In a 108 page opinion, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, held that convicted murderer Joe D'Ambrosio is entitled to a new trial. Prosecutors failed to inform the defense of material evidence which would have helped D'Ambrosio's case. The defense was never told that Paul Lewis, a key witness against D'Ambrosio, had been accused of rape, and that the murder victim was a witness in the rape case against Lewis. Judge Orders Release Or Re-Trial Of Death Row Inmate , Ohio News Now, March 28, 2006. To read the opinion, D'Ambrosio v. Bagley (Mar. 24, 2006), Case No. 1:00CV02521, Download dambrosio.pdf
The Ohio Supreme Court has proposed changes to two forms dealing with guardianships, the Statement of Expert Evaluation and Supplement for Emergency Guardian of Person. Proposed Ohio Standard Probate Forms 17.1 and 17.1(A) by Chuck Kallendorf, Cincinnati Law Library Blog.
The Ohio Judicial Conference webpage identifies recently enacted Ohio legislation which has an impact on the judiciary. There are brief summaries of the act and links to the text of the act and the LSC analysis on the Ohio General Assembly's webpage. The Judicial Conference New Enactments page also indicates when the bill will go into effect. Go to: Ohio Judicial Conference - New Enactments
A fascinating article on silent tort reform recently appeared on Lexisone's webpage. The article asserts that federal agencies are creating regulations preventing states from creating higher standards by statute or case law concerning product safety. Here is one example of many cited in the article:
"In January, the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug label rule that pre-empts state laws. The rule will make it easier for pharmaceutical makers to prevail in consumer lawsuits that could have been brought under state laws more favorable to victims. "
Nurses at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center filed suit under the Equal Pay Act, asserting that male physician's assistants were paid higher wages for the substantially equal work. The trial court granted summary judgment to the VA, finding that the VA had established a factor other than sex for the pay differential, namely separate statutory based wage scales. The Sixth Circuit reversed, finding there was a genuine issue of material fact over whether the different wage scale was actually due to physician's assistants having more experience, as the VA claimed. There was evidence showing the nurses had comparable experience. There was also evidence the VA had the power to place the nurses on an increased pay scale. Beck-Wilson v. Principi (Mar. 17, 2006), Sixth Circuit Case No. 04-4010. Court Reinstates VA Wage-Bias Suit by Bill Sloat, The Plain Dealer, Mar. 21, 2006.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that HIPAA does not prevent public disclosure of lead paint citations which health departments issue to property owners. State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Daniels (March 17, 2006), 2006-Ohio-1215. The Supreme Court also defined the term "public record" to include a single document in a larger file of documents, such as an individual comp-time sheet filled out by a city employee. Kish v. Akron (March 20, 2006),2006-Ohio-1244.
Diamond Men's Club of Elyria filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the City of Elyria's zoning ordinance, 1125.02, which requires that adult entertainment businesses obtain a conditional use permit. The club asserts that the ordinance violates their First Amendment rights, violates equal protection, is void for vagueness and violates procedural due process. See complaint filed in D & I Entertainment LLC v. City of Elyria, Northern District of Ohio case no. 1:06-cv-00483. To read the ordinance in question Download elyria1125.02.pdf . See also Fight Over Elyria Strip Club Heads to Federal Court, Newsnet5, Mar. 17, 2006.