The Disruption of Judicial Elections, Part III. Burning the Midnight Oil.

So many cases, so little time.  With three incumbent justices leaving the Court, there’s going to be a lot of burning the midnight oil to get cases under submission released.  One question I’ve been asked hypothetically is whether the four justices remaining—O’Donnell, Pfeifer, Lanzinger, and Chief Justice O’Connor — could decide any submitted cases that don’t make the departure deadline if they all agree about the outcome, because hypothetically, if the four of them agree, whatever three other justices decided wouldn’t affect the outcome.  I don’t know the answer, but doubt that this is a desirable option even if permissible. And re-argument of submitted cases would really seem a bummer.

Here’s the list of cases I’ve blogged on, with a short issue summary for each, that are still undecided, from oldest to most recent. Oral argument previews and analyses of these cases are all available on the blog under the Oral Argument Preview and What’s on Their Minds Sections.

State v. Hood, 2010-2260-Decision Released December 3, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is whether cellphone records are admissible at trial as business records.

State of Ohio ex rel. Michael DeWine, Attorney General of Ohio, et al. v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, et al. # 2011-0890. This case has been stayed due to a bankruptcy filing by GMAC Mortgage.

The issue in the case is whether mortgage servicers are covered under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act so as to be held liable for civil penalties under the Act for engaging in unfair or deceptive practices in the litigation of foreclosure actions.

Burlingame v. Burlingame, 2011-742. Disposition released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

One of two cases heard the same day involving the definition of recklessness in the context of a claim against a political subdivision.  The issue in this case is whether violations of departmental polices or traffic laws are relevant to a determination of immunity for a city employee. The other case is listed next.

Estate of Anderson v. City of Massillon, 2011-0743. Decsision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is the interpretation of the word “reckless” so as to defeat sovereign immunity in a case involving a firefighter who caused two traffic accident deaths during an emergency run.

Angel L. Horvath et. al. v. David Ish et. al. #2011-1089. Decision released November 20, 2012. Read the analysis here.

This case involves the interpretation of sports and recreational activity rules codified in R.C. 4149, Ohio’s ski safety statute.

Tracy Ruther, Individually and Administrator of the Estate of Timothy Ruther v. George Kaiser, D.O., et al, no. 11-0899. Decision released December 6, 2012. Read the analysis here.

The issue in the case is the constitutionality of the medical malpractice statute of repose codified at R.C. 2305.113(C).

State v. Robert Moore, 2011-1664.Decision released November 29, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in the case is the effect of a waiver of a fine in a sentence for an offense with a mandatory fine if no affidavit of indigency is filed prior to sentencing.

Michael L. Hawsman v. City of Cuyahoga Falls, 2011-1588 Decision Released  November 20, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in the case is whether the exception to sovereign immunity codified at R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) applies to a diving board accident at the city’s indoor natatorium.

Branch et al. v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2011-1634. Decision released November 21, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

This case involves some medical malpractice fundamentals, including demonstrative evidence, the “different methods” jury instruction and an adverse inference instruction

Houdek et al. v. ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA, 2011-1076. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in the case is how to prove intent under the current version of Ohio’s much litigated employer intentional tort statute.

Smith v. Landfair, 2011-1708. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

At issue is the interpretation of the word “spectator” under R.C. 2305.321, the Ohio Equine Immunity statute, which grants immunity for certain equine-related activities.

Rayess v. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, 2011-1933. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is whether a written contract can exist when it is based on an application to take an examination, payment of a fee to do so, and the receipt of general informational brochures about the exam.

State v. Kyle D. Raber, 2011-1383. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is whether the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to reopen the case after the final judgment entry was journalized in order to hold an evidentiary hearing on whether Raber had to register as a sex offender.

D.W. v. T.L., 2011-1979. Decision Released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is whether the trial court abused its discretion by inappropriately granting a father’s petition to change his child’s surname to his own.

Doss v. State, 2012-0162. Decision released December 6, 2012. Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is whether the trial court properly granted Doss’ motion for summary judgment on his wrongful imprisonment claim when it relied solely on the court of appeals decision vacating Doss’ criminal conviction.

State v. Van Williams, 2011-2094. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue in this case is the use of other acts testimony under Evid. R. 404(B) in a sex crimes case.

Larry Hewitt v. The L.E. Myers Co. et al., 2011-2013. Decision released November 20, 2012. Read the analysis here.

The issue in this employer intentional tort case is what constitutes the deliberate removal of an equipment safety guard, thus creating a rebuttable presumption of intent to injure under R.C. 2745.01 (C).

State v. Damaad Gardner, 2011-2134. Decision released December 6, 2012.  Read the analysis here.

The issue is what is the effect of an outstanding arrest warrant on evidence obtained from an earlier allegedly unlawful detention of the defendant.

Whew! And my holiday gift from the Court will be an avalanche of merit decisions just when I am inundated with grading exams.  That’s a blogger’s fate.

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