Cnet reports that a judge in Michigan had to follow his own courtroom policy when his new smartphone went off in court the other day during a prosecutor's closing argument. Michigan Judge Raymond Voet held himself in contempt and fined himself $25.00 for violating the policy about cell phones ringing during court proceedings. Thankfully, this Judge did not consider himself above the law and set a good example by observing his own rules.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice-elect William M. O'Neill will be sworn in at the Eighth District Court of Appeals at 7pm on December 27, 2012. His ceremony would ordinarily take place in Columbus, but it was changed to Cleveland at his request inasmuch as he is from this area. Presumably, his ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet at sc.ohio.gov.
Governor John Kasich has appointed Judge Judith L. French to the Ohio Supreme Court, effective January 1, 2013. Judge French will fill the vacancy that will be created by the retirement of Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton at the end of the year. Judge French has been serving on the Franklin County Ohio Appeals Court in Columbus since 2004. Before serving on the Court of Appeals, Judge French served as chief legal counsel to Governor Bob Taft, chief counsel and assistant Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery, and deputy director for Legal Affairs in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Judge French will hold her new Ohio Supreme Court seat until November 2014, when she will have to run in the general election.
In a recent news release, the U.S. Courts' system has announced the creation of a proposed, new, model jury instruction on the use of social media during trials in federal court. A Judicial Conference Committee created the proposed instruction in an attempt to curb jury misuse of social media tools to research cases and communicate about them while the cases are pending. The instruction not only contains guidelines on instructing the jury before, during, and at the end of trial, but it also addresses violations and the consequences jurors can face.
"Ohio Supreme Court justices are paid $141,600 annually, far below California’s $218,237. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is paid $150,850, less than the average $157,759 for comparable top court judges in other states and well below California’s $228,856.
Ohio appellate judges receive $132,000, common pleas judges $121,350, full-time municipal judges $114,000, and part-time municipal and county court judges $65,650."
The Ohio Supreme Court has gone even more high-tech with yesterday's launch of Court News Ohio, which includes a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. According to the Court's Press Release, Court News Ohio is a "multichannel, multimedia program covering news about the Ohio judicial system for the judiciary, legal community, and the general public." Court news about programs, rule amendments, and judicial appointments will transition to these new venues. Online news will be found at courtnewsohio.gov, but the court will also publish a print publication called Court News Ohio Review. Court news will also be aired on CNO-TV in the Supreme Court's collection on the Ohio Channel. The Supreme Court's new Facebook page is aptly named Court News Ohio, and its Twitter feed is @courtnewsohio. The Court is posting videos for downloading or through a free podcast subscription on Apple iTunes. A video announcing Court News Ohio has already been posted at the Ohio Channel.
"This library collects reasoned orders issued by Ohio judges and makes them available to other Ohio judges as a helpful resource. A reasoned order is one made by a judge that may prove helpful to other judges. Reasoned orders submitted to the web-based library may address new or unique issues as well as routine issues that may come before a judge. A reasoned order must provide sufficient analysis of the issue in order to be beneficial to another judge confronted with the same or a similar issue."
The orders entered into this library are indexed by category to help judges find them. However, the OJC provides several disclaimers on use of the orders because they have not been reviewed, edited or updated for changes in the law. Nevertheless, this tool provides a great resource for judges. It appears that the resource itself is only available to OJC members by logging in at the OJC homepage.