201710.31
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The First Amendment—and sexual relations?

The Ohio Supreme Court recently rendered a decision that concerns First Amendment rights in an unusual setting—sexual relations. The case concerned a statute that prohibits someone who knows he has the HIV virus from engaging in sex without first disclosing that fact to the other person. It’s a felony to violate the statute. Orlando Battista…

201710.03
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Financial industry files suit over CFPB rule

Last July, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule that will allow consumers to join together in class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other lenders. This is a hot button issue for the financial industry, which promotes arbitration as a less expensive means to resolve disputes. Attorneys who represent consumers would…

201703.08
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It gets costly if you don’t play nice

Do you remember your mother telling you to “play nice?” The importance of playing nice applies to litigation, as well. If you don’t play nice, it can get costly, as the plaintiff in a breach of contract case learned. The plaintiff had filed suit against a beautician school, claiming the school had failed to provide…

201611.02
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Contract terms can trump fairness

Can you be misled by someone with whom you’re in contract and not have a claim for the damages you suffer as a result? It’s not common, but it can happen. In 2010, a Franklin County vendor, National Contracting, entered into a contract with Lowe’s to install flooring as an independent contractor. The contract could…

201610.03
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Arbitration clause can be waived

Arbitration clauses in contracts are becoming increasingly popular, and they often place consumers at a disadvantage,  a subject we covered  in “The ‘fine print’ and arbitration clauses.” Like most contract provisions, however, an arbitration clause can be waived, as a Columbus vendor recently learned in Minkin v. Ohio State Home Services, 2016-Ohio-5804. A homeowner filed…

201608.25
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Actions speak louder than words

While the words that comprise a contract spell out its terms, sometimes the parties’ actions can override the words. This was the result in a case recently decided by the Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County in 367 Green Road Co., Ltd, v. Specialized Component Sales Co., Inc. in a breach of lease case. In…

201608.18
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Trial by Jury, a Hallowed American Right, Is Vanishing

The New York Times recently carried an article about how jury trials are vanishing. While the focus of the article is on criminal trials, fewer civil cases are going to trial as well. One group of researchers concluded that only three percent of civil cases are tried. Here’s what the NY Times has to say: The criminal…

201608.10
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Voting law in North Carolina struck down

The New York Times editorial board didn’t spare any words in its criticism of North Carolina’s attempt to control access to the voting booth. Here’s the editorial from July 29: The scurrilous attempt by North Carolina Republicans to suppress the rising power of black voters was struck down on Friday by a federal appeals court that concluded…

201605.26
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New rule regarding overtime pay

The Obama administration unveiled a new rule Wednesday that will make millions of middle-income workers eligible for overtime pay, a move that delivers a long-sought victory for labor groups. The regulations, which were last updated more than a decade ago, would let full-time salaried employees earn overtime if they make up to $47,476 a year, more than double…