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


Case Update

Other than affirming a death penalty conviction, the Ohio Supreme Court didn't do much this past week.  The decision in State v. Hale involved a 2004 killing here in Cleveland, and alleged 22 propositions of law.  None broke new ground, and the Court affirmed the conviction and ordered Hale's sentence into... um, execution on November 6th of this year.  Now begins the parade of post-conviction relief and habeas corpus petitions, and it's even money that I, at 58, will be dead before Delano Hale is.

Not exactly a typical thought for a Sunday morning, when I usually write this, but my mood is not lightened by the fact that it's Sunday afternoon, not Sunday morning.  Apparently, my blog host thought they were AT&T, and decided to have a service interruption for most of the day, forcing me to sit inside on a loverly afternoon and do this.  So, before I get even more cheesed off, let's get on to the courts of appeals...

Criminal.  8th District upholds allowing witness to testify via live video link from Belgium, good discussion of confrontation clause factors involved in video testimony... 6th District rejects defendant's claim that sentencing judge merely gave rote recitation of sentencing factors, says that rote recitation is all a judge has to do... 8th District vacates repeat violent offender specification, sentences, and sexual predator designation; hearings had been continued once because of defense counsel's illness, and when counsel was too ill to appear 2nd time, court appointed another attorney to handle hearing -- one hour before it took place... 4th District affirms dismissal of indictment for disseminating obscene material to juveniles over internet, noting that US District Court for Southern District has found internet provision of statute unconstitutional, has barred enforcement... 8th District vacates conviction for escape, finding that trial court in underlying case never properly imposed post-release controls...

Civil.  6th District reverses court's sustaining fact-based objections to magistrate's decision, says court can't do that because objecting party didn't file transcript of magistrate hearing, and court can't overrule factual findings without transcript... 8th District affirms dismissal with prejudice of medical malpractice complaint for failure to submit affidavit of merit... 5th District affirms stay of proceedings to allow arbitration, says that if plaintiff challenges contract as a whole, matter must be arbitrated, but if challenge is made to arbitration provision, court must first determine if provision is valid...

It's not the money, it's the principle.  The principle being that I don't have to pay for a lawyer...  In Spectrum Reporting LLC v. Abrams, the 10th District affirmed that an attorney is responsible for a court reporter's costs unless the attorney specifically advises the reporter that the client will be responsible.  The attorney had argued that

The Trial Court's finding that Defendant was responsible for the Court Reporter's fees, as an agent whom procured services on their behalf of his client is contrary to established agency law and Prof. Cond. Rule 1.8(e).

The amount of the bill was $203.34.


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