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Ohio Legal Issues Blog

What is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal Injury Protection is sometimes referred to as PIP coverage. This coverage is available to all Kentucky residents who have automobile insurance. It is available to the driver and all passengers in the vehicle.

But, what is it? 

Are we ready for an active shooter situation?

With all the dangers in the world today, active shooter situations are one of the dangers you can push aside. The local police and fire have it covered. That's because the police and fire departments have teamed up with other localities to ensure they have the best teams possible to handle the unexpected.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security the definition of an "Active Shooter" is "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims." 

Understanding the Miami University Two/Three Strike Policy

I frequently get calls from individuals facing mandatory suspension at Miami University because they have accumulated "two strikes" or "three strikes" depending on the situation. By this, students are referring to Miami's policy whereby if a student receives two intoxication offenses, three alcohol-related offenses, or two dishonesty offenses, the student must be suspended for at least one semester. Students and parents often do not understand what does and does not qualify as a "strike," and they are further taken aback by the harshness of the sanctions. Unfortunately, I am not able to tell you that Miami's policy is less harsh than it sounds, but I am able to help clarify which situations should concern students and parents, before reviewing some preventative steps.

So what counts as a strike? First, Miami has two types of alcohol violations, possession/consumption and intoxication. If a student is merely in possession of alcohol, or merely consumes alcohol without being intoxicated, then we call that a "105(b)" (the relevant code section). If a student is intoxicated OR exhibits "negative behavior associated with the use of alcohol," then we call it a "105(a)." If a student receives two 105(a)s (intoxications) within a two-year period, then that student must be suspended for at least one semester (two strikes and you're out). Note that two 105(b)s do not mandate a suspension (although Miami could impose a discretionary suspension). If a student receives three of any type of alcohol violation, either 105(a) or (b), within a two-year period, then that student must be suspended for at least one semester (three strikes and you're out). 

Darryl Strawberry helping Ohio families struggling during the opioid crisis

Many baseball fans fell in love with Darryl Strawberry for his athletic endurance while playing for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He won four World Series Championships. But, it wasn't all glamorous and wholesome. It was a world of drugs, addictions, marital issues and financial disaster. Few people knew the darkness lingering inside his soul screaming for help. He lost everything. Now, clean, sober and remarried, he and his wife have joined forces to help addicts and their families break away from the dangers of opioids. They formed Strawberry Ministries in Orlando, Florida.

Darryl and Tracy Strawberry toured the Dayton and Cincinnati area recently after forming an alliance with Ohio Pastor's to help stop the epidemic of Ohio's opioid/drug crisis. The couple made a special appearance, March 5 at the Beavercreek Nazarene Church to help share their struggles with drug addiction in the hope to provide families, friends, and especially addicts with education, enlightenment, hope and the tools for sobriety. The Epidemic of Hope is a collaboration with churches and rehabilitation centers to bring religion back to the forefront. They're working closely with Mike DeWine in a drug campaign that is sweeping through Ohio. 

Automated vehicles in Ohio

Automated driverless vehicles...did you ever think this was possible?

Are they safe? What regulations have been put in place to ensure safe roads in Ohio?

An Arizona Uber driverless vehicle made headlines earlier this month when the vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian crossing the street. It's the first known fatality involving driverless vehicles since the robotic cars have been implemented on public roadways. 

The Implications of John Doe v. Miami University et. al. (2008) for the Accused, Part 3: Notice and Access to Evidence

In addition to the novel interpretations of the law laid out in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, the Court also reaffirmed the importance of the accused's right to notice of the charges and access to the evidence in University Title IX Hearings. These rights seem so obvious and fundamental, but believe it or not the Court's affirmance of these rights is significant given past deprivations that the accused have faced.

Ohio Law F.A.Q, Part II - Road-Tripping with "Roadies"

Passengers' Perspective

To help fight the monotony of a long car ride some people turn to "roadies" for liquid inspiration. "Roadie" in this situation isn't a stagehand for a band, but instead is slang for what the law calls an open container (of alcohol). 

The Implications of John Doe v. Miami University et. al. (2008) for the Accused, Part 2: Erroneous Outcome

When students and their families tell me that they "want to sue" after being found responsible for sexual assault at a University Hearing, they generally believe that the court can be used as a sort of "super appeals court" to have their hearing redecided on the merits; generally this is precisely what the courts will not do, but the recent John Doe v. Miami University decision has given some life to this use of the courts to challenge Title IX sexual assault cases (if you are not familiar with the facts of this case, see Part 1 of this series). The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has said that if an accused can show "'(1) "facts sufficient to cast some articulable doubt on the accuracy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding" and (2) a "particularized . . . causal connection between the flawed outcome and gender bias,"'" then the accused can challenge the outcome in court with an "erroneous outcome" claim.

Doe v. Miami Univ., No. 17-3396, 2018 WL 797451, at *8 (6th Cir. Feb. 9, 2018)

Is Kentucky a No-Fault State for Auto Insurance?

The answer is YES.

But, what does that mean?

It means that no matter whom is at fault for an automobile collision in the state of Kentucky, if you have car insurance, there are certain benefits your automobile policy provides the driver and all passengers. You should call your insurance agent after any collision to find out what benefits you have under your policy. 

A College Student’s Guide to Interactions with the Police

Let’s face it, the college scene is fraught with temptations to either violate the law, or to be in close proximity with those who do (the classic, “wrong place, wrong time” scenario). Many of these temptations—underage drinking for example—will attract the attention of law enforcement officers (remember: underage drinking in Ohio carries with it a maximum possible sentence of 180 days in jail!). While college students have temptations, they also have constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. However, the college student’s rights tend to follow the maxim of “if you don’t use them, you lose them,” meaning that if you do not know how to lawfully exercise your rights, you will probably waive them.

Here are some simple guidelines to preserve your constitutional rights in encounters with the police. Following these guidelines will improve your position should you be arrested or charged with a crime.

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