Ohio Law

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

Friday, March 17, 2006

3/17/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

THE STATE EX REL. CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, DIVISION
OF GANNETT SATELLITE INFORMATION NETWORK,
INC., APPELLANT, v. DANIELS, INTERIM HEALTH
COMMISSIONER, ET AL., APPELLEES.

[Cite as State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Daniels,
___ Ohio St.3d ___, 2006-Ohio-1215.]

SYLLABUS OF THE COURT
1. Lead-risk-assessment reports maintained by the Cincinnati Health Department
and lead-citation notices issued to property owners of units reported to be
the residence of children whose blood test results indicate elevated lead
levels do not contain "protected health information" as that term is defined
by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).

2. Even if the requested lead-citation notices and lead-risk-assessment reports did
contain "protected health information" as defined by the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and even if the Cincinnati
Health Department operated as a "covered entity" pursuant to HIPAA, the
citation notices and lead-risk-assessment reports would still be subject to
disclosure under the "required by law" exception to the HIPAA privacy
rule because the Ohio Public Records Law requires disclosure of these
reports and HIPAA does not supersede state disclosure requirements.

3. A request for attorney fees made by a prevailing party in a public-records
mandamus action will be denied where the case presents a matter of first
impression because courts should not engage in the practice of punishing a
party to a lawsuit for taking a rational position on a justiciable unsettled
legal issue.


DISCIPLINARY CASES

2001-1816. Columbus Bar Assn. v. Farkas.
On February 3, 2006, respondent, Jeffrey W. Farkas, filed an application for
termination of probation. Upon consideration thereof, the court finds that
respondent has substantially complied with Gov.Bar R. V(9)(D) and with its order
dated December 26, 2003, in which the court stayed respondent’s suspension and
placed him on monitored probation for one year.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED by this court that the probation of
respondent, Jeffrey W. Farkas, Attorney Registration No. 0061547, last known
address in Blacklick, Ohio, be, and hereby is, terminated.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this court issue certified
copies of this order as provided for in Gov.Bar R. V(8)(D)(1), that publication be
made as provided for in Gov.Bar R. V(8)(D)(2), and that respondent bear the costs
of publication.

2004-1418. Cleveland Bar Assn. v. Herron.
On August 25, 2004, the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline
filed a final report in the office of the Clerk of this court pursuant to BCGD
Proc.Reg. 11(D), in which it accepted the agreement entered into by the relator,
Cleveland Bar Association, and the respondent, Mark P. Herron. The agreement
set forth the misconduct and the agreed, recommended sanction of a six month
suspension, stayed on conditions.
On September 24, 2004, this court, sua sponte, rejected the recommended
sanction and remanded the cause to the board for further proceedings pursuant to
Gov.Bar R. V(8)(D). Proceedings before the court were stayed until further order
of the court. On March 6, 2006, the board filed findings of fact, conclusions of
law, and order in which it found that there was no clear and convincing evidence
that respondent acted unethically, and it ordered the case dismissed. Therefore,
It is ordered by the court that case No. 2004-1418, Cleveland Bar
Association v. Herron, is dismissed.

06-110. Disciplinary Counsel v. McDaniel.
On Certified Order of the Supreme Court of Arizona, No. SB-05-0134D. Thomas
C. McDaniel, Attorney Registration No. 0056259, is suspended from the practice
of law in Ohio for six months.


MISCELLANEOUS DISMISSALS

2005-2308. State ex rel. Gidley v. Indus. Comm.
Franklin App. No. 04AP-1316, 2005-Ohio-5534. This cause is pending before the
court as an appeal from the Court of Appeals for Franklin County. Upon
consideration of appellant's application for dismissal,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the application for dismissal is granted.
Accordingly, this cause is dismissed.

2006-0401. State v. Bankey.
Wood App. No. WD-05-014, 2005-Ohio-5878. This cause is pending before the
court as a discretionary appeal and claimed appeal of right. Upon consideration of
appellant's application for dismissal,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the application for dismissal is granted.
Accordingly, this cause is dismissed.


MISCELLANEOUS ORDERS

In re Report of the Commission on,
Continuing Legal Education.
Jefferson N. Schaffner
#0016235,
Respondent.
Case No. CLE-2005-16235
O R D E R
On November 16, 2005, the Commission on Continuing Legal
Education ("commission") filed its report recommending the
imposition of sanctions against certain attorneys for failure to
comply with the continuing legal education provisions of Gov.Bar R. X
for the 2003/2004 reporting period. On December 13, 2005, this court
issued to each respondent an order to show cause, on or before
January 12, 2006, why the commission’s recommendation should
not be adopted. On January 19, 2006, the court issued a sua sponte
order permitting the commission to consolidate its responses to the
respondents’ objections into a single answer to be filed no later than
March 13, 2006. On March 13, 2006, the commission filed its answer
and brief, which included a recommendation of dismissal of the
recommended sanction against respondent. On March 13, 2006,
respondent filed a motion requesting the court to issue order stating
respondent has shown good cause. There are no provisions under
Gov.Bar R. X for the filing of such a motion. Accordingly,
It is ordered by the court, sua sponte, that the motion is stricken.

MEDIATION REFERRALS

The following cases have been referred to mediation pursuant to
S.Ct.Prac.R. XIV(6):

2006-0168. State ex rel. Carr v. Akron.
In Mandamus.

2006-0492. Dayton-Montgomery Cty. Port Auth. v. Montgomery
Cty. Bd. of Revision.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2004-A-1227.

The following case has been returned to the regular docket
pursuant to S.Ct.Prac.R. XIV(6)(E):

2005-1789. State ex rel. John Q. Public v. Etna Twp. Bd. of
Trustees. In Mandamus.

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