The Sixth Circuit Steps into the Transgender Debate By Affirming The Highland Local Decision

The ongoing debate regarding the responsibilities of public school districts with respect to transgender students has continued to be fueled by a new decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On December 15, 2016, the Sixth Circuit issued an Order in Board of Education of Highland Local School District v. United States Department of Education, et al., affirming the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which blocked that school district's attempt to prevent a transgender student identifying as a female from using the girls' restroom at her school. Both the lower court's decision and the Sixth Circuit decisions in Highland align with the U.S. Department of Education's ("DOE") interpretation of Title IX. Specifically, the DOE has provided that funding recipients must "generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity." [More]

Firearms Require Special Considerations in Estate Planning

Of all the unique assets that may be covered in the estate planning process, firearms perhaps present the most unique set of challenges and considerations. Owners of firearms need to make sure they disclose said ownership upfront in the planning process and seek counsel from an attorney who knows the right questions to ask. Important considerations include the type of firearm involved, its value, background on the beneficiary and location of the beneficiary. [More]

Marvinney Re-Appointed to FDCC Board of Directors

Craig A. Marvinney has been re-appointed to the Board of Directors for the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) for a second term. According to its website, the FDCC "…is dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits." [More]

Coming Changes to ORC Will Significantly Undermine Municipal Authority Over Small Cell Wireless Facilities in the ROW

On December 7, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed Substitute Senate Bill 331 (SB 331), which significantly impacts a municipality's ability to regulate the placement, construction, modification, and maintenance of "small cell" wireless facilities in the public right of way. As originally introduced, SB 331 only sought to regulate dog sales by pet stores and retailers. But as the Generally Assembly went into its lame duck session, additional provisions – completely unrelated to the original subject – were inserted into the legislation, including amendments to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4939 intended to provide expedited access to municipal right-of-way (ROW) for small cell wireless providers. Governor Kasich signed the bill on December 19, 2016, and it will take effect in 90 days. [More]

Ohio Supreme Court Finds That Release of Police Body-Camera Video within Reasonable Period of Time not a Violation of Ohio Public Records Law

In State ex. rel. Cincinnati Enquirer, et al. v. Deters, Pros. Attorney, released on December 20, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court was faced with several important issues raised by the use by police departments of body-camera video. The Court determined that, assuming such video constitutes a "public record," public bodies are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to review the video for needed redactions before the video must be released. This case is a reminder that public bodies must be prepared for the age of ubiquitous video, which is upon us. [More]