Imagine that your client has been sued for damages in federal court. In a motion for summary judgment, you assert what you believe to be a valid and compelling legal defense, such as the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies. There are no facts in dispute regarding the defense—it presents a purely legal question for the judge to resolve before any trial takes place. Yet the judge denies your dispositive motion, and so you proceed to a jury trial, where your client is hit with a substantial verdict. As you consider post-trial motions, you may wonder: must you re-brief the purely legal defense in a Rule 50 motion — even though the judge previously denied it on summary judgment — in order to preserve that issue for appeal?
Members of our firm’s Appellate Practice Group are consulted regularly by our colleagues about procedural issues arising from so-called interlocutory appeals. In other words, appeals taken (or attempted to be taken) from decisions by trial courts at some point before final judgment.
As we approach the end of an election year that includes multiple Ohio Supreme Court races, we know that the Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court and their law clerks are hard at work drafting opinions in all cases that have already been orally argued. This diligence is so that the court’s opinions in those cases can be voted on and released before the election may cause changes to the bench in January. We can expect several eventful days between now and the end of the year, when a flurry of consequential new opinions in pending cases surely will be issued.
Tuesday, October 11, was one of those eventful days.…
We’ve written before about the heartfelt pain appellate lawyers experience when a case is dismissed after briefing and oral argument at the Ohio Supreme Court. In the first instance, it happened for a lack of a final appealable order. In the second, the court ultimately decided the case had already been mooted. It turns out there’s a third possibility — a jurisdictional defect.
Continue Reading A pain worse than losing (Part 3): A jurisdictional defect
Ohio’s final appealable order statute, Ohio Revised Code Section 2505.02, is complex and fraught with traps for the unwary. It can be difficult for counsel to discern or advise their clients with any high degree of confidence whether a given interlocutory decision by a trial judge is subject to immediate appeal, or whether that fight must await an appeal after final judgment. One specific context in which this vexing issue can arise relates to discovery orders compelling the production of allegedly privileged information, or the production of information potentially subject to the attorney work-product doctrine.
Continue Reading Appealing discovery orders compelling production of confidential information
At Ohio Appellate Insights, we are happy to announce that Porter Wright has “acquired” the long-running and well-regarded blog, Legally Speaking Ohio. Legally Speaking Ohio was run by University of Cincinnati Professor Emerita (and former First District Court of Appeals Judge) Marianna Brown Bettman, who is retiring this summer. Professor Bettman announced the transition here.
Continue Reading Appellate mergers and acquisitions (and retirements): The Legally Speaking Ohio legacy
In our last post, we discussed the pain of a dismissal after briefing and oral argument when the court determines the underlying judgment lacks a final appealable order. Less than three weeks later, the Supreme Court demonstrates another painful resolution — dismissing the appeal as moot and limiting the lower court’s decision as precedent only to the parties “inter se.”…
Continue Reading A pain worse than losing (Part 2): Appeal dismissed as moot
Although this appellate blog focuses primarily on civil appeals, every now and then the Ohio Supreme Court issues a noteworthy opinion in a criminal case that addresses a legal doctrine equally significant to civil attorneys and their business clients. The court’s Oct. 21, 2021, decision in State v. Hubbard is just such a criminal case. Why? Because the split decision reflects a deep divide on the court on the appropriate way to analyze retroactive laws – statutes that are intended to reach back in time and apply to persons or circumstances predating the law’s effective date. This issue arises with frequency on the civil side of the practice. For example, one of the cases I worked on for former Justice Cook during my clerkship years ago, Bielat v. Bielat, involved a retroactive law about beneficiary designations in IRAs, and is cited in Hubbard. …
Continue Reading When the General Assembly reaches back in time: Analyzing retroactive laws
July 1 brings changes to Ohio’s Rules of Court. This year it affects cross-appeals and page limits.
Continue Reading July 1 means a rules update: Cross-appeals and page limits
A review of the myths and misconceptions lawyers encounter when thinking about engaging an appellate expert.
Continue Reading Dealing with an appellate specialist: Myths and misconceptions