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Weekly Update

If you do Federal criminal law, you know that prior to Booker, the trial judge had to give notice of whether he was considering imposing a sentence above the guideline range. A decision by the 6th Circuit the other day in US v. Collins, 469 F.3d 572, holds that's still required, even though the guidelines are now advisory.

Now, on to the Ohio courts.

Civil.  "I'll take Torts for $400, Alex":  9th District finds that there is a cause of action in Ohio for "hostile housing environment," while 6th District, in medical malpractice case, holds there is no cause of action for "negligent referral"... 8th District rules that guardian ad litem in custody case has absolute immunity from suit... Thorough discussion of when counsel must be disqualified because of necessity of being a witness in this 10th District case... 12th District explains what constitutes a continuing trespass for statute of limitations purposes... Failure to attach schedule of assets voided prenuptial agreement, 1st District rules... Granting a motion to vacate a default judgment is not a final appealable order, says 5th District...

Criminal.  9th District upholds trial court's rule that negotiated pleas would not be accepted on day of trial... 6th Circuit holds that Alford plea waives right to appeal suppression ruling, just as ordinary plea would... 1st District upholds Cincinnati's anti-panhandling ordinance against constitutional challenges... Excellent discussion of requirements trial court must observe for allowing defendant to proceed pro se in this 9th District case...

Finally, this week's Chutzpah Award goes to the defendant in State v. WalshAfter becoming comptroller of a company, he persuaded them to hire him an assistant with whom, unbeknownst to the company, he was having an extramarital affair.  The two of them ripped off the company for almost $200,000, much of it by forging company checks to pay the defendant's credit card debts.  On appeal,

appellant claims that his unauthorized execution of corporate checks to pay off his personal credit cards actually should be interpreted as an "interest-free loan" from appellant to [the company]. Appellant maintains that due to poor financial performance by the company, appellant did not avail himself of salary increases to which he was entitled. Appellant claims it was less of a fiscal burden on the company for him to utilize corporate funds to pay off his personal credit cards in lieu of a salary increase.

Wherever the line is between creative lawyering and total bullshit, this one was well over it.

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