Weekly Legislative Report: OSBA Council of Delegates adopts all seven proposals

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May 3, 2018

OSBA Council of Delegates adopts all seven proposals; Next stop — Statehouse

Last Friday, the OSBA Council of Delegates approved all seven proposals from OSBA Committees and Sections, which will now become priority legislation for the Association. Here's a quick recap. Many thanks both to the council and of course, to the members of the committees and sections who got these ideas ready for prime time. We'll keep you up to speed as they progress.

  • Two proposals from the Corporation Law Committee — one that would better align Ohio’s Nonprofit Corporation Law (Chapter 1702) with recent changes to Ohio’s General Corporation Law (Chapter 1701), keeping in mind the unique nature of nonprofit corporations; and another that would allow religious organizations to opt-in to the benefits and requirements that are associated with being an Unincorporated Nonprofit Association under Chapter 1745 (they are currently exempt);
  • proposal from the Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section that would make it clear that a communication between a lawyer and a client acting as a fiduciary is privileged and protected from disclosure to third parties to whom the fiduciary owes fiduciary duties to the same extent as if the client were not acting as a fiduciary; 
  • Two proposals from the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee to support veterans — one which would ensure active duty members of the Armed Forces who are stationed in Ohio (as well as their spouses and dependents) would be permitted to operate motor vehicles in Ohio so long as they retain a valid driver’s license issued by their state of legal residence (ie not be required to get an Ohio driver’s license); and the other which deals with military leave and ensuring that those who have served will receive the full benefits contemplated by the State of Ohio as opposed to any lesser standards set by municipalities for which they work;
  • Two proposals from the Taxation Law Committee designed to bring clarity to the process for appealing decisions of the Board of Tax Appeals now that there is no longer a direct appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court; and
  • The next round of updates to the Ohio Standards of Title Examination, prepared by the Real Property Law Section Council. While not statutory (and therefore not requiring legislative approval), these standards have been promulgated by the OSBA to promote uniformity of practice pertaining to the marketability of title of real property in the State of Ohio.  

For more information about these proposals, visit www.ohiobar.org/codreport.

OSBA honors Senate President Larry Obhof with Lawyer Legislator Award​​

 

In addition to considering new legislative proposals, the Council of Delegates is also the place where the OSBA each year honors an attorney who also happens to provide exceptional service as an Ohio legislator. This year we were pleased to recognize Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) with the Lawyer-Legislator Distinguished Service Award.  

OSBA CEO & Executive Director Mary Augsburger presented the award to Obhof, praising him for his ability to work across the aisle and for being a go-to legislator for the Association. Over the years, he has carried a number of bills championed by the OSBA and supported OSBA priorities, including updates to Ohio's corporate statutes, as well as increased funding for legal aid and indigent defense. Obhof has represented the people of the 22nd District since 2011, and has served as Senate President since the start of the current legislative session last year. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and is of counsel at Squire Patton Boggs, focusing on complex litigation. 

In addition to President Obhof, the OSBA Women in the Profession Section presented its 2018 Nettie Cronise Lutes Award to former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery, the annual Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics & Professionalism went to Lorain County attorney Dan Cook, and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation presented its Presidential Award for Pro Bono Service to Perry County Judges Luann Cooperrider and Dean Wilson (also a member of our Board of Governors). Congratulations to all! 

Ohio Board of Professional Conduct says lawyers for organization clients must follow "higher authority" 

In its first advisory opinion of the year, the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct says a lawyer representing an organization must defer to the legal judgment of its owners, officers or directors and should be guided by the group's "higher authority" when conflicts arise between different constituents of the organization.  

It states that the organization, not the attorney, "has the authority to determine the purposes of interests to be served by the legal representation," and that the attorney must act in accordance with the client's directors, within the limits of the law. To avoid potential conflicts between different organizational associates, the Board says lawyers should clarify the reporting relationships between constituents who may direct their work at the outset of representation. 

Check out the full opinion here.   

Week ahead 

"Waking from Dreamland" — OSBA special program on the opiates epidemic — Monday, May 7. There's still time to register to see Sam Quinones, a journalist and author of the highly acclaimed book "Dreamland," which tells the back story of how the opiates problem became a nationwide epidemic, and unfortunately, Ohio is central to the story. This is a daylong program and you get a copy of "Dreamland" for Quinones to autograph with your registration fee. 

New Lawyer Swearing In — May 7. Monday is also the day when 195 new lawyers who passed the February Bar Exam will be sworn in by the Ohio Supreme Court. They represent 52 percent of all lawyers who sat for the exam. President Randall Comer will be representing the OSBA at the Monday afternoon festivities, which take place at the Ohio Theater. 

Ohio's Primary Election Day is May 8. Voting's been underway since early April and more than 128,000 ballots have already been cast, including more than 68,000 by Democrats, more than 52,000 by Republicans and more than 200 by members of the Green Party, who are selecting their nominees for the statewide General Election. More than 7,700 non-partisan or issue-only ballots have also been cast. In addition to candidates, voters are also determining the fate of State Issue 1, a redistricting reform proposal. If you want to brush up before you cast your ballot, you can read more about it at the OSBA's election information pageAnd for more information about the judges on the ballot, visit www.judicialvotescount.org. 

Tracking OSBA Legislation

Remember, you can always track bills we are watching and OSBA priority legislation via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.

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