Discretionary appeals at the Ohio Supreme Court require a Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction. The Ohio Supreme Court Rules of Practice define the requirements of the Memorandum in Rule 7.02(C) and describe “numbered propositions of law” as a requirement.

Do you know what a “proposition of law” is? Lots of attorneys think it’s similar to an assignment of error.

However, the preceding Rules of Practice (the ones that used to have roman numerals instead of arabic) actually described a proposition of law in S.Ct.Prac.R. III(1)(B): as the “proposition(s) of law stated in syllabus form as set forth in Drake v. Bucher, 5 Ohio St.2d 37, 39, 213 N.E.2d 182, 184 (1966).”

So what does Drake have to say?

“An appellant shall set forth a statement of the rules of law which he contends are applicable to the facts of the case and which, if he were to prevail, could serve as a syllabus.”

So a “proposition of law” is a statement of the rule of law that, if adopted, would be the syllabus for the case. Why doesn’t the Supreme Court say that in the current Rules of Practice?

The propositions of law are the single most important component of any Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction. They must: (1) actually be a proposition of law and not an assignment of error; (2) actually affect the outcome of the case; and (3) be an unsettled area of Ohio law.

If you’re considering a discretionary appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, only 7-12 percent of cases are accepted. If you need assistance with or want to discuss how to frame an appropriate proposition of law, please reach out.