The Plain Dealer reports that Jones Day partner, Robert Rawson, will continue as the Dean of the Case Law School until mid-2011. High on his list of priorities for the remainder of his tenure are creating a strategic plan, raising money for more scholarships, and enhancing the school's career services division. Rawson received his JD from Harvard, a Masters from Oxford in England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his A.B. from Princeton, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.
California has become the first state to provide indigent residents with the right to an attorney in certain civil cases. The law which Governor Schwarzenegger signed is being called "civil Gideon" and provides a right to counsel in child custody, foreclosure and other matters. Click here to read an article discussing the pros and cons of the new law from the Wall Street Journal. This article indicates that the ABA endorsed "civil Gideon" laws back in 2006, but there is a newer article from the October 2009 issue of the ABA Journal which seems to confirm that. The program will be funded by increased filing fees that the state of California hopes will generate about $11 million dollars.
Although a recent Plain Dealer article predicts a later date in 2010, the October 27th issue of the Daily Legal News reports that Cleveland Municipal Court will be launching public access to a new online criminal docket next week on November 2nd. A long time in coming, the court is scaling back all non-essential court business this week and next week to make the transition easier. Whether initial access is limited to internal court employees or not, access to criminal records will eventually appear on the Court's website similar to the page the Court has maintained since January of 2008 for access to civil records.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Cuyahoga County has approved $29 million in contracts for construction of a new Juvenile Justice Center. Approval had been delayed based on allegations of corruption in the bidding process, but some of the work on the Center has already begun, with the hope of opening in 2011. The PD indicates that the County postponed its vote until receiving a clean bill of health from a former federal prosecutor the County hired to review all of the bid, appraisal and contract documents. Interestingly, the PD column ends by stating that the County changed its bid process in the last few weeks despite the fact that the contracts were also cleared as part of a large federal investigation.
The recent issue of OBAR reports that the Ohio State Bar Association has puslished new jury instructions on Casemaker, including those covering Ohio ethics law conflicts of interest (O.R.C. sec. 102.03(E), common law defenses-duress, diminution of value, breach of confidentiality, breach of confidentiality of medical records to a third party, compromise verdicts, and complete instructions for a basic personal injury case. The OSBA has also partnered with the Ohio Judicial Conference to create a new OJI Chapter 349 on Privacy, that will include instructions on 1) invasion of privacy, publication of private facts; 2) invasion of privacy, common law; 3) invasion of privacy, appropriation of name or likeness; 4) invasion of privacy, intrusion into private affairs; and 5) invasion of privacy, false light.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a 10-day jail term for repeat drunk driving offenders who refuse to take a breath test when they are pulled over. The decision was close with a 4-3 vote that overturned the 3rd Circuit's decision, which had concluded that the law was an unreasonable search and seizure. Justice Lanzinger wrote the majority opinion, but Justices Pfeifer, Moyer and O'Donnell dissented chiefly on the basis that prior decisions had only imposed administrative penalties for failure to agree to a chemical test. The opinion can be found at this link, and you can click here to read a summary from the Ohio Supreme Court's Press Release.