Local attorney-author Gerald Chattman will be at the Cleveland Law Library to discuss his mystery novel, An Education in Murder. In the book, the fictional murder takes place at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Library. The talk will start at noon on Friday, September 9, 2005, followed by a free light lunch sponsored by Lexis and Westlaw. Please RSVP to the library director if you would like to attend. The talk is part of the library open house, so non-members are welcome to attend.
In a case of first impression, the Eighth District Court of Appeals held that pro se tenants can recover attorney fees under ORC 5321.16. ORC 5321.16 requires that the landlord must refund the security deposit, less any amount for past due rent or damages, to the tenant within 30 days. One of the pro se plaintiffs in this case is an attorney. Lytle v. K & D Group, Inc. 2005-Ohio-4310, August 18, 2005.
In Mellino v. Charles Kampinski Co., L.P.A., 2005-Ohio-4292, August 18, 2005, the Eighth District Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's grant of a directed verdict on the plaintiff's partnership claims. The appellate court found that some evidence existed from which reasonable minds could conclude that the plaintiff, an attorney, was a partner in a law firm, not merely an employee. Some of the facts which indicated existence of a partnership were: (1) deduction of overhead from the lawyer's "wages" and (2) the attorney was authorized to enter into contingency contracts with clients, sign checks on behalf of the law firm, and could hire and fire employees.
The Eighth District Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Berea Municipal Court, imposing fines upon Jere Hinton for running an art gallery out of his home. The appeals court found there was insufficient evidence demonstrating that the gallery did not comply with zoning regulations concerning in-home businesses. The court also found that the defendant took down a sign which violated city ordinances, and thus defendant could not be fined according to the terms of the ordinances. One judge dissented. City of Strongsville v. Hinton, 2005-Ohio-4293, decide August 18, 2005. Hinton's gallery is called "The Molly Gallery", named after his deceased wife. See Judge Fines Man, Gently, for Art Gallery Honoring Wife by Mark Rollenhagen, The Plain Dealer, October 9, 2004.
In a case that effected 4.7 million policyholders around the nation, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a 1.18 billion dollar jury verdict awarded in a class action lawsuit against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. The court found that class action status was improperly granted. The policyholders were suing State Farm, because State Farm specified imitation parts on their repair estimates. The imitation parts were inferior to original equipment manufacturer ("OEM") parts. See Illinois High Court Voids Judgment vs. State Farm by Christopher Wills, The Plain Dealer, August 19, 2005. To read the decision go to: Avery v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company. For a summary of the case written by the plaintiff's lawyers, see LieffCabraser.com.
The Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court has begun testing convicted juvenile delinquents for learning disabilities, when given approval by the child's parents. The information is shared with the parents and the Cleveland school district. NewsNet5.com, August 15, 2005.
Using the Ohio Business Gateway, Ohio businesses can "submit selected filings, registrations, and payments with the state's Department of Taxation, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Department of Job and Family Services, and Department of Commerce. OBG also partners with local governments to enable businesses to file and pay selected Ohio municipal income taxes." See OBG Electronic Filing Services. The site can be used to register for the Commercial Activities Tax. See OBG Tax Registration. Source: E-LawLibrary Weblog .
The Sixth Circuit's decision in Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler, Inc., 386 F.3d 738 (6th Cir. 2004), finding that Ohio's tax incentive program is unconstitutional, has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The Sixth Circuit found that Ohio's franchise tax credit, ORC 5733.33, encouraged in-state investment by companies already located in Ohio, over investment elsewhere. Thus, the tax credit violated the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court has not yet granted certiorari. Numerous Chambers of Commerce have filed friends of court briefs, asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit's decision. See GLI, Others Ask Court to Overturn Tax Ruling by John R. Karman III, Louisville Business First , August 14, 2005. For news on this case and copies of briefs, go to Bricker & Eckler, News and Developments in the Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler Court Case.