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2021 OPAA Summer Workshop
June 25th and 26th, 2021

We once again will be striving to meet on the shores of Lake Erie to educate the membership and to enjoy the other activities the area provides. As usual, we will provide both a criminal law track and a civil law track.  The criminal side will be discussing speedy trial tolling events and how COVID affected them; forensic mental health evaluations; trying cases during a pandemic, Rules of Evidence; and prosecutor stress and burnout. On the civil side we will explore CLEIRS exceptions to public records, representing and advising your county with the Ohio Power Siting Board and solar farm developers; CARES expenditures; zoning; county and township road concerns; and pipeline valuations.  We look forward to seeing all of you in-person!  Note: Due to hotel constraints we will be limiting the number of attendees for this event.

Downloadable agenda and registration

Friday, June 25

8:00 – 12:00 REGISTRATION


9:00 – 10:00 Speedy Trial Ins and Outs – Tolling and Timing Considerations due to COVID-19
Even without a pandemic, the implications of speedy trial can be dramatic and severe since the case gets dismissed when a speedy-trial violation has occurred. Throw in legislative actions due to the pandemic and things can get really blurred. This presentation will discuss the sources of speedy-trial protection, both constitutional and statutory, how they operate, tolling events, key pitfalls for the prosecutor to avoid, and the implications of House Bill 197’s and Senate Bill 10’s COVID tolling provisions.
Steven L. Taylor
Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 12:00 The Nuts and Bolts of Forensic Mental Health Evaluations
This presentation will focus on a behind-the-scenes look at how competency and sanity evaluations are done by Netcare forensic examiners. We will cover basic tools and techniques of criminal forensic psychological evaluation and will highlight what consumers of forensic psychological evaluation reports should expect from a good assessment. We will also discuss how Netcare approaches evaluations involving second opinions.
Dr. Terry J. Kukor, Ph.D., ABPP
Netcare Forensic Center


9:00 - 10:00 Persnickety Public Records Predicaments
This program is designed to help those already familiar with the basics of Ohio’s Public Records Act better understand some of the more challenging and updated provisions. Including a look at what constitutes a “record”, important exceptions, how the PRA impacts requests for red light camera, dashcam, and body-worn camera footage, the importance of developing/updating retention schedules along with your records request form and policy, when an investigative record is not subject to production, and of course recent legal decisions interpreting the Public Records Act.
Marie-Joëlle C. Khouzam, Partner and
Warren I. Grody, Senior Attorney
Both with Bricker & Eckler LLP, Columbus, Ohio

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:15 A Community Focused Overview of the Solar Development Process in Ohio
A discussion on the expansion of solar energy development in Ohio. We will focus on the Ohio Power Siting Board process by which solar development is approved and how local communities can get involved in the process. We will also discuss the challenges communities may face when companies want to develop in the community as well as the benefits that can be achieved through engaging in the process.
Robert T. Dove, Associate
Kegler, Brown, Hill + Ritter
Columbus, Ohio

11:15 – 12:00 Pipeline Valuation, Appeal Status and Legal Update
This presentation will outline the public utility personal property valuation process for pipelines, including an update on the pending Board of Tax Appeals cases for Nexus Gas Transmission, LLC and Rover Pipeline, LLC.
Rebecca C. Princehorn, Partner
Bricker & Eckler, LLP
Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, June 26

8:00 – 12:00 Registration


9:00 - 10:00 The Evolution of Trying a Case During a Pandemic (A Moving Target)
With all the new fixtures in the courtroom to protect those at work and those there to view proceedings, it can be difficult to work around and be heard from behind the Plexiglas. This presentation will feature trial prosecutors that have figured out how to make their case in less-than-ideal courtroom set-ups.
Sherri L. Bevan Walsh, Summit County Prosecutor and
Jane M. Hanlin, Jefferson County Prosecutor

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 11:15 Work Arounds – Rules of Evidence
Is all lost because you have an absent or recalcitrant witness? Not necessarily! This presentation will explore the interaction of a variety of Evidence Rules which will allow you to admit evidence including statements, letters, phone calls, and records in the absence of, or despite, a witness. We will look at selected Rules of Evidence, including 801, 803, 804, 901 and 902, and see how you can “work around” an admissibility obstacle by using alternatives and/or a layered approach.
Laura A. Dezort, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Supervisor, Criminal Division
Lorain County

11:15 - 12:00 Vicarious Trauma, Secondary Traumatic Stress & Burnout: Impact, Symptoms and Treatment
This presentation will highlight the vulnerability of legal professionals by defining the emotional states of vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout. Participants will be educated in identifying and strategies for managing continued exposure to trauma.
Dr. Cecile Brennan, Ph.D., LPCC-S
Moore Counseling & Mediation Services, Inc.


9:00 - 10:00 Budgets, Revenues, Expenditures – Oh My!
One of the scariest issues for public officials is the maze of rules for budgets and the liability for expenditures. New federal funding programs like CARES provide an air of excitement. This session will provide some of the basic standards for local governments and the federal standards (that exist at the time of the session) for the new federal programs and guidance for clients as to what can and cannot be permitted, auditing, finding for recovery, etc.
Jonathan J. Downes
Zachin and Rich
Columbus, Ohio

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 11:15 Restoring Law and Order in the Wild West of Board of Zoning Appeals Hearings: Using Best Practices to Balance Private Property Rights and Public Interest
This presentation will review best practices for BZAs to implement when conducting hearings, including use and area variance hearings and other administrative appeals. It will include a primer on the characteristics of a proper quasi-judicial hearing, explanation of use and area variance factors, and an update of recent zoning decisions and developments.
Anthony R. Vacanti, Esquire
Tucker Ellis LLP
Cleveland, Ohio

11:15 - 12:00 How to Stay “King of the Road” while avoiding the “Road to Nowhere” when taking Country Roads Home
The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview and refresher regarding the obligations and responsibilities to maintain various roadways. During the presentation, a discussion will be had on topics ranging from road creation to abandonment. Additional discussion will be had pertaining to liability related to the maintenance of the roadways. In discussing obligations to maintain roads, considerations for Roadway Use and Maintenance Agreements will be provided. Lastly, examples of issues related to road use will be provided.
Benjamin S. Albrecht
Fishel Downey Albrecht & Riepenhoff, LLP



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