Weekly Legislative Report: OSBA, metro bars testify on notary reform

​April 19, 2018

This week OSBA CEO and Executive Director Mary Amos Augsburger and Akron Metro Bar Executive Director C. Allen Nichols testified before the Senate Insurance & Financial Institutions Committee on legislation we've covered here previously that would modernize Ohio's notary public system and make the training and commissioning of notaries more uniform across the state by centralizing it under the auspices of the Ohio Secretary of State's office. 

The bar leaders, including the OSBA, the Akron Bar Association and the metro bars in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo have been pleased to work with Senators Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) during the drafting stages of Senate Bill 263 to ensure that both the interests of attorneys and the public will be served.

Also submitting testimony in favor of the bill were Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, the Ohio Society of Notaries as well as representatives from the financial sector. All generally support streamlining the commissioning process while moving to electronic and online notarization for the convenience of consumers in an increasingly digital world. We are confident that the bill sponsors have proposed appropriate guardrails to ensure the system will be safe and secure for all.

You can read our testimony here​, and we'll keep you posted as the bill progresses.

OSBA Real Property Law Section Council proposes updates to Ohio Title Standards 

The hard working OSBA Real Property Law Section Council is right dab in the middle of a systematic review of the Ohio Standards of Title Examination, guidelines the Section has developed, which are approved by the OSBA Council of Delegates for the primary purpose of promoting uniformity of practice pertaining to the marketability of title of real property in the State of Ohio. We think of it as the title examiners bible and it's just another example of the ways in which our OSBA committees and sections work every day to improve the practice of law in Ohio. While not statutory, these standards establish a custom and practice regarding the examination of title and marketability of title based upon existing statutes and case law. This is typically done in the format of a question, the answer to the question establishing the standard, and comments regarding the standard.  

As part of the review, the Section is proposing updates and some of those updates will be up for consideration by the OSBA Council of Delegates next Friday, which you can review at www.ohiobar.org/codreport. The Real Property Law Section Council proposal is one of seven proposals that will be taken up by the Council next week, which we have been featuring in this weekly report (here and here, with more to come next week). If you have feedback on this or any of the other proposals, we encourage you to contact your Council of Delegates representative. 

Brush up on State Issue 1 

Voting is well underway for the May 7 Primary Election where Ohio voters will choose party nominees for state, local and federal offices as well as weigh in on local issues and one statewide issue that seeks to reform congressional redistricting in Ohio – State Issue 1. 

Though primary elections are typically lower in turnout, so far more than 11,500 people have cast ballots through early in-person voting or by mail according to the Secretary of State's office.

There's plenty of time to vote and if you haven't had a chance to brush up on State Issue 1, we've got you covered! Visit our 2018 Primary Election information page to get background on the proposal, review arguments for and against, and also to benefit from helpful links to ensure you can get to the polls.  

Mourning Barbara Bush 

We were all saddened to learn of the passing of former first lady Barbara Bush this week. As the nation reflects on the life and contributions of the only woman to have lived to see both her husband and son inaugurated as President of the United States, we were fascinated to discover that she has a special Ohio connection. Her maternal grandfather, James Edgar Robinson, served as an Ohio Supreme Court Justice from 1919-1932. 

Week ahead 

No voting sessions are scheduled for the Statehouse next week, but don't forget the OSBA Council of Delegates meeting on Friday, April 27, at 1pm at the OSBA headquarters in Columbus.

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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