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Court Update

The Ohio Supreme Court handed down a few decisions of interest this past week, one holding that if sovereign immunity applies to a political subdivision, it also applies to employees of that subdivision, unless their actions are willful or malicious, the other that a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct is a lesser included offense of domestic violence.  In the courts of appeals:

Civil.  6th District affirms grant of summary judgment in open and obvious case, says condition must be "objectively" observable, rejects claim that although plaintiff observed condition, she subjectively failed to appreciate risk... 2nd District also affirms summary judgment in slip and fall on spilled "smoothy" in mall, on basis of lack of notice... 3rd District holds trial court can suggest modifications to shared parenting plan, refuse to grant it if parties refuse modifications, but can't make modifications to it on its own... 5th District upholds reallocation of tax exemption to wife, says court can revisit issue anytime it deals with modification of child support order...

Criminal.  2nd District reverses grant of motion to suppress of consent search, says consent was obtained within reasonable period after traffic stop, thus does not require reasonable suspicion of criminal activity... 12th District holds that conviction of reckless operation does not bar prosecution of failure to comply on double jeopardy grounds... 8th District rejects contention that defendant is entitled to separate trials because joint trial eliminates ability to call co-defendant as a witness... 3rd District holds that where trial court fails to advise defendant at sentencing of post-release controls, remedy is to conduct new hearing before defendant's sentence is completed; can't cure error by nunc pro tunc entry... 12th District affirms conviction for attempted agg murder in defendant's plot to hire hit-man to kill wife and child; good discussion of when solicitation crosses line into attempt...

I'm giving some thought to moving my practice to the 2nd District; there were no fewer than five cases there this past week where trial courts had granted motions to suppress.  (The state was a bit luckier in the appellate level; three of those rulings got reversed.)  

Of course, things are never dull in the 8th District here, either.  The court's opinion last week in State v. Gooden is an especially interesting read.  Gooden was convicted on the theory that he was the "inside man" in a robbery of a CVS drugstore; the appellate court, by a 2-1 vote, reversed on insufficiency of the evidence.  It's one of those cases where you read the facts and think that maybe there's something there, but it just doesn't add up to enough for conviction. 

Normally, I close out the Court Updates with something outlandish from a court opinion, but this week and last I haven't had any luck in finding something like that.  So I'll leave you with this for your amusement instead:  go to Google Maps, click the tab for Get Directions, put Boston in the first box and London in the second, hit enter, and then check Direction No. 5.

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