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April 3, 2013 – More CLEs and other activities

Judge Eve Belfance, Judge Jennifer Hensal, and Judge Beth Whitmore taught at a CLE for the Wayne County Bar Association in March 2014.  I also had the opportunity to present and it was a pleasure to talk with a good size group of attorneys interested in appellate practice.

I will also be presenting a one-hour lunch-time CLE for the Medina County Bar Association on April 8, 2014.  During that presentation, the three judges who will be hearing oral argument that day, Judge Donna Carr, Judge Jennifer Hensal, and Judge Beth Whitmore, will also appear after they finish the day's oral arguments.

We plan to do the same thing a few weeks later in Lorain County for the Lorain County Bar Association.  I will be presenting a one-hour lunch-time CLE on April 22, 2014.  Judge Eve Belfance, Judge Donna Carr, and Judge Jennifer Hensal, plan to join the program after they are finished hearing oral arguments.

On April 28, 2014, the Court will hear one oral argument as part of the Annual Street Law Summit at Quaker Station.  Judge Eve Belfance, Judge Donna Carr, and Judge Jennifer Hensal, will hear the oral argument and then answer questions from the students at the conclusion of the case.

May brings more CLE opportunities.  I will be talking about the importance of preserving the record for appeal to the Ohio Association of Magistrates on May 1, 2014.  On May 9, 2014, Judge Eve Belfance, Judge Donna Carr, Judge Jennifer Hensal, Judge Carla Moore, and Judge Beth Whitmore, will present an Afternoon with the Court of Appeals at the Akron Bar Association.

November 22, 2013 – A busy fall of teaching

The judges scheduled a busy fall by teaching multiple continuing legal education courses.  Judge Donna Carr began the courses by teaching at an Ohio Courts of Appeals Judges Association course about the use of interpreters in the courts.  Later, Judges Eve Belfance and Beth Whitmore taught at the Akron Bar Association's Basic Appellate Law CLE.  Judges Eve Belfance, Donna Carr, and Beth Whitmore joined Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French on a panel at the Akron Bar Association's Advanced Appellate Law CLE.  Judges Eve Belfance, Donna Carr, Jennifer Hensal, Carla Moore, and Beth Whitmore taught at an appellate CLE seminar for the Lorain County Bar Association earlier this month.  To complete the long list of courses, Judges Belfance, Hensal, and Moore will speak at an appellate CLE in Cleveland in early December.

All five judges plan to speak at an Akron Bar Association CLE next spring, but more about that later.

September 13, 2013 – Helpful tips from the clerk of courts

While preparing for an upcoming CLE, I asked one of the appellate clerks about anything helpful I could share with appellate lawyers.  She offered several good tips, so I am sharing them here.

Documents you prepare for filing should be single-sided.  In the counties that scan documents, the "other" side of the document is lost because the scanner only captures one side of the document.  We see this issue often with affidavits of indigency and fee applications.

The clerks do not know when the Court will rule on a motion or set a case for oral argument.  Those are questions you can direct to the Court, but we may not be able to give you an answer either.

The clerks can help you figure out how many copies you need for filing.  If you are not sure, you can call ahead to make sure you have enough copies but not more than you need.

August 5, 2013 – The end of the Court App

The Court made an Android smartphone application available for several years.  Unfortunately, the app has been discontinued.  Because of changes to the app developer software, it has become difficult to update the app.  In addition, the security concerns caused by requiring users to accept apps from "unknown sources" to use the Court App have become so great that they have outweighed the benefits of providing the Court App.  Thanks to all who tried it and the feedback that allowed us to improve it over the years.

Although the app is gone, the Court does have a mobile-friendly web page:  www.ninth.courts.state.oh.us/mobile.htm

July 12, 2013 – Proposed orders with Motions

We are often asked if a party who files a motion in the Ninth District Court of Appeals must also file a proposed order with the motion.  Although some appellate districts have this requirement, this Court does not ask or require parties to file a proposed order along with a motion.  The Court prepares orders for all motions.

July 3, 2013 – Ohio Supreme Court Writing Manual, second edition

The Ohio Supreme Court released a second edition of the Writing Manual on July 1, 2013. You can find it on the Ohio Supreme Court website here. A brief summary of the changes follows.

- Both the county and the district shall be included in citations to non-print published Ohio appellate opinions. In some multi-county districts, all of the counties use a uniform numbering system and the use of the district without the county resulted in the potential for numerous cases from the same district having the same citation. Following the first edition of the Manual, an unpublished case would be cited as State v. Smith, 9th Dist. No. 12CA0022, 2013-Ohio-2345, but under the second edition of the Manual, it would be cited as State v. Smith, 9th Dist. Wayne No. 12CA0022, 2013-Ohio-2345.

- The second edition of the Writing Manual also includes a method for citing appellate court opinions decided after July 1, 2012, that appear in the North Eastern Reporter. This date is significant because before that date, all opinions that were print published in both the North Eastern Reporter and the Ohio Official Reports, but after that date, the Ohio Official Reports does not include appellate court decisions.

- Finally, the section on references to juveniles was revised to conform to the July 1, 2012 amendments to Juv.R. 5. The Writing Manual now states that only initials shall be used.

The Writing Manual is binding on the Ohio Supreme Court, but other courts and lawyers are not required to follow it.  This Court's Local Rules require briefs to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court citation format only to the extent that, if available, a citation must include a webcite and paragraph number references.  This Court does not require parallel citations, so writers do not need to include Northeastern Reporter citations in briefs or motions.

The Writing Manual is available on the Ohio Supreme Court web site.  It is fully searchable, so if you have a citation question, after you open the PDF document, you can hit Ctrl-F to search for terms.  The index has also been revised to make it easier to find terms if you prefer to search that way.

June 28, 2013 – Ohio Supreme Court rule changes to take effect July 1, 2013

The Ohio Supreme Court announced that proposed changes to several court rules would take effect on July 1, 2013, unless the General Assembly takes action to stop the amendments.  There were a number of changes to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure, including some of the following.

App.R. 3  - amended to clarify that a party seeking to defend a judgment on a ground other than that relied on by the trial court need not file a cross-assignment of error.  Other amendments to this Rule clarify the procedure for amending a notice of appeal.

App.R. 9 - amended to clarify that App.R. 9(C) or 9(D) statements are available only in limited circumstances in cases originally heard by a magistrate. The goal of the amendment is to make it clear that a party must file a transcript or affidavit along with objections to a magistrate’s decision to challenge factual findings, and that the failure to file a transcript or affidavit cannot be overcome by filing an App.R. 9(C) or 9(D) statement on appeal. 

App.R. 21 - amended to require that any additional authority be presented at least five days prior to oral argument unless there is good cause for later presentment. The rule contains an example of good cause – the authority is not created until less than five days before oral argument.

You can read all of the amendments in a Word document on the Ohio Supreme Court website here.

March 15, 2013 – Court News Ohio Story about the Ninth District Court of Appeals

Court News Ohio, a service of the Ohio Supreme Court, ran a story about the Ninth District Court of Appeals.  The story notes that the Ninth District is the first appellate court in the state to have an all-female bench.

You can read the story and watch the video by clicking on the picture.

December 28, 2012 – New Presiding and Administrative Judges

The Court selected Judge Carla Moore to serve as the Presiding Judge for 2013.  Judge Eve Belfance will serve as Administrative Judge in 2013.

July 25, 2012 – Judge Dickinson co-authors Ohio Trial Practice Handbook

Judge Clair Dickinson joined Judge Richard Markus as a co-author on the new edition of "Ohio Trial Practice."  The handbook provides Ohio's lawyers and judges with principles of Ohio trial law.  The handbook covers both procedural and substantive issues.  Judge Dickinson and Judge Markus are already working on update for next year.  More information is available from Court News Ohio here.

July 20, 2012 – Updates to the Local Rules

Today, the Court adopted the proposed amendments to the Local Rules for the Ninth District Court of Appeals.  As noted earlier, the amendments update the Local Rules to comply with recent changes to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure and to eliminate redundant language.

The most significant changes are to Local Rule 8 and Local Rule 14.  The amendments to Local Rule 8 follow the amendment of App.R. 21 by providing that a party may request oral argument by indicating “ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED” on the cover of the brief-in-chief if the party wants to present oral argument.  The amendments to Local Rule 14 recognize the Supreme Court's amendment of Gov.Bar R. II to establish a procedure for pro hac vice status.

There were non-substantive changes made to the format of the Local Rules to make them easier to read.

July 2, 2012 – Updates to Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure

The Ohio Supreme Court announced today that it has adopted amendments to a number of rules, including the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The Court's list of amendments (available here as a Word document) provides an overview of the changes to all of the rules - the summary of the changes to the Appellate Rules follows:

App.R. 4

The amendment to App.R. 4 adds a reference to objections to a magistrate’s decision under Crim.R. 19 identical to provisions in App.R. 4(B)(2) for civil cases and juvenile cases. Additional time for the notice of appeal, where objections to a magistrate’s decision are pending, should be uniform for all appeals.

App.R. 10

Amendments to App.R. 10(B) clarify language to distinguish between the time when the record is complete and the time when the record is transmitted. The amendments also provide that the record is not complete, even after the time for preparing the record has expired if there is a pending motion to extend that time.

App.R. 13 and 14

The amendments to App.R.13 and App.R. 14 promote consistency with the 2012 amendments to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments will allow service by electronic means and use of commercial carrier services. The amendments also extend the "three-day rule" to other service methods, e.g., commercial carrier services that do not provide same-day delivery to the recipient.

App.R. 16

The amendment to App.R. 16 revises division (E) of the rule to require attachment of only those authorities that are not available electronically. The materials in question are usually available electronically, and courts and most practitioners have easy access to the electronic versions. The unnecessary attachments are burdensome on both counsel and the court. [The Ninth District Local Rules further limits what may be attached to a brief.]

App.R. 21

The Commission on the Rules of Superintendence has requested that the Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure consider moving several rules currently in the Rules of Superintendence to the Rules of Practice and Procedure. This request comes as a product of an ongoing process of reorganizing the Rules of Superintendence. The amendment to App.R. 21 moves the requirement of identifying oral argument panels two weeks in advance currently in Sup.R. 36.1 to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure.

App.R. 26

The amendment to App.R. 26 deletes language regarding sua sponte en banc consideration. The previous rule required the order designating the case for en banc consideration to vacate the original panel decision in order to stop the running of the time to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Court, however, amended S.Ct.Prac.R. 2.2 to toll the time for appeal to this Court during the pendency of a sua sponte en banc consideration. Therefore, the language in App.R. 26 is no longer necessary.

April 19, 2012 – Pro Se Guide Now Available

The Court has prepared a new Guide for litigants who appear pro se in the Court.  Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of cases with at least one pro se party.  To assist everybody with a case in this Court, this Guide provides an overview of the appellate process and includes forms that parties will need to use in their appeals.

The Pro Se Guide is available here.

April 5, 2012 – Proposed Amendments to the Local Rules

The Court has proposed amendments to the Local Rules.  You can see the proposed changes by clicking here (the link opens a PDF document). Text that appears underlined will be added to the Rules and text that appears with a strikethrough will be deleted from the Rules.

The proposed changes will update the Local Rules to comply with recent changes to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure and to eliminate redundant language.

The most significant changes are to Local Rule 8 and Local Rule 14.  The amendments to Local Rule 8 follow the amendment of App.R. 21 by providing that a party may request oral argument by indicating “ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED” on the cover of the brief-in-chief if the party wants to present oral argument.  The amendments to Local Rule 14 recognize the Supreme Court's amendment of Gov.Bar R. II to establish a procedure for pro hac vice status.

The Court is interested in receiving feedback about the proposed amendments.  You can email comments no later than April 27, 2012, to comments@ninth.courts.state.oh.us.

February 2, 2012 – Another New Affidavit of Indigence Form

The Office of the Ohio Public Defender has announced that it will require the use of a newly revised affidavit of indigency form for all appointments made after April 1, 2012.  You can find more information on the Ohio Public Defender's website.  The new form is available here.  This updated form replaces the August 2011 update that became effective on January 1, 2012.

January 2012 – New Writing Manual

The Ohio Supreme Court adopted a new Writing Manual.  The Manual includes three sections - citation, style, and judicial opinion writing (full disclosure - I served on the Committee that drafted the Manual).

The Manual is only binding on the Ohio Supreme Court.  According to the Preface, the Court hopes that all Ohio courts and attorneys will find it helpful in brief and opinion writing.

You can find the Manual here.  I am sure you will find it to be a helpful resource to answer citation and style questions.

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