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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.

Attorney registration reminder
The Supreme Court of Ohio issued a reminder this month that attorneys will receive their 2017-2017 biennial registration packets.  Lawyers on active or corporate status must register and pay a $350 registration fee every odd-numbered year.  The registration packet contains instructions on how to register.

Click here to link to Court News Ohio: Biennial Attorney Registration Reminder Issued

House overrides budget vetoes
For the first time in 40 years, the Ohio House overrode a budget veto. And they did it 11 times, leaving only 36 of Governor Kasich’s 47 vetoes, which were the most he’d ever issued on a spending plan.  The Senate has not announced when, or if, it will follow the House lead and override the Governor’s vetoes.  The legislature is now in recess and is not expected to reconvene until September.

Click here to link to HB 49 – An Act

WC one-year SOL effective date
The amendment to RC 4123.84 reducing the statute of limitations (SOL) from two years to one is found in HB 27, which was signed by Governor Kasich on June 30.   The SOL change will take effect 91 days later.  We estimate the effective date to be October 1 and will publish the official date when it is available.  Note: the new one-year SOL will apply to claims “arising on or after” the effective date.

Click here to link to HB 27 – An Act

2017 Trucking Litigation Seminar
Join us at this year's Trucking Safety CLE to get the inside look at the trucking industry and become the most informed lawyer on trucking litigation. With a carefully crafted line up of speakers, we’ll bring you everything you’ll need in the courtroom. Click here to view the lineup and to register.

Case Framing with Mark Mandell Seminar
At this seminar, you will learn the newest innovation in preparing and trying your cases. Developed by AAJ Past President Mark Mandell, the Case Framing paradigm relies on the latest research in decision science and psychology to help you find the overall case frame, identify the "I Just Can't Get Over" issues, and echo those issues throughout trial. The underlying premise is that just verdicts result when everything presented at trial is framed and sequenced to focus juror attention on the points you most want to make. Your case is about what you focus it on—focus the jury's attention on what actually matters. Click here to register.

Save the Date for this year's Winter Convention!
This year's Winter Convention will be held November 1-3, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. We are excited to annouce that the Winter Convention will be held at the brand new Hilton in Downtown Cleveland! Click here to book your room early and save (use code OAJC). 


Gone … until September… except for veto override
After passing the biennial state budget, the Ohio General Assembly was expected to recess for the summer.  And then Governor Kasich vetoed parts of the bill.  Now the Ohio legislature may return to override his vetoes.  Below is a recap of major legislative action.

Click here to read story: Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoes Medicaid freeze, signs state budget bill

BWC and IC budgets raided
In the state budget bill (HB 49), funds were transferred from the operating budgets of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Industrial Commission and were added to the state general treasury.  The amount was small, just 2% of the BWC and IC budgets, but this sets a dangerous precedent unlocking workers’ comp funds to be taken in the future.  OAJ partnered with the Ohio AFL-CIO to express our opposition.  Major business groups also opposed the transfer.  OAJ may join a motion asking the courts for a TRO to stop the transfer.

Click here to read Columbus Dispatch story: Ohio labor, business groups oppose Senate raid of budget funds

WC statute of limitations reduced to one year
The BWC budget bill was enacted.  It includes a reduction in the statute of limitations (under 4123.84) from two years to one.  OAJ opposed slashing the SOL.  The good news is the bill also contains several positive changes that OAJ supports: increases attorneys’ fees, facilitates settlement of claims by injured handicapped workers, allows firefighters with cancer to receive working wage loss, allows compensation to be paid before the claimant’s full weekly wage has been determined, and allows more time to settle claims after final IC orders.   The Governor has signed the bill.

Click here to link to HB 27 – An Act

Medical negligence legislation held
A medical negligence bill opposed by OAJ remains in the House Civil Justice Committee.   Just before recess, the committee adopted a substitute bill that was slightly better because it removed the section narrowing what may be presented as evidence of the fair value of medical care.  OAJ’s Patient Advocacy Task Force is working to defeat or significantly amend the bill.

Click here to download the substitute version of HB 7

Rewrite of Ohio structured settlement law advances
Legislation amending Ohio’s current law that regulates structured settlements and the transfer of payment rights passed the House.  An identical bill is pending in a Senate committee. The legislation was negotiated between the National Structured Settlement Trade Association and the National Association of Settlement Purchasers with OAJ’s input.  OAJ supports the legislation.   

Click here to link to HB 223 – as passed by the House

Click here to link to SB 152

Police crash reports not to be used for solicitations
A bill that requires an accident report to show whether a person involved in the accident wishes to be contacted for commercial solicitation remains in a Senate committee.  The OAJ is determining its position and considering options on the legislation.

Click here to link to SB 148

Bill scrapping cap on damages stalled
Legislation that lifts the current cap on non-economic damages for victims of rape and sexual assault did not have a hearing after it was introduced in February.   The bill remains in the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.  OAJ supports the bill and is advocating for its passage.

Click here to link to HB 20

A new name for Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
New legislation was introduced that would change the name of the BWC to the Office of Safety and Rehabilitation.  Also, the bill would reduce permanent total disability benefits for retirees, require a written return-to-work plan with quarterly reporting, and provides for a death benefit and scholarship for dependents of a worker killed on the job.  HB 269 was sent to the House Insurance Committee.  OAJ opposes the name change and benefit reduction for retirees.

Click here to link to HB 269

More self-insured employers
Legislation that would create a new sub-category of self-insured employers by establishing lower financial standards for those that can’t meet the current standards was introduced and sent to the House Insurance Committee.  The bill also allows self-insured companies to purchase private insurance.   OAJ opposes the bill.

Click here to link to HB 268