproportionate numbers to the actual vote. Now that's a news flash.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Last year, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced S.2560, popularly known as the INDUCE Act. It makes anyone who..."intentionally aids, abets, induces, or procures, and intent may be shown by acts from which a reasonable person would find intent to induce infringement based upon all relevant information about such acts then reasonably available to the actor, including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability" liable as an infringer.

The above is so glaringly overbroad it isn't funny. Well, now we have a California (where else?) version of the INDUCE act that was introduced last week (S.96). The latter seeks to criminalize the peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted works. Violators could be fined up to $2,500 and be forced to spend not more than one year in jail. Again, this bill is overbroad and probablu unnecessary. The blog boingboing states that the provision would include sharing of information "via email, IM, Web-browsers, and every other tool for exchanging data on the Internet."


Biggest Burger That is Actually Served?

Have to tell you about this item I pulled off of the Snopes blog. It recounts the urban legend (now said to be true) of the 6-pound hamburger with 4-5 pounds of toppings that retails for $23.99. However, it's free if you eat it in 3 hours. The pictures are incredible.


Free Filing of Tax Returns

The IRS has announced that everybody with a computer and Internet access can prepare and file their return for free. Check it out.


Spammers On The Run In Texas

The Attorney General of Texas has filed the state’s first lawsuit against one of the world’s largest spam operations in an effort to crack down on the massive flow of illegal e-mail into Texas consumers’ in-boxes. The complaint was filed under the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM), which carries penalties of $250 per violation, up to $2 million. (above info from the press release)


News From the Supreme Court of Ohio

Today's oral arguments:

City of East Liverpool v. Columbiana County Budget Commission, Case no. 2003-1003
State Board of Tax Appeals

State of Ohio v. Ralph N. Danison, Jr., Case no. 2003-2155
5th District Court of Appeals (Ashland County)

State v. Porterfield, Case nos. 2004-0417 and 2004-0510
11th District Court of Appeals (Trumbull County)

Disciplinary Counsel v. Cotton, Case no. 2004-1130
Madison County

Yesterday, the Court was asked to decide whether blood drawn at a hospital for medical reasons can be used as evidence against a drunken driver if state guidelines that apply to police-ordered tests were not followed. (State v. Mayl, Case no. 2003-1973 2nd District Court of Appeals Montgomery County). The justices were also asked to determine whether a public reprimand or a more severe sanction should be imposed against a Columbus lawyer for improperly notarizing the signature on a client's application for a temporary liquor permit. (Columbus Bar Association v. Dougherty, Case no. 2002-1460 Franklin County)


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Online Video of Sentencing Proceedings

Saw this item in the USA Today:

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler set up his personal Sony digital camcorder last August in court and broadcasts hearings and sentences on local public access television, but not trials. He posts only sentencings on his web site. Access the files by clicking on the "Inside the Court Online Edition" button on the left. The files are in the Quicktime format, so if you want to view them, make sure you have that freely available piece of software.


Congressional Research Service Reports

The now-you-see-them-now-you-don't status of CRS reports on the Internet is the subject of a post on the Law Librarian Blog. Free and pay services are included within the post.


Uniform Voting System for Ohio ?

In the wake of the unsuccessful challenges to elections in Ohio, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell announced last week that paper-based precinct count optical scan voting devices will be offered to county boards of elections as the state’s primary voting system. Deployment of the devices, which are compliant with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), will provide Ohioans with a uniform statewide voting system for future elections. Ah, the power of paper.


RSS Feeds for Law Journals

Here's the link for (as of this morning) RSS feeds for 132 law journals. I was tipped off to this from a law-lib e-mail from John Doyle of Washington and Lee Law School. The instructions for receiving the feeds are on the above page. I tried subscribing to the feeds using my normally reliable Bloglines aggregator, but for some reason I couldn't do it. I followed his instructions for Feedreader and was succesful. This is a fairly amazing resource. There are also instructions there for those that would like to add their RSS feed to the list. I think I will use Feedreader just for these journal feeds, and keep Bloglines for the rest of my stuff.