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Case Update

Other than the judicial campaign contribution case I discussed on Friday, the big news out of DC was something the Supreme Court didn't do:  it refused to hear the appeal from the Chrysler deal.  The Court's got two weeks left, although if you want to get a jump on the eventual analyses, you can take a look at the StatPack compiled by the gang over at SCOTUSBlog.  Some wags have suggested that we are a nation ruled by Anthony Kennedy, and they'd get some support for that observation from events so far:  Kennedy has voted with the majority in 92% of the divided cases, and only once in the 16 cases which wound up 5-4 has he been in the minority:  Arizona v. Gant.

Closer to home, in Lima v. State, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the elimination of residency restrictions for municipal employees, which will either be the end of life as we know it for the cities, or no big deal.  I live in one of the three areas of Cleveland most likely to be affected, so I'm sort of the canary in the coal mine on that one.  The other big case was State v. Bloomer, which dealt with the legislature's latest attempt to clean up how judges impose post-release controls.  I'll talk about that on Wednesday.

On to the courts of appeals...

Civil.  1st District holds that maintaining a water line is a proprietary function, city not entitled to sovereign immunity for failing to repair break and allowing ice to form on roadway... 2nd District affirms holding that father's consent to adoption was required; ten-minute phone call with child was suffiicient to prove communication within one year, especially where  mother had significantly discouraged communications... 11th District says failure to file answer is neglect, but in absence of any explanation of facts, neglect is not excusable and does not warrant vacating judgment... Court can't order production of documents without a hearing where other party claims they're protected by attorney-client and work-product privilege, 8th District holds... Where client did not object to reasonableness of attorney fees when he was billed for them, law firm did not have to present expert testimony on reasonableness in lawsuit to recover them, says 10th District...

Criminal.  Defendant may not argue disproportionate sentence solely on basis that he received longer sentence than his codefendants, 6th District rules... Even though defendant convicted of attempted rape and not rape, expungement was precluded, says 7th District... Felony murder based on child endangering not allied offense with child endangering, even where based on same acts, says 1st District... Fact that public defender representing defendant had also represented key prosecution witness not conflict of interest necessitating reversal, says 6th District... 2nd District vacates juvenile plea, says that juvenile wasn't counseled by parents or guardian ad litem, not advised of right to counsel at disposition...

Sticks and stones will hurt my bones... In State v. Bethay, the 1st District rejects a Batson challenge where

the prosecutor explained the challenge by stating that a member of the prospective juror's family had been charged with murder and that the prospective juror had "made faces" when informed that it was an aggravated-murder trial.

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