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Author: Thomas D. White

White Law Office, Co. > Articles posted by Thomas D. White

Department of Health Guidelines for Re-Opening Restaurants and Bars

Department of Health Guidelines for Re-Opening Restaurants and Bars

As dine-in services for Ohio’s restaurants and bars re-open, here are some thoughts about the Ohio Department of Health guidelines for in-restaurant dining. For more information, please see coronavirus.ohio.gov or call your local health department. HEALTHY COOKS AND WAITERS. Increased employee monitoring and training are mandated. Bar and restaurant managers have the responsibility to assure on a daily basis that employees are healthy when they report to work and are monitored throughout their shift if they get sick. MASKED WAITERS. With very few exceptions, restaurant and bar workers must be masked. MASKED DINERS. While masks for diners is recommended, except when eating, diner...

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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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What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Criminal charges in Ohio generally fit into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. So what is the difference between the two? Traditionally, a felony charge carries a potential prison sentence or the death penalty. Whether or not prison or death is imposed may be up to the jury or judge.  Two major changes have happened to change the general definition of felonies. The first is "mandatory sentences." Mandatory sentences are imposed for crimes involving among other things: sex, drug, and firearms offenses. If a person is convicted of this kind of crime, they must be sentenced to prison. The second is "non-prison" felonies. These offenses...

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The Basics of Bail: Part 2

In my last article, I explained the different kinds of bail bonds that permit an accused to be released from jail pending trial. The most important aspect of bail is how the court is supposed to set the type and amount of bond to assure the accused’s appearance in court. Ohio law provides that a judge must consider the following factors in setting bail bond: 1. Nature and circumstances of the crime charged, and specifically whether the defendant used or had access to a weapon; 2.Weight of the evidence against the defendant; 3.Confirmation of the defendant’s identity; 4.Defendant’s family ties, financial resources, character, mental condition, length...

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The Basics of Bail: Part 1

An initial hurdle to cross in criminal defense is how to obtain an accused person’s release from jail pending trial. The accused must “post bail.” The image from movies is a bail bondsman, with a neon-lighted office near the jail taking money from the accused’s family and warning the accused that Dog the Bounty Hunter will be looking for him if he “skips bail.” The reality is different, and a bit more complicated. First, what is the purpose of bail? Simply, bail assures the accused’s appearance as required in court. There are three general types of bail: recognizance, “10%,” and surety. Recognizance bail often...

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What is the difference between a warrant and a summons?

In criminal law, there are two basic ways that a person is informed of the charges against him or her and are brought to court to answer those charges. The first way is one is familiar to anyone who has received a traffic ticket. Few people receiving a minor traffic ticket are physically arrested. Instead of arrest, the police officer issues a ticket or citation that informs the person what they are charged with and when they must appear in court to answer the charge. The portion of the ticket, usually at the bottom, is called a summons. The summons gives...

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A Virtual Attorney in a Changing World

What is a Virtual Lawyer? As I write this I am at a legal technology conference in San Diego with the speaker proclaiming the virtues of virtual lawyers and virtual law firms. As a traditionally trained lawyer, the concept of “virtual” law was at first daunting for me. “Virtual” sounds like a lawyer existing on a Star Trek holodeck. What I discovered was much different, but we need to first define virtual law. We live in a world that is leveraging technology at an increasingly rapid pace. I remember as a young lawyer marveling at the IBM Selectric’s ability to backspace and erase...

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