Click the link above to hear Gabe and Meghan discuss the Widmer verdict, their reactions to the jury’s decision and chances for an appeal.
By: Gabe Moorman
I have been asked by Meghan Mongillo, Dayton’s Fox-45 “In the Morning” co-anchor, to be a guest on their live TV broadcast. I will be answering questions regarding the law and commenting on some of the high profile legal cases in Southwest Ohio. Specifically, we will be discussing the Ryan Widmer and Stacy Shuler cases.
The Widmer trial is approaching its final stage, as the attorneys for both sides will offer their closing arguments on Monday, February 14, 2011. The jury will then begin its deliberation and a verdict will be read by the bailiff at the Warren County Court of Common Pleas in Lebanon, Ohio. It is likely that people from across the country will be listening intently – as will I.
The Shuler trial has not yet started, but interest in the case has been very high from the start. Ms. Shuler was recently indicted on nineteen felony counts of sexual battery along with three misdemeanor counts. She stands accused of having sexual contact with five Mason High School students, most of them believed to be on the football team. Shuler, who recently resigned as a physical education teacher and athletic trainer, has been released and is currently living with her parents pending her trial. Stacy Shuler has been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and have no contact with any of the alleged victims or any minors.
I am excited to join Ms. Mongillo at the Fox-45 studio in Dayton and hope to share some interesting and informative perspectives. Please tune in from 7:00 to 9:00 AM.
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By: Tom Diehl
Issue #32 of The Personal Injury Co-Counsel Reporter
Recent pronouncements from Ohio courts pertaining to Ohio Civil Rule 15(C) should make it clear to the plaintiff’s injury practitioner that amending a complaint after the statute of limitations has expired can be fraught with pitfalls.
Generally speaking, a claim for bodily injuries from an automobile accident must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. However, if there is any question as to the identity of the responsible defendant, it is not advisable to wait the full two years before filing. Recent court pronouncements on “relation back” make it clear that the plaintiff’s injury practitioner may not be able to successfully amend a complaint after the two year deadline has expired.
Ohio Civil Rule 15(C) provides that if plaintiff files an amended complaint, the amendment “relates back” to the date of the original pleading, if the amendment contains a claim or defense asserted in the original pleading and arose out of the conduct, transaction or occurrence set forth in the original pleading. Thus, in certain circumstances, plaintiff’s counsel can file an amended complaint after the two-year statute of limitation has expired, and successfully argue that under Civil Rule 15(C), the date of the filing of the amended complaint “relates back” to the date the original complaint was filed. But, there is a distinct danger in this approach. If discovery reveals that the wrong defendant was named in the original complaint or an additional defendant needs to be added, the filing of amended complaint to correct this oversight will, most likely, not “relate back” under Civil Rule 15(C) and, therefore, the amended claim will be barred by the statute of limitations. In Kooyman v. Staffco Construction, Inc. (2010), 189 Ohio App. 3d 48, the plaintiff was killed when operating a motorcycle in a public park. Plaintiff filed suit against the Metropolitan Park District within the filing deadline for instituting an action. The discovery process revealed that the proper defendant should be a municipality. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint, naming the municipality as a defendant. The amended complaint was filed after the statute of limitations had expired, but plaintiff argued that the case should not be dismissed under a statute of limitations defense, because the amended complaint should relate back under Civil Rule 15(C). The Kooyman court found this argument to be unpersuasive, and held that 15(C) would not salvage the claim for two reasons. First, the court noted that the Relation Back Doctrine under Rule 15(C) only applies to fixing clerical mistakes such as the misspelling of a defendant’s name. Secondly, Rule 15(C) does not allow a plaintiff to add an additional party. It merely allows the plaintiff to substitute a party.
The lesson . . . file suit well before the two year deadline to allow sufficient time to conduct discovery and, if necessary, add defendants or change defendants before the statute of limitations runs.
At Thomas J. Diehl & Co., LLC, we have been handling personal injury claims in Southwest Ohio since 1988. We regularly work with counsel in ethical fee sharing arrangements. Thomas J. Diehl has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and granted membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
|January 10, 2010 http://www.western-star.com/news/lebanon-oh-press-releases/view-press-release/?p=15052
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Waynesville native Marty Hubbell has been named a partner in the law firm of Diehl & Hubbell, LLC located in Lebanon, Ohio.
Marty is a graduate of Waynesville High School, the University of Texas, and the University of Dayton School of Law. He has practiced law in Warren County for ten years, focusing in the areas of personal injury, domestic relations, civil litigation, and criminal defense.
Thomas J. Diehl is the managing partner of Diehl & Hubbell, LLC. Mr. Diehl has practiced law in Ohio for over 20 years, and focuses his practice on representing persons injured in serious motor vehicle accidents.
The firm represents clients in all parts of Southwest Ohio, including Warren, Butler, Montgomery, Clinton, Clermont, Greene, and Hamilton Counties.