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Case Update

The gang in Columbus swung back into action last week.  In State v. Jeffries, the Supreme Court held that only a statement made during plea negotiations or discussions is inadmissible under EvidR 410; the defendant's statement at issue here was made before the plea negotiations commenced, and was submitted when they did begin.  In State v. Silsby, the court held that its sentencing decision in State v. Foster applied only to those cases that were pending on direct appeal at that time, not to cases where, as here, the defendant filed a delayed appeal after Foster came down.

The big civil decision came in Environmental Network Corp. v. Goodman Weiss Miller LLP, on a subject near and dear to our hearts:  attorney malpractice.  Clarifying an earlier decision, the court held that where a malpractice action is based on the theory that the client would have received a better outcome if the case had been tried instead of settled, the client has the burden of proving that (a) he would have prevailed at trial, and (b) the result of the trial would've been better than the settlement. 

There was also a decision on adverse possession which I didn't get around to reading.  Something about A acquiring Blackacre and granting a life estate to B, who...  whoops, sorry, that's one of those nightmare flashbacks I have from my 1st-year property course. Anyway, this involved a dispute over 97/10,000ths of an acre -- I'm not making that up -- so if you went to law school for stuff like that have at it.

So let's see what the courts of appeals were up to...

Civil.  1st District upholds default judgment, says negligence of insurance company in failing to respond can be imputed to defendant... 10th District vacates civil protection order; good discussion of what standards are used in determining whether plaintiff's fear of defendant is reasonable... 9th District says that judge's approving and adopting magistrate's order granting CPO by signing same document magistrate issued not final appealable order, because judge had to enter its own judgment... 10 District holds that dismissal of plaintiff corporation's complaint because it was not registered in Ohio should have been without prejudice...

Criminal.  Brief questioning of defendant, who'd been place in front seat of police cruiser without being handcuffed, didn't constitute custodial interrogation requiring Miranda warnings, says 1st District... 2nd District holds that merely because witness says she used her grand jury testimony in preparing to testify at trial doesn't entitle defense to disclosure of the grand jury testimony... 8th District holds that police observance of defendant putting something in his mouth and leaning into car did not give rise to reasonable suspicion that defendant was hiding drugs, affirms grant of motion to suppress... 12th District vacates juvenile's admission on account of magistrate's failure to personally address juvenile, says juvenile did not waiver error by not filing motion to withdraw admission... Doctor still entitled to give expert testimony as to injury in felonious assault case, despite fact that doctor's license was suspended, says 2nd District...

Why it would be a good idea to shoot one out of every three home contractors.  It would at least serve as a lesson for the others.  From the 10th District's decision in Haimbaugh v. Grange Mut. Cas. Co. 

The Haimbaughs hired Rick Seymour for a variety of tasks related to their home and business. In particular, the Haimbaughs hired Rick Seymour to remodel their home. Seymour sent his crew to remodel the home, and the workers stole items from the home. In addition, Seymour's employees damaged a bathroom that was not supposed to have been part of the remodeling project.

The Haimbaughs gave Seymour a check for the remodeling work. Seymour told the Haimbaughs that he could not cash the check, and the Haimbaughs gave Seymour another check. Thereafter, Seymour cashed both checks. Seymour then gave the Haimbaughs a check to cover the overpayment, but Seymour later cancelled the check before the Haimbaughs cashed it.

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