The White Papers

a blog with original content written by White Law Office's team.

How To Start a Non-Profit Organization in Ohio

Starting and operating a non-profit organization can be a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, it can be easy to miss a legal requirement which could jeopardize your organization or your tax-exempt status, if you are also seeking to be tax-exempt. In order to make this process as seamless as possible for you, we’ve put together a shorthand checklist to assist you get your new Ohio non-profit organization off to a great start. Step 1: Name your Organization. This may seem like an obvious step; however, there are certain requirements for naming a non-profit corporation in Ohio. The legal name of your nonprofit corporation must not conflict with any other organization registered in the state. You should make sure the name is available and meets state requirements. Please note, a suffice such as “Inc.” or “Corp.”, is allowable but not required. To search your proposed organization name, go to https://businesssearch.ohiosos.gov Step 2: Recruit Incorporators and Initial Directors. The Incorporators are the people who start your organization. You only need one person to incorporate, who will sign the Articles of Incorporation (See Step 5). Directors, or Trustees, are the people who run the organization and manage its’ corporate affairs. Ohio’s Nonprofit Corporation Law requires a minimum of 3 directors, none of whom are required to be Ohio residents to serve. We do recommend that no more than 49% of your Directors be related by blood or marriage.    Step 3: Have your Directors hold a meeting and elect officers. You are only required to have a president, a secretary, and a treasurer,...

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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 all 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 judges, accused persons would often languish in jail for months. The purpose of the Grand Jury was to review the evidence against the accused to see if there was good cause to hold him (the English term is "bind him over to the Sheriff") until the Judge arrived for his trial. The trial would be conducted on the charges or Bill of Indictment issued (the English term is "handed down") by the Grand Jury. The purpose of the Grand Jury was not only to bring indictments against those who probably committed serious crimes but to protect the accused from unfounded or unjust accusations. When a Grand Jury refused to indict a person, they returned "No Bill" and the charges were dropped. The United States adopted the requirement for the Grand Jury in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, which states: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous...

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Innovating on an Ancient Tradition

It would be unwise to go to a surgeon that was trained using the 1900's methodologies. But most of us don't give a second thought to the reality that the delivery of legal services has not changed significantly since at least 1900. The world has changed a great deal in the last 120 years, and we believe that so should the way legal services are delivered. At White Law Office, we are working hard to carry forward our value of innovation inside the archaic tradition of law. From creating satellite offices to having legal forms available online, to making virtual consultations a reality, White Law Office is seeking out innovative ways to deliver legal services to our clients, where they are. On top of creating innovative access to legal services, White Law Office knows that there are two significant stressors when it comes to hiring a lawyer. First, we know that the price point of engaging a lawyer can create anxiety because it isn't always clear how much legal services will cost. That is why White Law Office is developing a suite of flat-rate services inside our most commonly requested areas of practice. Our goal is to make sure you know how much it will cost you when you engage us as your attorney in those areas. Second, we know that just as important as knowing cost is, knowing how long it is going to take us to complete our work matters. Because of this, White Law Office is also studying how long it takes to complete our standard matters. The goal is for our clients to be able to trust our estimate of when...

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The Days of Cheering on the Tribe

Several months ago, my dad was diagnosed with a form of dementia known as Lewy Body Dementia or LBD. Looking back, we should have recognized many of the signs that are often associated with this debilitating disease. However, as is often the case in medical diagnoses, we simply didn’t recognize the symptoms, until we knew what we were looking for.  If you are not familiar with LBD, it can be like Alzheimer's or other forms of Dementia in which the patient loses their memory, but may also have visual hallucinations and many cognitive changes.  For my dad, this has been especially debilitating and we recently had to move him to a special care facility as he is no longer able to care for himself. I wish I could say that my dad and I have always been incredibly close. Instead, we have both had to work hard at understanding each other’s point of view in many areas of life. Whether it was our generational differences, or that we were too much alike, each of us felt misunderstood by the other. This is not to say that we would often argue with each other, instead, it was more a feeling that we lacked the intimacy to disagree with each other. In many ways, our relationship was like sitting next to a stranger on an airplane, we could always exchange pleasantries, but after a while, we were both ready to reach our destination. As a child, our home did not have a...

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What is the White Law Office Annual Small Business Conference?

The White Law Office Small Business Conference (SBC) began eight years ago with the idea of connecting local business owners, their teams, and entrepreneurs with local resources. We, at White Law Office, firmly believe in the potential of the small business community. We also believe that we have a wealth of talent and resources in our communities that can help small businesses succeed. As navigating the legal, financial, risk management, and regulatory environments around small businesses have become more complicated, we saw a need to provide education and empowerment to local small business leaders. What began with thirty people in a conference room hearing from a handful of speakers eight years ago, has grown into several hundred owners, leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs gathering yearly to hear from a dozen local speakers, teachers, and service providers that have the goal of making their business as successful as possible. The reason we choose local resources to speak and teach at the SBC is because of observations we made attending other business conferences. So many times, we go to a large conference and hear from a recognized speaker, and we feel inspired to make a change. But when we turn to implement the change and have questions, we can't access that speaker. They live halfway across the country, have an entourage of public relations people, and we don't know where to start to reach out to them with our most basic question. The reason we choose local resources is we want attendees of the SBC to know they can...

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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 are largely lower-level drug possession offenses.  Even though these offenses are not felonies if convicted a person may not be sent to prison. Non-prison felonies permit legislators to claim that they are tough on crime while not having to provide more money for prisons. Felonies are tried in the General Division of the Court of Common Pleas after an indictment is returned by the Grand Jury. Misdemeanors are generally offenses which may be punished by county jail sentences and fines. These are viewed as relatively minor offenses as opposed to felonies. Misdemeanors are tried in Municipal or County Courts. Similar activity may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Good representation is essential is dealing with the prosecution to seek a desirable outcome. Please contact the White Law Office, Co. to discuss your case. Thomas D. White ...

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Divorce Questions & Answers

At White Law Office, Co., it is our mission to help educate and empower our clients in understanding their complex legal matters. Often, we see similar questions arise from clients when one is facing the possibility of a divorce or dissolution of marriage. Included herein is a list of common family law questions that our office is routinely asked.  What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?             A divorce in Ohio is a contested termination of a marriage by judgment of a court. It may only be granted upon a finding of a fault-based ground which includes: Bigamy (the act of going through a marriage ceremony while already married to another person);Extreme cruelty; Adultery; Willful absence of the adverse party of one year;Fraudulent contract;Habitual drunkenness Gross neglect of duty; and, Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution when the complaint for divorce is filed. When pursuing a legal separation, one would file a petition in the court of proper jurisdiction. Not only do the parties must agree to pursue a legal separation, but the parties must agree on everything in relation to the division of assets and debts in pursuing a legal separation. Once a legal separation is granted, the parties may live separate and apart. However, their marriage is not legally terminated as they are still legally married after a legal separation is granted by the court. As such, the parties cannot remarry.  My spouse and I agree on the division of everything, should we still pursue a divorce?...

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