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Case Update

Apparently, the Columbus Seven were so disoriented by the recent redesign of the Supreme Court's web site that they couldn't bring themselves to write any opinions.  The best news about the redesign, of course, is that it offers the ability to download oral arguments through iTunes.  If you, like me, were putting off the purchase of an iPod because of the inability to use it to listen to oral arguments, well, time to open your wallets.

Down in DC, nothing much this week.  Perhaps to coincide with fantasy baseball, SCOTUSBlog comes out with its StatPack for the Supreme Court's 2008 term so far.  Previous StatPacks (going back to 1995) are a great way to resolve those arguments you always overhear in your local pub, like who's written the most opinions or how often Scalia and Ginsburg are on the same side of a case.

Seriously, what the current StatPack did do is remind me that three big cases from October and November have yet to be resolved:  Gant, involving car searches (discussed here), Melendez, involving the application of Crawford to lab tests (here), and Fox, involving the FCC's "fleeting expletives" policy (here).  Any day now...

Meanwhile, let's take a look at some people who were hard at work.  A roundup from the courts of appeals...

Criminal.  8th District says that CrimR 32(A), which requires that sentence be imposed "without unnecessary delay," doesn't apply to remands for resentencing, upholds 19-month delay... 6th District rejects claim that trial court erred by not advising defendant, a Mexican national, of his right under the Vienna Convention to seek assistance from the Mexican consulate (issue I discussed here)... 1st District holds that attempted murder and felonious assault are not allied offenses; also rules that indictment for robbery can be amended at trial to include "reckless" element... 9th District holds that RC 3719.09, which permits a person to possess controlled substances if they're obtained by prescription from doctor, applies to bar prosecution for drug possession even if prescription was obtained unlawfully... Nice opinion from 1st District on constitutional requirements for drunk driving checkpoint...

Civil.  1st District holds that students do not have right to appeal to common pleas court from school decisions suspending or expelling them from extracurricular activities... In another school case, where student suspended for fighting, 8th District rejects substantive due process claim that school was required to consider whether student had acted in self-defense... Trial court grants summary judgment to defendant, plaintiff files motion to vacate, arguing that court made mistake, court grants motion; 9th District reverses, says proper recourse for plaintiffs was appeal... New Tech:  12th District holds that PowerPoint presentation does not constitute "written notice" of change in contractual compensation for employee...

That answers that.  Last week I mentioned an oral argument involving a case where the police had gotten a warrant from judge, called the cops on scene, and told them about the warrant; the latter immediately proceeded with the search, even though the warrant hadn't arrived yet.  I said that there's case law on both sides of this issue as to the legitimacy of the search.  There's now one more case on the other side:  in State v. Ealom, the 8th District holds that "there is no formal requirement that the actual warrant arrive at the location to be searched before the search begins District holds that." 

Stupid defendant tricks.  The moral of the 11th District's decision last week in State v. Hurtuk:  If your friend calls from jail and asks you to bail her out, don't have four or five beers before you go down to the station to pick her up.  Especially if you're only 19. 

Déjà vu all over again.  Last week I mentioned a case from the 12th District where the plaintiff had been thrown from a hayride because the driver lost control going down a hill, and the court reversed the grant of summary judgment, holding that this situation wasn't an "inherent risk" of hayrides, and thus the doctine of primary assumption of risk doesn't apply.  This week I'm reading the 7th District's decision in Byer v. Lucas, and damned if it's not the same facts:  Hayride, driver loses control going down a hill, plaintiffs tossed from wagon and sustain injuries, trial court grants summary judgment, court of appeals reverses because it's not an inherent risk, thus...  well, you can take it from there.

Honest to God, for a minute I thought I was losing my mind.


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