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Criminal Law

EQUES Law Group > Criminal Law

The Art of the Prose

prose

When it comes to the law, there is not a single area where the ability to craft language, play with prose, or narrate stories, is not essential. Reading the following two passages, which convey the same legal information, which one is more compelling to you?    “Defendant, an elderly gentleman, was confused by the legal   requirements, but now has counsel. Defendant requests that   this honorable Court, pursuant to Civ.R. 15(A), grant leave   to file an amended answer.”    “Defendant, a grandfather, was rocked by a storm of   allegations, shocked by the claims made and acted in good   faith.  While he attempted to answer Plaintiff’s complaint   properly, with no guidance, he was cast adrift in the sea of   litigation, without a lighthouse leading to safe harbor. Defendant   has now found...

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Elder Financial Abuse: Where did Grandma’s Money Go?

When I was growing up, I remember an instance where Elder Financial Abuse happened to my Grandmother.  My Grandmother was one of the sweetest souls that God created, and I never remember her saying a bad word about anyone.  She constantly smiled and talked to everyone and had a way of making people feel safe in her presence.  It probably helped that she was a small person, all of 5 feet tall with heels and a perm adding to that total. Unfortunately, this same magnetism also made her a target for people to take advantage of her.  They could immediately...

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No Matter the Outcome, We Must Act Like Gentlemen

In 2020, I had the privilege of sitting second chair during two jury trials in the Holmes County Court of Common Pleas. One was a civil jury trial involving a business dispute and the other was a criminal jury trial involving several charges. Sitting “second chair” during a jury trial essentially means:   a lawyer who helps the lead attorney in court. The services of the second chair may include examining some of the witnesses, arguing some of the points of law, handling parts of the voir dire, and presenting the opening statement or closing argument. Hence, the second chair offers every...

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What to Expect During a Family or Criminal Law Consultation

One of the greatest aspects of being an attorney is conducting consultations with potential new clients. As someone who enjoys talking and meeting with people, I truly enjoy helping, educating, and empowering individuals who seek answers to some of the most difficult and challenging questions and experiences that they will go through in their life. It is extremely rewarding to assist and empower the potential new client in understanding their legal options and advising them on how to best move forward. Some of the most difficult questions that one may ask themselves is “I need a divorce, but I don’t know...

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The Jury: Part 2

juries

When I served as a judge, one of the most frequent contacts I had with the general public went something like this, “Hey Judge, I received a notice from the Sheriff that I have been selected for jury duty and I can’t serve because (insert excuse here.)” The request would lead to a discussion of civic duty, which did not often result in the retraction of the request. But one thing did, “What if you needed a jury? Would you appreciate someone with your reason being excused?” That at least caused the juror to think about it. On the other hand, people would...

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The Jury: Part 1

juries

Most of my career as a prosecutor, judge, and now an attorney in private practice has one common thread woven throughout working with juries. Sometimes thrilling, sometimes frustrating but always fascinating, the ways that juries hear the evidence, consider the law and make their decisions never lose my interest. Recently, I was asked on a radio interview “Why do juries have twelve members?” My initial urge was to say, “Not all do.” And go into a description of how in Ohio civil and misdemeanor juries have eight members and grand juries have nine. But I resisted the urge to give the pedantic...

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What is a Grand Jury?

What is a Grand Jury

In Ohio, juries are generally one of two types: Grand or Petit (from the French for small or short) Juries. Grand juries have longer terms of service and consider many cases. Petit juries are called to try only one case.  In this article, we look at the history and function of the Grand Jury. In English legal history, each county had a Grand Jury serving for a term of court (in Ohio a term of court is for 4 months). The King's Judges rode circuits throughout the counties trying to have court in each county at least once per term. Without resident...

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