FEDERAL COURT RULES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN RESTRICT UNIONS FROM CHARGING FEES

Just before Thanksgiving, in a unanimous decision the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that local governments can enact right-to-work laws that will apply to private sector businesses and organizations whose labor relations are covered by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Right-to-Work is shorthand for a law or ordinance that prohibits private sector collective bargaining agreements from making the payment of money to a labor union a condition of employment. The decision, United Autoworkers Union v. Hardin County, Ky., is now the law in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, the states that constitute the Sixth Circuit. Prior to Hardin, the NLRA was interpreted to reserve that right to the state government itself. Organized labor waged a furious, but ultimately futile campaign against the Hardin County law. [More]

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]