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Stay informed with OAJ's bimonthly e-newsletter containing information from the Ohio Statehouse, OAJ head quarters and newspapers from around the state. Look for the newsletter in your inbox on Thursday mornings every other week.


BWC Administrator Morrison appointed to federal bench
BWC Administrator Sarah Daggett Morrison has been nominated by the President to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  Senate confirmation may take months, so Ms. Morrison may not depart until mid-year. Governor Kasich will then appoint a new Administrator.

Ohio House Speaker to resign
Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) has announced he will resign his office and exit the legislature by May 1 amid FBI questions into his travel and spending habits.   The House named Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) to serve as interim Speaker.

Bill expands exemption from caps on punitive damages
Legislation to expand an exemption from the cap on punitive or exemplary damages from felonies involving purposeful or knowing conduct to include felonies for a strict liability offense has been introduced in the Ohio Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  OAJ supports the bill and will work for its passage.

Click here to link to SB 280

Notary modernization legislation introduced
Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to authorize electronic signatures and seals in order to notarize digital documents.  The bill also transfers the power to commission notaries from the county courts to the Secretary of State’s office.  Non-attorney applicants would be required to submit to a background check, participate in an education and training course, and pass a test in order to be commissioned.  The bill has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Click here to link to SB 263

2018 Annual Convention Keynote Speaker: Dan Abrams
We are thrilled to announce that Dan Abrams will be our Keynote speaker at our 2018 Annual Convention! Mr. Abrams is the Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News, and the host of top-rated cable series “Live PD “ on A&E Network. He is also the author of "Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just about Everything Else" and the forthcoming book, "Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency." Register today and save $50.

 

Bill expands exemption from caps on punitive damages
Legislation introduced this week expands an exemption from the cap on punitive or exemplary damages.  Current law exempts felonies involving purposeful or knowing conduct; the legislation adds felonies for a strict liability offense.  OAJ supports the bill and will work for its passage.  The bill awaits referral to a Senate committee.

Click here to link to SB 280

Wage and hour law for franchise companies
An OAJ amendment to preserve existing labor law, so that employers, in this case franchisors can still be held accountable for violations of wage and hour or workers’ comp law was adopted by a House committee.  The bill was reported out of committee and now awaits a House vote.   

Click here to link to HB 494

Railroad immunity stopped
OAJ stopped an attempt by railroads to enact civil immunity for their maintenance equipment operators that hit motorists at railroad crossings when warning signals don’t function.  The legislation requires drivers to stop, watch and listen for on-track maintenance equipment at railroad crossings. The bill passed the House and now goes to the Senate.

Click here to link to HB 190

Beekeeper immunity bill passes House
Apiary owners are provided qualified immunity by legislation that passed the House last week.  OAJ narrowed the scope of the immunity to bee stings (now immunity does not cover equipment and appliances) and made it more difficult for beekeepers to qualify for the immunity.  The bill now goes to the Senate.

Click here to link to HB 392

Court proposes “O’Neill Rule”
The Ohio Supreme Court has proposed a rule change that requires a judge who announces a run for a partisan elective office to resign immediately from the bench.  Some have dubbed the change the “Bill O’Neill Rule” for Justice O’Neill who continued to serve on the court despite announcing his intention to run for governor.

Click here to link to a story in Court News Ohio: Public Comment Requested for Proposed Change to Non-Judicial “Candidate” Definition

2018 Annual Convention- Early Bird Special Ends April 1st
Time is running out to save $100 on registration for the 2018 Annual Convention! Our early bird special ends April 1st. Don't miss this chance to save and register today! Click here to register and view lineup.