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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.


No change in status of bills of interest to trial attorneys
Over the past two weeks, the Ohio General Assembly devoted its attention to passage of a constitutional amendment changing how Congressional districts are drawn.  The amendment will appear on the May 8 primary ballot.   

Agreement between the political parties on such a hyper-partisan issue is extraordinary and has not happened in any other state.  A number of lawmakers deserve to be congratulated.  At the risk of offending some, OAJ wants to recognize in particular Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) who were key negotiators.

Click here to download OAJ’s brief explanation of the proposed constitutional amendment

Click here to link to the text of the proposed amendment: SJR 5

Register Early and Save $100!
This year's Annual Convention will be held May 2-4, 2018 at the Columbus Hilton at Easton. Take advantage of our early bird special and register today to save $100. The hotel block is also open and there are a limited number of rooms available. Book early to receive the OAJ rate of $193. To book your room call (614)414-5000 and use code OAJ. Click here to register.

OAJ Gives Back
We hope you will join us on Monday, March 19, 2018 for our Day of Service. We will be volunteering at food banks in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. We need 1 more volunteer in Columbus from 9am-12pm, 5 more in Cincinnati from 1pm-4pm, and 1 volunteer for the 10am-12pm shift and 7 for the 12pm-2pm shift in Cleveland. If you are interested in volunteering please email Katie Johnstone. Family members are welcome!

Bike Law 101: A Primer on Handling Bike Cases Webinar
Join us on March 21st for a bike law webinar! Presenter Steve Magas, Ohio's bike law lawyer, will cover a wide range of topics, including the history of bike laws, modern bike laws, bike crash cases, and practical issues you face when taking on these types of cases. Click here for more information and to register.

Membership Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets
Join OAJ and fellow members at Nationwide Arena on March 12th to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Montreal Canadiens​! Enjoy complementary food and drinks in the private Sky Terrace sponsored by Robson Forensic. Puck drops at 7:00pm. Each member is eligible for 2 tickets. There are a limited number of tickets available. Please RSVP to Katie Johnstone.

OAJ Leadership Nominations
Nominations for the 2018-2019 OAJ leadership positions are open. You can make a nomination by clicking here. All nominations will be sent to the nominating committee for review (upon nominees acceptance of nomination) and the committee’s recommendations for election will be sent to the OAJ membership no less than 30 days prior to the annual meeting held on Thursday May 3rd as a part of the OAJ annual convention.

 

Hospitals have second thoughts about medical records compromise
OAJ last reported that the Ohio Hospital Association agreed to OAJ’s changes to a bill amending the definition of medical records.  The amended bill would give patients the option to request their basic medical record or to request all their medical data.  The hospitals now don’t like the compromise, so the bill was re-referred to the House Health Committee.  OAJ will work to preserve patients’ access to their records.

Click here to link to HB 172

Negotiations continue on medical negligence “apology” bill
The medical community has proposed more changes to their legislation that expands the current apology statute, eliminates claims under the Loss of Chance doctrine, and makes worse the “shotgunning” effect of naming multiple defendants.  OAJ’s Patient Advocacy Task Force is actively engaged in these discussions.  OAJ opposes the bill, which is pending in the House Civil Justice Committee.

Click here to download HB 7 – the substitute bill adopted by the House Civil Justice Committee

Cybersecurity safe harbor bill heard
Curtis Fifner with the Donahey Law Firm testified for OAJ in opposition to legislation that creates an affirmative defense for businesses that adopt certain cybersecurity protections.  The bill is in the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee.

Click here to download SB 220 

Click here to link to testimony by Curtis Fifner who testified for OAJ

Another workers’ comp scheme for employer groups
Legislation allowing groups of employers to be granted status as a self-insuring employers under workers’ compensation law has been introduced and had one hearing in the House Insurance Committee.  OAJ opposes the bill.

Click here to link to HB 459

Slight improvement for emergency vehicle immunity
Police and fire and EMS vehicles must have their sirens and lights activated in order to qualify for sovereign immunity.  This legislation says that negligent drivers of emergency vehicles must follow department policy for legal protection to apply.   OAJ supports the bill, which is pending in the House Civil Justice Committee.

Click here to link to HB 419

Structured settlement law effective date
Supported by OAJ, this bill makes changes to Ohio’s current law regulating the transfer of settlement payments to purchasers of structured settlements.  The bill passed the legislature and was signed by Governor Kasich.  The official effective date is March 23, 2018.

Click here to download HB 223

ADA compliance
Legislation is advancing that provides disabled individuals with a real incentive to serve written notice on a property owner prior to filing an ADA lawsuit, but would not bar actions filed without the notice.  The OAJ now supports the bill after numerous positive changes were made.  The bill was reported by a House committee and now awaits a vote by the full House.

Click here to link to HB 271

Registration and hotel block open for 2018 Annual Convention
Registration is officially open for the 2018 Annual Convention! This year's Convention will be held May 2-4, 2018 at the Columbus Hilton at Easton. Take advantage of our early bird special and register today to save $100. The hotel block is also open and there are a limited number of rooms available. Book early to receive the OAJ rate of $193. To book your room call (614)414-5000 and use code OAJClick here to register.

OAJ Gives Back
We hope you will join us on Monday, March 19, 2018 for our Day of Service. We will be volunteering at food banks in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. We need 6 more volunteers in Columbus from 9am-12pm, 6 more in Cincinnati from 1pm-4pm, and 2 volunteers for the 10am-12pm shift and 8 for the 12pm-2pm shift in Cleveland. If you are interested in volunteering please email Katie Johnstone. Family members are welcome!

New Webinar- Bike Law 101: A Primer on Handling Bike Cases
Join us on March 21st for a bike law webinar! Presenter Steve Magas, Ohio's bike law lawyer, will cover a wide range of topics, including the history of bike laws, modern bike laws, bike crash cases, and practical issues you face when taking on these types of cases. Click here for more information and to register.

Membership Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets
Join OAJ and fellow members at Nationwide Arena on March 12th to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Montreal Canadiens​! Enjoy complementary food and drinks in the private Sky Terrace sponsored by Robson Forensic. Puck drops at 7:00pm. Each member is eligible for 2 tickets. There are a limited number of tickets available. Please RSVP to Katie Johnstone.