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OPAA Annual Meeting


2020 OPAA Virtual Annual Meeting
December 10th and 11th, 2020


Well, once again we planned on an in-person event, only to have another spike in the COVID-19 numbers thwart our plans. We will persevere! The virtual 2020 Annual Meeting will include both civil and criminal prosecutor training tracks along with complete professional conduct hours. On the criminal side, topics include investigating and dealing with drone complaints; an Ohio Supreme Court update (with some SCOTUS thrown in); the Parole Board and your active role in the process; a case study using conviction review units and processes; an overview of Marsy’s Law; Evidence Rule 404(B); and a case study on using forensic genetic genealogy to narrow down suspects and solve a case. The civil side will explore the latest with township law and pipelines; contract law basics and top tips; employment law for prosecutors; copyright law; roads, bridge, and ditch laws; jail & road patrol liability; and library law. As we have not heard back from all speakers, the schedule may be adjusted prior to the training. We will, of course, keep you posted!


Criminal Track

9:00 – 10:30 Criminal Case Law and Issues Update for Ohio Prosecutors
This presentation will cover the major cases released by the Supreme Court of Ohio from the end of 2019 and through 2020.
Judge Sean C. Gallagher
Ohio Court of Appeals, Eighth District

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:45 After the Sentence. The Role of Prosecution.
An overview of the Parole Board functions (parole suitability, clemency, and parole violation processes) and the role of the Prosecutor within each.
Lisa M. Hoying
Ohio Parole Board

11:45 – 1:15 Break for lunch

1:15 – 2:15 A Case Study Using Conviction Review Units and Processes
Nearly thirty years after he was convicted of the murder and robbery of a Cleveland money order salesman, Ricky Jackson sought a new trial based on the recantation of an eyewitness who testified against Jackson and his co-defendants at their separate trials. The case study of State v. Ricky Jackson will address the post-trial investigation and litigation that resulted in the exonerations of Ricky Jackson, Wiley Bridgeman, and Ronnie Bridgeman. Additionally, the best practices and complexities of Conviction Integrity review and investigations will be discussed.
Russell W. Tye, Co-Criminal Division Chief
Saleh Awadallah, Major Trial Homicide Unit Supervisor, and
Mary McGrath, Assistant Prosecutor
All with Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30 Marsy’s Law Review & Update
Victims have a number of procedural and substantive rights under Marsy’s Law as set forth in the Ohio Constitution effective in February 2018. These rights build on statutory rights already established under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2930. The presentation will emphasize best practices for prosecutors in ensuring that victims are provided their constitutional and statutory rights to notice and to be heard and in regard to other Marsy’s Law rights. This presentation will also review case-law developments and the status of pending legislation designed to update Chapter 2930 in light of Marsy’s Law.
Steven L. Taylor, Chief Counsel, Appellate Division
Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office

3:30 – 4:30 A Prosecutor’s Guide to Investigating Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) and Addressing Drone Complaints
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)/Drones involve new and fast evolving technology that the general public is embracing. Law enforcement are getting calls regarding how to handle complaints on the sUAS's and their operators. The courts are trying to figure out how to address these complaints. There are two types of operators that law enforcement and the Courts will be dealing with: commercial operators & hobbyists. This presentation will cover how to handle a complaint, differences between hobbyist and commercial operator, Part 91.13 Federal Aviation regulations (FAR) Careless or Reckless Operation and 14 CFR 107.23(a) Hazardous Operation, "No Drone Zones", what ORC sections may apply for charges, how to recognize what might be evidence on the sUAS and where to locate the evidence, aircraft right of way and when and how to get the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) involved.
James (Doug) Daniels
Retired OPOTA sUAS/Drone Instructor

Civil Track

9:00 – 10:30 Township Law Update 2020 and Pipeline Appeal Process and Update
Survey of changes in township law in 2019, including an overview of case law, opinions of the Ohio Attorney General, enacted, and pending legislation. Outline of public utility personal property valuation process for pipelines, including appeal procedure.
Rebecca C. Princehorn, Partner
Bricker and Eckler LLP
Columbus, Ohio

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 11:45 Contract Law 101
Issues to consider when reviewing agreements and contracts for the wide ranging issues that arise for the civil section. Topics include public improvement, BOE technology, etc. Provisions of contracts: commencement and termination dates, failsafe provisions, non-payment, employee separation agreements, employee and union procedural matters, indemnification, commercial agreements, arbitration/mediation provisions, venue, compliance with law provisions, and other provisions common to civil sections. Public records issues to be addressed. Attendees are encouraged to submit sample contracts or lists to OPAA prior to the session to share.
Jonathan J. Downes
Zachin and Rich
Columbus, Ohio

11:45 – 1:15 Break for lunch

1:15 – 2:15 Employment Law for Prosecutors
Recent employment law decisions affecting county agencies and townships. Discussion will include current state of “freedom of speech” and NEW cases of the 6th Circuit; US Supreme Court decisions on sexual orientation; ADA essential functions; update on Janus; and other developments and decisions to assist clients in compliance with employment and labor laws.
Jonathan J. Downes
Zachin and Rich
Columbus, Ohio

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30 Copyright Issues Facing State and Local Agencies
This presentation will provide an overview of copyright law and look at common defense claims prosecutors will encounter when dealing with copyright cases. Topics such as “fair use”, IP ownership, vendor contracts, and copyright “trolls” will also be covered.
Gregory J. Krabacher, Partner
Bricker and Eckler LLP
Columbus, Ohio

3:30 – 4:30 Jail & Road Patrol: Considerations & Liability in a COVID-19 World.
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the liability inherent in road patrol and jail work related to COVID-19 and the spotlight placed on the use of force in 2020. COVID-19 precautions undertaken by the state of Ohio and jails nationwide will be discussed along with general recommendations related to pending litigation and emerging concerns. The presentation will also cover considerations for road patrol regarding COVID-19 and recent issues faced by law enforcement considering the increased public focus on policing policies. Additionally, the liability of municipalities for enacting and enforcing their COVID-19 policies will be addressed.
Melanie J. Williamson, Partner
Fishel, Downey, Albrecht, and Riepenhoff LLP
New Albany, Ohio


Combined Sessions

9:00 - 10:30 Conduct in Review – How We Do What We Do Matters More Than What We Do (Professional Conduct)
The integrity of our criminal justice system depends, in large part, upon the professionalism of the lawyers who prosecute criminal matters on behalf of the state and the defense attorneys who defend the accused. In a criminal matter, the rights of the victim, the protection of the public, and the liberty of the defendant are at stake. Considering the importance of these interests, perhaps nowhere in the practice of law is it more important for attorneys to act with professionalism and to serve our system of justice honorably. This session will discuss the 2019 Ohio Disciplinary Report findings, perception and reality of attorney actions, Ohio Board of Professional Conduct
decisions, and professional conduct in general while carrying out your prosecutorial duties.
Charles H. Rose III
Dean and Professor of Law
Ohio Northern University

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:45 Prosecutor’s Ethics 2020 (Professional Conduct)
A review of recent ethical issues faced by prosecutors in Ohio and elsewhere.
Jonathan E. Coughlan
Coughlan Law Firm
Columbus, Ohio

11:45 - 1:15 Break for lunch

Criminal Track

1:15 – 2:15 Does Evidence Rule 404(B) Even Exist?
In August, the Sixth District decided that Evid.R. 404(B) does not apply to a criminal defendant, and held that a defendant may offer evidence of a victim’s prior acts of violence to prove that the victim was the initial aggressor, and to impeach the victim’s testimony. In September, the Ohio Supreme Court created a detailed roadmap for the admission of other-acts evidence pursuant to Evid.R. 404(B). What is going on here? Does Evid.R. 404(B) even exist? This presentation examines the new 404(B) requirements created by the Ohio Supreme Court in Hartman, 2020-Ohio-4440, and Smith, 2020-Ohio-4441, and discusses tactics for preventing the introduction of propensity evidence in spite of the Sixth District’s decision in Sepeda, 2020-Ohio-4167.
Drew E. Wood, Assistant Prosecutor, General Division
Lucas County Prosecutor's Office

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30 Forensic Genetic Genealogy
In 2020, the Cincinnati Police Dept was able to make arrests in two separate “cold case” serial rape investigations that had remained unsolved for 20+ years. Using the method known as Forensic Genetic Genealogy, detectives were able to finally put names to suspect DNA profiles that had been entered into CODIS for decades. This presentation will provide an overview of this
investigative method and include a case study of the “Mount Washington Rapist,” the first case to successfully use this method in Cincinnati.
Detective Jeffrey Smallwood
Cincinnati Police Department

Civil Track

1:15 – 2:15 Navigating Bumpy Roads on the Way to Easy Street.
This presentation will provide an overview and refresher on county obligations to maintain county roadways, and the duties of various county officials regarding those roadways. We will look at liability for road damage, owner compensation, and appeals in road cases, along with a brief overview of the potential changes within House Bill 340,

which could alter several revised code provisions applicable to county drainage projects.
Grant J. Bacon, Associate
Fishel, Downey, Albrecht, and Riepenhoff LLP
New Albany, Ohio

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30 “Dewey” Understand Library Requirements?
Open to all, public libraries provide invaluable services to their communities. However, libraries face numerous legal changes. Questions often arise regarding access to services, free speech, and privacy rights for patrons, especially as it relates to internet usage and limitations. Finally, as with most public employers, public records and cybersecurity continue to create issues for libraries. Therefore, a summary will be provided regarding best practices on both areas
Benjamin S. Albrecht, Partner
Fishel, Downey, Albrecht, and Riepenhoff LLP
New Albany, Ohio

We have requested approval of
10.0 total CLE hours which includes 7.5 general hours and 2.5 professional conduct hours from the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

The registration fee for OPAA member counties is $100.00 per registrant for both days. Event is closed to non-members. Please send registrations to OPAA (mail, fax, email) so that they arrive no later than Thursday, December 3rd.

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