Fleischauer testifies before Ohio House Judiciary Committee

In Business Law, Employment Law by Coolidge Wall

Employment attorney Marc Fleischauer testified before the Ohio House Judiciary Committee on January 22, 2014, regarding the impact and legal history of HB 376, the proposed Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill purports to set uniform standards by which Ohio courts would evaluate governmental actions that burden individual religious freedoms. Several states are adopting such standards, in accordance with the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997). The Flores case held that similar standards under a similar federal statute could not be imposed on the states, absent state legislative action. Mr. …

Blankenship co-authors article for Dayton Bar Briefs

In Litigation by Coolidge Wall

Coolidge Wall attorney Amy Blankenship and Dawn Frick of Surdyk, Dowd & Turner recently co-authored an article entitled The Techno-Savvy Deposition, which was featured in the December 2013 issue of the Dayton Bar Briefs. Ms. Frick and Ms. Blankenship are the Chair and Co-Chair, respectively, of the Civil Trial Practice Group of the Dayton Bar Association. To view the article, click here: Techno-Savvy Deposition.

What happens to our digital property when we die?

In Estate Planning, General by Coolidge Wall

As is often the case, sometimes it takes a while for the law to catch up with society’s technological advances. Since the Internet is invisible, most people forget that their intangible digital assets are just as real as their tangible personal property. Currently, there are an estimated thirty million Facebook accounts that belong to people who are deceased. According to McAfee, in 2011 American consumers valued their digital assets, including online gaming, photos, music, client lists, bank accounts and bill-paying accounts at an average of $55,000 per person. And yet, few people plan for what will happen to those digital …

Sixth Circuit Expands Damages in ERISA Case

In Employee Benefits, Litigation by Coolidge Wall

In December the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America. Rochow, the president of a company, began experiencing short- term memory loss and other symptoms of illness in 2001 which led to him being demoted. The symptoms continued to interfere with his performance and he was forced to resign in 2002. Rochow filed a claim for long-term disability benefits and the Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) denied his claim and three appeals. Finally, Rochow filed a complaint in court against LINA and stated two claims under ERISA: one …

Arbitration, Should it be the New Litigation?

In Business Law, Litigation by Coolidge Wall

In 2013, the federal courts decided several cases that upheld arbitration clauses in commercial and employment contracts. These courts further upheld arbitration clauses that require individual as opposed to class action arbitration. Some dissenting United States Supreme Court Justices wrote that it may no longer be economically feasible for individuals to take on big corporations in arbitration. While the use of arbitration clauses is likely on the rise as a result of these decisions, the process is not without its problems. The advocacy group, Public Citizen, questions the cost efficiency of arbitration, and notes court costs are generally lower than …