Ohio Law

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

Friday, May 05, 2006

Supreme Court Report Outlines Pro Se and Indigent Litigant Recommendations

On May 3rd, The Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se and Indigent Litigants released its report and recommendations.

The 25-member task force was appointed by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in May 2004 and is composed of judges, lawyers, county commissioners, representatives from legal aid societies and a pro se litigant. The committee studies the general experience of defendants who are “pro se” (without an attorney), pro bono representation and how to better fund organizations that assist indigent clients, such as legal aid societies and public defenders' offices.

Among the task force's recommendations:

  • A recommendation that a rule be adopted that requires Ohio attorneys to report their participation in pro bono activities
  • A recommendation that rules be adopted allowing for limited representation by Ohio attorneys
  • A recommendation that standardized forms be developed for pro se litigants
  • A recommendation that the Ohio Public Defender Commission, which is currently part of the executive branch, be an independent entity within the judicial branch
  • Several recommendations for alternative funding sources for both public defense and civil legal aid.
The task force's recommendations will now be considered for adoption by the Supreme Court. The Court's decision will be released later this year.

The Report is available for download.

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Chief Justice Calls on Attorneys to Defend Courts

Citing recent attacks on the courts and the rise of attempted political influence in judicial elections and appointments, Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer of the Supreme Court of Ohio called on attorneys to support public education efforts and stand up in defense of a strong and impartial judiciary. Moyer made the remarks in his annual address to members of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) on Thursday at the 126th Annual OSBA Convention in Akron. The complete text of his remarks is available for download.

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5/5/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

DISCIPLINARY CASES

2004-1811. Disciplinary Counsel v. Johnson.
On application for reinstatement of Christine Ann Johnson, Attorney Registration
No. 0070595. Application granted and respondent reinstated to the practice of law
in Ohio.

2005-0365. Disciplinary Counsel v. Freeman.
On application for reinstatement of Thomas Herbert Freeman, Attorney
Registration No. 0007852. Application granted and respondent reinstated to the
practice of law in Ohio.

MISCELLANEOUS ORDERS

In re Report of the Commission
On Continuing Legal Education.
Michael Emerson Mears
(#0005456)
Respondent.
E N T R Y
CLE-1993-5456
This matter originated in this court on the filing of a report by the
Commission on Continuing Legal Education (the "commission") pursuant to
Gov.Bar R. X(6)(A)(1)(b) and (A)(2)(d). The commission recommended the
imposition of sanctions against certain attorneys, including the above-named
respondent, for failure to comply with the provisions of Gov.Bar R. X, Attorney
Continuing Legal Education, for the 1991-1992 reporting period.
On May 9, 1994, pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X(6)(B)(3), this court entered an
order adopting the commission's recommendation related to the 1991-1992
reporting period, suspending the respondent from the practice of law, and imposing
a fee sanction upon the respondent.
On April 5, 2006, the commission filed a motion to modify sanction,
requesting that the order of May 9, 1994, pertaining to the above-named
respondent, be modified to order a monetary sanction only. Upon consideration
thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to modify sanction is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED by the court that the entry of May 9, 1994, is
modified as follows: respondent's suspension from the practice of law is vacated
and the monetary sanction of $750.00 remains.

In re Report of the Commission on
Continuing Legal Education.
Frances Lynne Sheard
(#0030445)
Respondent.
Case No. CLE-03-30445
O R D E R
This matter originated in this court on the filing of a report by the
Commission on Continuing Legal Education (“commission”) pursuant to Gov.Bar
R. X(6)(A)(1)(b) and (A)(2)(d). The commission recommended the imposition of
sanctions against certain attorneys, including the above-named respondent, for
failure to comply with the provisions of Gov.Bar R. X, Attorney Continuing Legal
Education, for the 2001-2002 reporting period.
On December 5, 2003, this court adopted the recommendation of the
commission, imposed a sanction fee upon the respondent, and suspended the
respondent from the practice of law pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X(6)(B)(3) and
(5)(A)(4). The court further ordered that respondent shall not be reinstated to the
practice of law in Ohio until respondent complies with the requirements for
reinstatement set forth in Gov.Bar R. X(7); respondent complies with the Supreme
Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio; respondent complies with this
and all other orders of the court; and this court orders respondent reinstated.
On March 21, 2006, the commission filed a recommendation pursuant to
Gov.Bar R. X(7)(B)(2), finding that the respondent has paid all fees assessed for
noncompliance, has made up all deficiencies, and is now in full compliance with
all requirements of Gov.Bar R. X, and recommending that the respondent be
reinstated to the practice of law in Ohio. The commission certified that respondent
had completed the credit hours of continuing legal education required during his
suspension by this court’s order of suspension. On May 1, 2006, respondent
satisfied all the requirements of this court’s order of suspension. Upon
consideration thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the recommendation of the commission is
adopted and respondent, Frances Lynne Sheard, is hereby reinstated to the practice
of law.

In re Report of the Commission
On Continuing Legal Education.
Frankie Donnell Hoskey
(#0048213),
Respondent.
E N T R Y
CLE-2004-48213
This matter originated in this court on the filing of a report by the
Commission on Continuing Legal Education (the "commission") pursuant to
Gov.Bar R. X(6)(A)(1)(b) and (A)(2)(d). The commission recommended the
imposition of sanctions against certain attorneys, including the above-named
respondent, for failure to comply with the provisions of Gov.Bar R. X, Attorney
Continuing Legal Education, for the 2002-2003 reporting period.
On April 8, 2005, pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X(6)(B)(3), this court entered an
order adopting the commission's recommendation related to the 2002-2003
reporting period, suspending the respondent from the practice of law and imposing
a fee sanction upon the respondent.
On April 5, 2006, the commission filed a motion to modify sanction,
requesting that the order of April 8, 2005, pertaining to the above-named
respondent, be modified to order a monetary sanction only. Upon consideration
thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to modify sanction is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED by the court that the entry of April 8, 2005, is
modified as follows: respondent's suspension from the practice of law is vacated
and the monetary sanction of $750.00 remains.

MEDIATION REFERRALS

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

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

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

5/3/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Decisions

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

In re Ohio Criminal Sentencing Statutes Cases, 2006-Ohio-2109.
Dispositions of currently pending appeals and certified conflicts entered, based on the decision in State v. Foster, 109 Ohio St.3d 1, 2006-Ohio-856, 845 N.E.2d 470. See entry.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-2109.pdf

Criminal law — Felonies — Sentencing — Disposition of cases accepted and held for the decision in State v. Foster.

2004-1993, 2005-0118, and 2005-0766. Ohio Consumers' Counsel v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2006-Ohio-2110.
Public Utilities Commission, No. 03-2144-EL-ATA. Decision affirmed in part and reversed in part, and cause remanded.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton and O'Donnell, JJ., concur.
O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., concur in part and dissent in part.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-2110.pdf
Summary: FirstEnergy Electric Rate 'Stabilization Plan' Remanded to PUCO

Public utilities — Electric company — Competitive electric service — R.C. Chapter 4928 — Decision of Public Utilities Commission reversed — Public Utilities Commission acted without authority when it approved a rate-stabilization plan that did not require that the electric company also offer customers electric service a rate determined by competitive bid.

2005-0193 and 2005-0415. Hedges v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 2006-Ohio-1926.
Franklin App. No. 04AP-423, 2004-Ohio-6723. Judgment reversed.
Moyer, C.J., Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Resnick and Pfeifer, JJ., dissent.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1926.pdf
Summary: Former Insurance Statute Allowed Auto Policies to Limit UM/UIM Coverage to Injured Insureds

The interpretation of R.C. 3937.18(A) in Moore v. State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co. (2000), 88 Ohio St.3d 27, 723 N.E.2d 97, applies only to the 1994 S.B. 20 version of the statute. Thus, Moore does not apply to the version of R.C. 3937.18(A) as amended by 1997 H.B. 261.

2005-0546. State ex rel. Cincinnati, Inc. v. Lowe, 2006-Ohio-1927.
Franklin App. No. 04AP-241, 2005-Ohio-516. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1927.pdf

2005-1322. State ex rel. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Bilbao, 2006-Ohio-1928.
Franklin App. No. 04AP-861, 2005-Ohio-2802. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1928.pdf

2005-1615. Cleveland Bar Assn. v. Dadisman, 2006-Ohio-1929.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 02-52. Michael F. Dadisman, Attorney Registration No. 0040997, is permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1929.pdf
Summary: Court Disbars Cleveland Attorney, Suspends Two

2005-1938. Columbus Bar Assn. v. Thomas, 2006-Ohio-1930.
On Final Report by the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, No. UPL 05-01. William Thomas is enjoined from conduct that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, and civil penalty is imposed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1930.pdf

2005-1939. Trumbull Cty. Bar Assn. v. Legal Aid State Servs., Inc., 2006-Ohio-1931.
On Final Report by the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, No. UPL 04-06. Legal Aid State Services, Inc. is enjoined from conduct that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
O'Donnell, J., concurs separately.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1931.pdf

2005-1947. Cuyahoga Cty. Bar Assn. v. King, 2006-Ohio-1932.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 05-041. Michael Leonard King, Attorney Registration No. 0031364, is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio, and the suspension will run consecutively to the indefinite suspension imposed on August 17, 2005.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Pfeifer and Lundberg Stratton, JJ., would impose an indefinite suspension to run concurrently with the indefinite suspension imposed on August 17, 2005.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1932.pdf
Summary: Court Disbars Cleveland Attorney, Suspends Two

2005-2021. Cuyahoga Cty. Bar Assn. v. Britt, 2006-Ohio-1933.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 05-001. Stephen Britt, Attorney Registration No. 0042076, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for six months, stayed on condition.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton and O'Donnell, JJ., would publicly reprimand respondent.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1933.pdf

2005-2182. Harris v. Anderson , 2006-Ohio-1934.
Lorain App. No. 04CA008587. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1934.pdf

2005-2333. Cuyahoga Cty. Bar Assn. v. Garfield , 2006-Ohio-1935.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 05-046. Robert Earl Garfield, Attorney Registration No. 0001873, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for 18 months, beginning March 28, 2005.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-1935.pdf
Summary: Court Disbars Cleveland Attorney, Suspends Two

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

5/2/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

MOTION AND PROCEDURAL RULINGS

2005-1228. O'Connor v. Cleveland Clinic Found.
Cuyahoga App. No. 84219, 161 Ohio App.3d 43, 2005-Ohio-2328.
This cause is pending before the court as an appeal from the Court
of Appeals for Cuyahoga County. Upon consideration of appellee's
motion for a continuance of oral argument,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is denied.

2005-1659. State v. Eash.
Champaign App. No. 03-CA-34, 2005-Ohio-3749. This cause is
pending before the court as an appeal from the Court of Appeals
for Champaign County. Upon consideration of the joint motion of
appellant and amicus curiae Ohio Attorney General for divided
oral argument time,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is granted, and
the amicus curiae shall share the time allotted to appellant.

2005-2143. Sycamore Community School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v.
Hamilton Cty. Bd. of Revision.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2003-T-2131. This cause is pending
before the court as an appeal from the Board of Tax Appeals.
Upon consideration of the parties' joint motion to remand this
cause to the Board of Tax Appeals,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is granted and
this cause is remanded to the Board of Tax Appeals to implement
the settlement agreement of the parties.

MISCELLANEOUS DISMISSALS

2006-0378. State ex rel. McCray v. West.
Hamilton App. No. C-050955. This cause is pending before the court
as an appeal from the Court of Appeals for Hamilton County. It appears
from the records of this court that appellant has not filed a merit brief,
due April 27, 2006, in compliance with the Rules of Practice of the
Supreme Court and therefore has failed to prosecute this cause with
the requisite diligence. Upon consideration thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that this cause is dismissed sua sponte.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

64% of First-Time Bar Takers Pass February Exam

Results of the February 2006 bar examination were released last Friday. Out of 545 applicants, 351 (64 percent) received passing scores; out of 245 first time applicants, 76 percent received passing scores. Names and addresses of successful applicants can be found here.

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5/1/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

MOTION AND PROCEDURAL RULINGS

2006-0237. State ex rel. Strzala v. Gallagher.
In Prohibition. This cause originated in this court on the filing
of a complaint for a writ of prohibition. Upon consideration of
relator's motion for leave of court to file declaratory judgment,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is denied.

MISCELLANEOUS DISMISSALS

2006-0348. State ex rel. Poissant v. Sheets.
Ross App. No. 05CA2882. This cause is pending before the
court as an appeal from the Court of Appeals for Ross County.
It appears from the records of this court that appellant has not
filed a merit brief, due April 20, 2006, in compliance with the
Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court and therefore has failed to
prosecute this cause with the requisite diligence. Upon consideration
thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that this cause is dismissed sua sponte.

2006-0498. State Farm Mut. Auto v. Reid.
Cuyahoga App. No. 87729. This cause is pending before the court
as a discretionary appeal and claimed appeal of right. It appears
from the records of the court that the appellant has not filed a
memorandum in support of jurisdiction, due April 3, 2006, in
compliance with the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court and
therefore has failed to prosecute this cause with the requisite diligence.
Upon consideration thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that this cause is dismissed sua sponte.

2006-0502. State v. Moore.
Cuyahoga App. No. 85828, 2006-Ohio-277. This cause is pending
before the court as an appeal and cross-appeal from the Court of
Appeals for Cuyahoga County. Upon consideration of
appellant/cross-appellee's application for dismissal,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the application for dismissal
is granted. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED by the court that the cross-appeal
remains pending.

MEDIATION REFERRALS

The following case has been returned to the regular docket pursuant
to S.Ct.Prac.R. XIV(6)(E):
2006-0268. Seven Seventeen HB Philadelphia No. 2 v. Franklin
Cty. Bd. of Revision.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2002-A-1925.

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