Legislative and Case Law Updates

Cell Phone Usage While Driving

In City of Cleveland v. English, 8th Dist. No. 92951, 2009-Ohio-5011 (Sept. 24, 2009), the court upheld a conviction against a defendant under Cleveland City Ordinance 431.34(c) for failure to give full attention to driving. The conviction was upheld based on testimony supplied by the ticketing officer that he observed the defendant talking on his cell phone while speeding by him. Cell phone usage while driving can certainly contribute to distracted driving.

Willful, Wanton, and Reckless Defined

In Anderson v. Massillon, 2012-Ohio-5711, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the terms willful, wanton, and reckless are different and should not be used interchangeably as they describe distinct degrees of care. Willful misconduct is considered an intentional deviation from a clear duty, a deliberate purpose to not follow a necessary duty for safety, or a purposeful wrongful act with knowledge of likelihood of injury. Wanton misconduct includes the failure to use care towards those to whom a duty of care is owed and for which there is a great probability of resulting harm. Reckless conduct describes the conscious disregard or indifference to a known risk of harm that is greater than negligent conduct. The Court held that violation of a safety statute, ordinance, or policy is not willful, wanton, or reckless conduct but maybe be relevant in determining which degree of conduct applies.

Cloud Storage for Client Information

An informal Advisory Opinion (2013-03) was issued by the Ohio State Bar Association on lawyers’ use of the “cloud” to store client data. It stated that this mode of storage is permissible as long as ethical rules that apply in general to client data are followed.