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  • 04 Jun 2020 7:53 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    An order issued today by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor allows that any oath or an affirmation required by a rule of the Court may be administered remotely by use of audio or video communication technology.

    The technology must allow the person administering the oath or affirmation to positively identify the person taking the oath or making the affirmation. This order is in effect during the coronavirus emergency.

    The order addresses the difficulty of in-person administration of oaths and affirmations at a time when Ohio Department of Health guidelines call for social distancing.

    The order is retroactive to March 9, when Gov. Mike DeWine issued an emergency coronavirus executive order, and expires when the emergency ends or on July 30, whichever is sooner.

    Original article posted here. 

  • 21 May 2020 11:56 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    CHICAGO (May 20, 2020) — The Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) is launching a fund and fellowship program to support women of color law students who lost their 2020 law firm or corporate internship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “As an organization, our whole mission has been focused on advancing the careers of underrepresented women of color in the legal profession,” said DAPP co-founder Tiffany Harper. “Our goal is to address the lack of diversity in Big Law by infusing the pipeline with highly qualified, diverse law students who have undergone intensive training and professional development.”

    The DAPP Displaced Student Stipend Fund will provide financial support and intensive professional development for displaced law students to do volunteer legal work that will provide meaningful training and skill development during the summer of 2020. In addition to the stipend, awardees will receive a DAPP Fellowship that matches students with lawyer mentors, provides professional development sessions and coaching and assists students in preparing their resumes and writing samples for future on-campus recruiting interviews. Awardees will also complete research and writing assignments for nonprofit organizations in need of legal support.

    “We have always targeted our programming on intensive professional development, academic coaching, attorney and law student mentoring, and, especially, summer positions at law firms and in corporate legal departments following the first year of law school,” explains co-founder Chasity Boyce. “We know this is the critical moment in a law student’s career to gain access to the most prestigious positions in the profession. Students who work in law firms following their first year of law school are more likely to obtain summer associate positions and secure offers of employment following law school.”

    Harper and Boyce, both African American women who graduated from law school at the height of the previous recession, have a deep personal commitment to ensuring that the economic impact of the pandemic does not, once again, disproportionally impact those populations who already have the most barriers to accessing prestigious positions in the legal field.

    “As law firms and businesses are forced to cut their summer internship programs, we hope they’ll consider contributing to this fund to support our work of infusing the pipeline to the legal profession with talented, highly qualified women of color in order to address the dismal statistics surrounding the number of women of color who are hired, retained and promoted at large law firms across the nation,” said Harper.

    “This is not a time to give up on diversity and inclusion efforts; it’s a time to refocus our efforts on preparing the next generation of lawyers for the challenges they’ll face in a diverse, global marketplace,” added Boyce.

    DAPP established the Displaced Student Stipend Fund with $20,000 of seed money from its own funds earmarked to support the pipeline of women of color lawyers. DAPP is calling on individuals, law firms, corporations, bar associations, and other nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to join in contributing to the Fund by earmarking donations to match and exceed DAPP’s contribution to support women of color law students. DAPP aims to raise at least $100,000 for the Fund. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, visit www.dapprogram.org.

    ###

    The Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program is a non-profit organization that addresses the continued and systematic decline of women of color lawyers in large law firms and across other positions in the legal profession. Through its Scholars program and national job placement program, DAPP Direct, DAPP works to expand opportunities for women of color law students to succeed in law school and secure paid summer positions at law firms and corporations following their first year of law school. The DAPP Scholars Program runs in Chicago, Illinois, and provides scholars with placement assistance, academic support, coaching, counseling, book stipends, tutoring, seminars and workshops, tailored professional development, mentorship and more.

  • 18 May 2020 12:48 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    The next time law grads sit for the test that can permit them to practice law in Ohio they will be trying to master the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).

    This will be the first use of the UBE in the state. The next Ohio Bar Exam is scheduled for Sept. 9-10.

    The change is the result of the Ohio Supreme Court’s adoption of a rule last month. A public comment period was held beginning in November 2019, and UBE adoption was recommended unanimously by a 16-member task force appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.

    “The UBE addresses the demand for lawyer mobility across jurisdictions in America today, and uniform licensing helps increase efficiency through the sharing of resources and expertise,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.

    The UBE has been adopted in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Each exam – offered on common dates several times a year – is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, based in Madison, Wis. The national Conference of Chief Justices and the American Bar Association have advocated that states adopt the UBE.

    The UBE is a two-day test comprised of three components.  Ohio has been using two of the three parts of the UBE – the Multistate Bar Exam and the Multistate Performance Test. Ohio will now add the Multistate Essay Exam in place of the Ohio essay questions.

    However, in order to be admitted to the state bar, those who pass the UBE also must pass the Ohio Law Component prepared by the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners. The board intends for the format of the Ohio Law Component to be online, open book and multiple choice.

    UBE test takers in Ohio will be able to transfer their scores to other UBE states. Those who pass the UBE in other states will be permitted to transfer their scores to Ohio without sitting for another bar exam, provided they earn Ohio’s passing score of 270.

    Ohio will recognize acceptable UBE scores from other UBE states for five years. After that period, an attorney from another state seeking to practice in Ohio would have to earn another passing score or be approved for “admission without examination” by the Supreme Court.

    Original article posted here. 

  • 13 May 2020 2:52 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, on behalf of the Court, announced today that, “Due to the ongoing public health concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Ohio is postponing the Ohio Bar Examination until Sept. 9-10.”

    The exam days were moved from the originally proposed dates of July 28-29.

    Additional information will be forthcoming regarding the particulars of the Ohio Bar Exam and changes to “Practice Pending Admission During the Admission to the Practice of Law Process” for recent law school graduates.

    Original article posted here. 

  • 05 May 2020 3:47 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    The Ohio Supreme Court spring 2020 Bar Admission Ceremony will become a virtual event due to the COVID-19 public emergency, with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor presiding.

    The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Ohio Channel at 1 p.m. Monday, May 11 using remote technology. It will be streamed simultaneously at www.ohiochannel.org and on the Supreme Court site, www.supremecourtofohio.gov.

    More than 110 applicants will be sworn in as lawyers using interactive webinar technology, and they were reminded to invite their families and friends to watch.

    Chief Justice O’Connor will address the applicants and their families remotely from the Courtroom of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.

    The keynote speaker will be Justice Michael P. Donnelly. Also addressing the prospective lawyers will be:

    • Dr. Charles Rose, dean of the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University
    • Eleana Drakatos, president of the Ohio State Bar Association.

    Wayne County Common Pleas Judge Mark Wiest, who is the chair of the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners, will present the motion to admit the candidates.

    Printed wall certificates for the newly sworn-in attorneys will be mailed to them after the ceremony and information on registration, continuing legal education and the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program will be emailed.

    View a complete list of the applicants.

    Original article posted here

  • 01 May 2020 9:17 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has authorized $6 million in remote technology grants to 277 courts in 87 counties, the Supreme Court announced today.

    The grants are designed to ensure access to justice for Ohioans as courts make accommodations under the continuing COVID-19 public health emergency. The exact total of funding came to $5,984,393.24.

    “I have authorized these funds to ensure access to the courts, while also minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the public, litigants, the bar, and court staff,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.

    “Judges have told me that the new equipment they are receiving has changed the way they can do business -- not just during this crisis, but going forward when we return to normal.”

    The Supreme Court continues to expand its Coronavirus Resources web page that provides guidance for judges, court staffs, attorneys, litigants and the general public.

    Chief Justice O’Connor has communicated often with Ohio judges, offering support and guidance during the global pandemic, along with recommendations, including:

    • Using data from state and local health departments to determine trends for their jurisdictions.
    • Allowing teleworking for all employees who can do so, especially those with health risk factors -- for themselves and their household members.
    • Limiting building access and monitoring all people who come into court buildings.  No one exhibiting signs of illness, including a temperature of 100.4 degrees, should be admitted or allowed to stay in their buildings.
    • Enforcement of social distancing, the wearing of masks, and the cleaning of surfaces as outlined in the Responsible RestartOhio General Office Environments document. This includes employees, contractors, litigants, attorneys, and the public.  
    • Continuing jury trials. If a jury trial must take place, social distancing, and all other precautions must be observed at all times for everyone. “If a person called for jury duty fails to appear because of the fear of COVID-19, please treat that as a legitimate excuse,” the chief justice has said.  “A person should not have to risk their health to comply with a jury summons.”

    “Only time will tell how long it will be necessary for the precautions and practices we have implemented to remain in place,” Chief Justice O’Connor said in an email to judges. “I know that you and your staff have faced unexpected challenges during the last two months.  I also know that most judges have followed the guidance of this Court and the Health Department and their primary concern is the health and safety of all Ohioans.

    “I am thankful for all that you do and will continue to do in your role as an Ohio judge.”

    Original article posted here

  • 01 May 2020 8:29 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Candidates for 210 Ohio judicial races are now set for the general election after this week’s historic primary election.

    In-person voting was halted in early March and the election, which originally was scheduled for March 17, was extended six weeks due to the coronavirus health emergency.

    Nearly 300 judicial candidates were on the ballot during the primary and 265 will move on as candidates in the Nov. 3 general election. All incumbent judges running in the primary won their party’s nominations, according to unofficial results.

    At the top of the judicial races in November are two seats up for election on the Ohio Supreme Court: Justice Sharon L. Kennedy will face Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell and Justice Judith L. French will face Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner.

    Voters in November also will select judges for 21 district seats on the Ohio Court of Appeals and 187 seats on county trial courts.

    One county court seat in Mahoning County will be added to the November total because county court candidates run strictly as non-partisan and do not appear in partisan primary elections.

    At least three judicial seats also will have independent candidates added to the ballot.

    Among the 2020 judicial elections are 46 open seats with no incumbent judge running for election. Included in that number is a new seat in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations & Juvenile Division. Six open seats are on the Ohio Court of Appeals.

    Ohio is the only state in the nation with a “hybrid” judicial-election format, with judicial candidates participating in partisan primaries and then running in a non-partisan general election. No party affiliation will be listed for judicial candidates on official voter ballots in November.

    Complete judicial election results for the primary election are available at JudicialVotesCount.org. (Some web browsers may use https://blogs.uakron.edu/judicialvotescount/know-your-candidates to get to the website.)

    Judicial candidates not already participating in the Judicial Votes Count project may submit their biographical information at any time before the general election.

    Unofficial results also were compiled by Supreme Court staff using information from county boards of elections and the Ohio Secretary of State.

    Original article posted here

  • 01 May 2020 8:22 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    The Ohio Supreme Court today released results from the February 2020 Ohio Bar Examination. Of the 252 aspiring lawyers who sat for the exam, 124 – or 49.2 percent – passed the exam.

    Among the 81 first-time test takers, 74 percent received passing scores.

    The exam was administered at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington from Feb. 25 to 27.

    The successful applicants who meet all other admission requirements will be sworn in during a special session of the Supreme Court on Monday, May 11 at 1 p.m. using remote technology.

    The bar exam is administered by the Court, which regulates the practice of law in Ohio, including the admission of new attorneys, the biennial registration of current attorneys, attorney discipline in cases of misconduct, and the administration of continuing legal education.

    Original article posted here

  • 22 Apr 2020 8:51 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    As millions of Ohioans isolate to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a Lorain County drug court found a unique way to recognize a woman who survived the solitude of substance use disorder.

    The Lorain County Family Drug Court recently organized its first-ever remote graduation ceremony through videoconferencing. The graduate, a mother of four who asked for her name not to be published, completed the yearlong program on her second attempt after an unsuccessful try last year.

    Image of a smiling woman in a black judge's robe

    She thanked Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge Sherry Glass, who presides over the specialized drug court docket, for “not giving up on me, and encouraging me to move forward.”

    “We were not going to let COVID-19 slow us down. We were not going to let the progress of this program, and your progress be slowed down, at all,” Judge Glass told the woman.

    The court, which began in 2000, helps parents who are battling substance use issues with the motive of reunifying, or having parents remain, with their children. The effort is comprised of several organizations, including the court, multiple other legal entities, Lorain County Children Services, treatment providers, and other community partners.

    Typically, the drug court’s graduation ceremonies are a social gathering accompanied by cake, hugs, and handshakes. But given the present need for social distancing, organizers had to come up with an alternative way to acknowledge the important achievement, not only for the graduate, but also as an aspiration for fellow participants.

    “They need to know we will not put them on pause, especially during unprecedented hard times when they need us the most. We hope by the team going the extra mile, our participants got the message: They are worth it,” Judge Glass said.

    The court says they try to limit the number of participants to around 10, so the program’s case manager and clinicians can have more time to give each participant the maximum amount of support. With 62 graduates who’ve successfully completed the program and left the docket, that aid continues even after they’ve left the drug court.

    “They have the gift of our word,” Judge Glass said. “When they walk out of those doors, if they need me, if they need the court, we are always there for them.”

    Original article posted here

  • 06 Apr 2020 12:41 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    CLEVELAND, OH – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Reminger Foundation awarded a total of $275,000 in charitable grants to various hospitals that have established recovery funds to support their frontline caregivers. The Reminger Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the attorneys and staff of Reminger Co., LPA, and friends of the law firm. 

    “We wanted to identify a meaningful way to demonstrate our deep appreciation for these heroes who are working tirelessly and valiantly on the front lines in our communities to help treat those afflicted with the COVID-19 virus,” said Stephen Walters, Managing Partner of Reminger Co., LPA and Chair of The Reminger Foundation. 

    The Reminger Foundation is contributing these funds in order to support the health, well-being and safety of those treating the surge of patients during this critical time. 

    “Reminger has always been a close partner of the medical community,” Walters stated. “There has never been a more important time for us to work together to overcome this overwhelming challenge.” 

    About Reminger, Attorneys at Law:

    Reminger Co., LPA is a full-service law firm with fourteen offices throughout the Midwest: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Sandusky, Toledo, Fort Mitchell, Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Northwest Indiana and Evansville. With more than 150 attorneys collectively, Reminger's practice areas include all aspects of litigation, along with corporate, tax, real estate and probate matters. Our fundamental objective in all the legal services we provide is to obtain the best possible results for our clients in the most practical and efficient manner possible.

    For more information, visit Reminger at www.reminger.com.

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