It is not too late to contribute to "A Book of Your Own." The Law Library is helping the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association with its spring book drive to collect new and gently-used books to give Cleveland elementary school students "a book of their own" to take home and enjoy this summer. Don't miss the chance to give local, deserving children the gift of reading! Donations can be dropped off at the Law Library through Friday, April 26th.
"In recognition that many veterans return to civilian life with significant physical and mental trauma, which may contribute to their involvement with the criminal justice system, the court takes the responsibility for ensuring that veterans receive the treatment they need. By providing a specialized docket, our focus is to increase the veteran’s chance of success."
The program offers veterans who are facing misdemeanor offenses the chance to avoid jail through diversion to government and community support services, including treatment and mentoring.
At the graduation ceremony, Judge Charles Patton, Jr., who presides over the Docket, stated that:
"It's our duty as fellow countrymen to take care of each other."
Click here for a Plain Dealer article containing more information about the graduation ceremony.
The Cleveland Municipal Court has issued a creative sentence for a woman who drove onto a sidewalk in order to pass a school bus full of children-she will have to wear an "idiot" sign. ABC news reports that the woman, who the bus driver caught on video, will have to wear a sign that says "Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus" next Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at the intersection of East 38th and Payne in Cleveland. The sign has to be on white poster board with capital letters in black marker. This situation makes me think of Bill Engvall and "Here's Your Sign."
Cleveland lawyers and law graduates have had it tough the last few years, just as have lawyers throughout the country. However, the Cleveland Plain Dealer just reported that some local law firms are bucking the nationwide trend. According to cleveland.com:
"Cleveland-based Tucker Ellis has brought on 21 lawyers this year, 16 of them at its downtown Cleveland office.Thompson Hine added eight attorneys at its Cleveland headquarters and 16 firmwide in the past year. Walter & Haverfield grew 20 percent in the first nine months of 2012, adding seven partners and five associates since January...The Cleveland office of Jones Day reports a net gain of 17 lawyers since January, bringing the total to 227."
In contrast, the article indicates that the numbers at the local offices of Calfee Halter and Benesch Friedlander are down. Reductions like these firms have experienced, or flat hiring freezes, seem to be the local norm.
Always on the cutting edge of library science, the Cleveland Public Library has launched another local initiative called the BookBox. Located in Ohio City across the Street from the West Side Market, the portable BookBox will allow Saturday morning patrons at the Market Square Park to check out books on "food, cooking, gardening, art, and urban agriculture." Read CPL's Press Release for more information on the BookBox, and click here for a picture of the BookBox.
Joining Mansfield and Youngstown (see our prior post), the Cleveland Municipal Court has created its own Veterans Treatment Docket. According to the Ohio Supreme Court's press release, this new docket is "designed to address the special needs of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and National Guard, who become involved with the criminal justice system in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County...The Veterans Treatment Docket brings together all parties that assist honorably discharged veterans with their substance abuse, mental health, housing, employment, education and health issues." The Court plans to partner with the Veterans Service Commission and the Veterans Administration to get vets the help they need.
If you have not already heard, the Cleveland Municipal Court's Civil Division now provides another option to file documents: e-Filing. The Court conducted training earlier this month, but there is a great tutorial, complete with multiple screen shots, that explains how to register for the first time, submit pdf documents as e-files, and check the list of documents you have filed. The Court's e-Filing website contains this description of the process of accepting electronic documents:
"All filings made by an electronic record (e-filing) shall have the same effect as a paper filing. No filing shall be deemed as accepted by the Cleveland Municipal Court until it has been reviewed and approved. After approval an electronic notice will be sent to the filer and no pleading shall be considered filed until an electronic notice has been sent to the filer. All registered e-filing accounts will be available for use, after an activation notice has been sent."
Filers can also register to create an escrow account against which filing fees will be taxed or enter credit card information to pay online with each filing.
Only time will tell whether this system will replace print filing entirely, but, at least for now, the Court is continuing to accept hard copies.
Yesterday, on May 4, 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed two (2) cases from Cleveland and Columbus that challenged the constitutionality of red-light cameras. The Court simply dismissed the cases so there is no substantive opinion upon which either side can really hang its hat. Click here to read the Court's opinion in the Cleveland case, which sought writs of mandamus and prohibition and wherein the court denied class certification and a request for oral argument in 2 short paragraphs. Click here to read an article from the Columbus Dispatch about the decisions. Click here to read our prior post on the case when it was originally filed in Cleveland just 3 months ago.