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 »


Case Update

As I mentioned last week, it's that time of year, when from now until the third week of June the US Supreme Court will be rolling out opinions every Monday.  There's still some big ones to come, including the gun rights case out of DC, whether the death penalty can be imposed for child rape, and the effect of the forfeiture doctrine on Crawford.  If something important comes out on a Monday, you'll read about it here the next day.

Down in Columbus, nothing of consequence out of the Supreme Court, other than a couple of disciplinary cases (don't take money and not do the work, don't screw up things in your trust account).  A savage beating inflicted upon a woman walking in the Cleveland Metroparks by a guy who'd been arrested 36 times, and had just been released from prison 10 days earlier, has renewed discussion of a "three-strikes" law for Ohio.  I'm going to have a series of posts on that, beginning later this week with a discussion of California's experience with the law. 

On to the courts of appeals...

Criminal.  2nd District reverses revocation of community control sanctions because of defendant's failure to pay restitution, says trial court erred by not inquiring into defendant's ability to pay, essentially holds that only willful and intentional failure to pay warrants revocation... 8th District holds that amending indictment to raise level of offense from 2nd degree drug felony to 1st degree changes identity of offense, is barred; case on that issue is pending before Ohio Supreme Court... 9th District reaffirms rule that failure to advise defendant that sentences can be run consecutively does not invalidate plea... 8th District reverses grant of dismissal of "carbon-copy" indictments of sexual molestation of child prior to trial; this runs contrary to earlier holding by same court in State v. Holder, discussed here... 3rd District affirms a rare grant of motion to suppress in DUI case, good discussion of police reliance on information from third person... Three-minute detention to check whether defendant had an outstanding warrant was unreasonable where no basis for check, say 8th District, reversing denial of motion to suppress...

Civil.  6th District says that Civ.R. 60(A), which permits correction of clerical mistakes, limited to "mistake or omission mechanical in nature and apparent on the record which does not involve a legal decision or judgment"... 8th District upholds motion to compel doctor to provide records of Medicare and Medicaid billings, says plaintiff's need for info outweighs other patients' interest in privacy, and latter concerns protected by judge's order sealing those records... Attorney works with estate planning firm in Michigan, keeps the money he was supposed to give them, 12th district affirms judgment against him on breach of contract suit by firm.  He's lucky; the Supreme Court suspended an attorney two month ago for working with same firm... 9th District says that mother's hostility toward father's visitation helps justify modification of award of custody to father... Even if action is frivolous, trial court has discretion to deny award of fees, 8th District holds...

Reason No. 43 why psychology is mostly bullshit.  From the 9th District's opinion in Hammond v. Harm

Dun diagnosed Mother with adjustment disorder, which he considered to be "the most benign diagnosis you can give people, because we all adjust to something." Dun agreed with Michael Smith, the physician who performed a psychological evaluation on Mother, that Mother did not have any severe pathology and denied that Smith diagnosed Mother as having a borderline personality.

I've been diagnosed with "borderline personality," too; nobody's sure if I have one.


Recent Entries

  • November 15, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Plea withdrawals (again), sexual predator hearings, and an appellate law question
  • November 7, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Don't listen to prosecutors about the law, good new/bad news jokes on appeal, and the Byzantine course of a death penalty case
  • October 24, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Trying to change the past
  • October 16, 2017
    En banc on sentencing
    The 8th District takes a look at what State v. Marcum means
  • October 13, 2017
    Friday Roundup
    Musings about the death penalty and indigent defense
  • October 11, 2017
    Case Update
    SCOTUS starts its new term, and the Ohio Supreme Court hands down two decisions
  • October 10, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Collaboration by inmates, fun in Juvenile Court, the limits of Creech, and more
  • October 5, 2017
    State v. Thomas
    The Ohio Supreme Court reverses a death penalty conviction
  • October 4, 2017
    Russ' Excellent Adventure
    A juror doesn't like me. Boo-hoo.
  • October 3, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    What not to argue on appeal, waiving counsel, the perils of being a juvenile, and expert witnesses