Welcome to The Briefcase

Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »

×

Courts Update

The most notable decision out of the Ohio Supreme Court this week was a disciplinary case involving a Cleveland lawyer who'd put money he'd gotten from his client for fees in his trust account, then kept it there to shield it from his creditors.  He was already under indefinite suspension (this incident occurred before that, but came to light after), so they gave him another indefinite suspension.  Two justices dissented, arguing that the second indefinite suspension should have been consecutive to the first, rather than concurrent with it.  I have a feeling that's not going to make a lot of difference.... On to the courts of appeals:

Civil.  1st District reverses summary judgment for hotel, holds that floor mat which lifted up because of wind when door opened not open and obvious hazard; reviews "floor mat" cases... 8th District affirms judgment for spoliation of evidence where store employee taped over video of plaintiff's arrest for supposedly shoplifting... In prisoner defamation lawsuit, 12th District holds that allegation of racism is not slander per se but slander per quod, thus requiring pleading and proof of special damages... 7th District upholds trial court's ruling that records concerning plaintiff's consultation with attorney re a medical malpractice claim were discoverable over claim of privilege, and that they showed plaintiff aware of her claim more than one year before she filed suit...

Criminal.  1st District holds that Ohio Department of Health director's certification of the breathalyzer test solution not "testimonial" under Crawford... 8th District rules that observation of hand-to-hand exchange sufficient to establish not merely reasonable suspicion for stop, but probable cause for arrest... 5th District finds insufficient basis in record for trial court allowing defendant to represent himself... 4th District reverses conviction because trial court instructed jury on self-defense without telling them that defendant's burden was only preponderance of the evidence...

This week's Captain of the Dummy Team is the defendant in State v. Dickey, who unsuccessfully sought to suppress the contents of a phone conversation between her and her boyfriend, in which the two discussed a drug deal, leading to Dickey's arrest for drug trafficking.  The circumstances surrounding the interception of the conversation weren't exactly Orwellian: the boyfriend happened to be an inmate of the county jail at the time.  Dickey's argument was that while the boyfriend might not have had a reasonable expectation of privacy when he made the call, she did, an argument which might have fared better had it not been for this:

At the beginning of every inmate-originated telephone call from the jail, a recorded voice informs the parties that the calls are subject to monitoring or recording. In fact, during at least one of the telephone conversations between Wymer and Dickey, the two can be heard laughing over the fact that when Dickey tells the recorded voice to "shut up," the recorded voice complies.

Search

Recent Entries

  • July 21, 2017
    Friday Roundup
    Computers and sex offenders, civil forfeiture, and phrases that should be put out to pasture
  • July 20, 2017
    Case Update
    A look at the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in State v. Oles, and did you know that Justice Ginsburg has a .311 batting average with runners in scoring position? Oh, wait...
  • July 18, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Judicial bias, RVO specs, 26(B) stuff, waivers of counsel... And more!
  • July 17, 2017
    No more Anders Briefs?
    I have a case now in the 8th District where I came close to filing an Anders brief the other week. It's an appeal from a plea and sentence. The plea hearing was flawless. The judge imposed consecutive sentences, and...
  • July 13, 2017
    Sex offenders and the First Amendment
    Analysis of the Supreme Court's decision in Packingham v. North Carolina
  • July 12, 2017
    Removing a retained attorney
    What does a judge do if he thinks a retained attorney in a criminal case isn't competent?
  • July 11, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    The court does good work on a juvenile bindover case, and the State finally figures out that it should have indicted someone in the first place
  • July 10, 2017
    Case Update
    SCOTUS ends its term; the Ohio Supreme Court issues another opinion, and likely the last one, on the trial tax
  • June 28, 2017
    Plea Bargaining -- The defendant's view
    A look at the Supreme Court's decision last week in Lee v. United States
  • June 27, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    A worrisome decision on expert funding, and, mirabile dictu, a court's dismissal of a case for a discovery violation is upheld