Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Day to Celebrate the Rule of Law

Established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower, Law Day is a time to celebrate the rule of law. Although it is officially celebrated on May 1, several courts and bar associations host Law Day events throughout the month. Two of my colleagues, Justices Judith French and William O’Neill, plan to travel across the Buckeye state this month to participate in Law Day festivities.

This year also marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – the Great Charter. Written in 1215, the Magna Carta contains the statement that no one person is above the law. This historic document is considered by some to be of primary importance because it is the basis for the concept of the rule of law.
Magna Carta - 1215

Speaking of the rule of law – the 2015 Ohio State Bar Association Convention is happening right now in Sandusky. From Wednesday until Friday of this week, lawyers and judges from across the state are meeting to confer and study and share best legal practices. This year the main theme of the conference is “Access to Justice.”  What better way to ensure that the rule of law continues to protect all citizens than to provide the means for all to obtain the legal assistance they need.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Inspiring Trip

I recently visited with students from the Jones Leadership Academy in my hometown of Toledo to talk about law and leadership. At the invitation of local attorney Pariss Coleman, I had a wonderful time meeting with the school’s principal, Dr. Ward Barnett, and assistant principal, Antonio Davis as well as students in the Jones Leadership Law Program and students from the school’s chess club, who recently received tournament trophies.

Class picture.

We talked about the Five Secrets of Success and the importance of education. These 7th through 9th-grade students are no strangers to good work and perseverance, for they study hard at Jones Leadership Academy. The school’s educators stress community service and leadership and as someone who continues to teach, I appreciate their professionalism and their dedication to the students.  
Justice Lanzinger meets with students,
teacher Mr. Nathan Shrider, Principal Dr. Ward
Barnett, Assistant Principal Antonio Davis,
and attorney Pariss Coleman.
Thank you to everyone at the event for giving me the chance to meet with future leaders in our community.   

Justice Lanzinger with Jones Leadership
Chess Club members Anthony King,
Brictorria Moccabee, and Whitney Hughes.
Justice Lanzinger with gavel given
by the Jones Leadership Chess Club 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Another Ohio Appellate Court Offers Video Access

You may know that we at the Ohio Supreme Court have streamed, recorded and archived our oral arguments since March 2004. Our website provides the links to updated materials.

Now the Ninth District Court of Appeals, based in Akron, has decided to begin posting its own oral arguments on YouTube. The Ninth District becomes the first of the 12 appellate courts in Ohio to use this platform for reaching the public.

Many people do not understand the appellate process. TV does not offer shows about courts of appeals, maybe because the work doesn’t seem dramatic. There are no witnesses, no evidence – just arguments presented to a panel of three judges about why a trial decision should be reversed or upheld.

The decisions by our appellate courts announce the law that must be followed in other cases within the district. Sometimes, if the district court decisions conflict, a case may need to be settled by our court. All the more reason that the courtroom door be open for public understanding of this important part of the legal process.

The U.S. Supreme Court so far has refused to allow cameras in the courtroom. As more state courts allow the public to see judges in action, perhaps the highest court in the nation will change its position and do the same.