It’s a generally understood concept that case law interpreting the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applies equally to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure—except in one main area: motions to dismiss. In Maternal Grandmother v. Hamilton Cty. Dept. of Job & Family Servs., the Ohio Supreme Court was tasked with addressing one question: Had a grandmother of an abused and neglected child sufficiently pleaded her claim against the Hamilton County agency tasked with the grandchild’s wellbeing to overcome statutory immunity? The case had been dismissed (and affirmed on appeal). On Nov. 23, 2021, the Supreme Court reversed.
Continue Reading Rethinking pleading standards: Is the Supreme Court finally ready to address Twombly and Iqbal?

Back in the late 1990s when I attended the University of Dayton School of Law, I had the opportunity to serve as an extern at Ohio’s Second District Court of Appeals for a few months. I remember the court administrator telling me that one focus of my externship would be helping the judges decide whether the appellants in newly filed appeals were appealing from final, appealable orders. I recall thinking to myself — naively —“How hard can that really be?” Little did I know how vexing that particular question would become not only during my externship, but also throughout my legal career. A recent (and split) decision from the Ohio Supreme Court in Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow v. Ohio State Board of Education (ECOT) illustrates just how tricky the concept of finality truly can be, and how judges can disagree sharply on whether or not a given order is both final and appealable under Ohio law.   
Continue Reading Sure, the order is ‘final,’ but is it a final appealable order?