News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


Information on Ohio’s Upcoming Primary Election

image of hand placing completed ballot into boxLess than one month away, Ohio’s Statewide Primary Election takes place on May 8, 2018. The Secretary of State’s office provides information on statewide issues, candidates for state and district offices, and local issues. Lists of candidates for local offices can be found by contacting the county boards of elections. Ohio voters can easily check their voter registration status, polling location, voting options, and view sample ballots by visiting MyOhioVote.com. While the April 9th deadline to register to vote in the May primary has passed, voters have until October 9th to register for the November general election. All deadlines for registrations, petitions, and other election-related filings can be found on the 2018 Elections Calendar, maintained by the Secretary of State’s office.

The May 8th Primary features one statewide issue. Issue 1: Creates a bipartisan, public process for drawing congressional districts, is a constitutional amendment initiated by the General Assembly. In Ohio there are several methods to put an issue on the ballot: referendum, citizen initiated constitutional amendment, General Assembly initiated constitutional amendment, and citizen initiated statute. To learn more about each method, check back here next Thursday.

Baseball is Back in Town

While baseball has been back for a week, our hometown team has been on the road. In honor of their Home Opener today, we’re highlighting some of our baseball and sports-related material.

If you’re not sure where to start when researching a legal topic, research guides are a great place to go. The Library maintains a Sports and Entertainment Law Guide that lists important laws, cases, journals, and more.

The Library collection includes several books about baseball and the law. Bargaining with Baseball covers labor relations through 140 years of professional baseball history. The Baseball Trust discusses the series of court rulings that made baseball exempt from antitrust law. The Little White Book of Baseball Law examines cases involving broadcast contracts, injured spectators, rules of the game and more. One Man Out: Curt Flood versus Baseball tells the story of all-star center fielder Curt Flood, his challenge of the reserve clause and push for free agency. There are several more baseball-related titles and many more resources about sports law generally, just search our catalog.

C|M|Law’s Entertainment and Sports Law Association is a student organization dedicated to promoting these areas of study. The Association hosts events throughout the year, and there’s still time to register for the upcoming Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium, here at C|M|Law on April 13, 2018.

Sunshine Week 2018: Examining Open Government

March 11-17 2018 is Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration highlighting the importance of freedom of information and government transparency. Sunshine Week has been recognized annually since 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. These organizations are joined by news media, government officials, academic institutions, libraries, and all people interested in open government. The broad goals are to empower the public to get involved in all levels of government, to boost public access to government information, and to use that access and information to strengthen communities and individuals.

Sunshine Week is a good time to check on our government officials’ efforts at supporting governmental transparency. According to AP News, the current administration has set a new record for censoring and withholding government information more often than at any other time over the last decade. The Associated Press analyzed data on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance, covering eight months under the current President. The analysis revealed that the federal government provided censored files or nothing at all in 78% of the 823,222 requests made during that time, and the government spent a record $40.6 million defending those decisions to censor and withhold.

For information on Ohio’s Sunshine Laws see:

Ohio Open Government Laws 

Ohio Attorney General: “Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual” (Yellow Book 2018) 

Ohio Coalition for Open Government

States Acting on Net Neutrality

 Net neutrality is the concept that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) should not be controlling what you have access to on the internet. Since ISPs control their customers’ connections to the internet, they are in the position to block sites, redirect users to different sites, or cause some sites and services to load slowly and run badly. Net neutrality has been in the news during the past few months as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rolled back net neutrality rules that it had issued in 2015. The final rule, published on February 22 in the Federal Register, eliminates conduct rules imposed by the 2015 rules, and merely requires certain disclosures from ISPs about their services and practices. For more on the history of net neutrality, check out this timeline.

In response to the repeal of net neutrality, states have been taking up the issue. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a summary and table of state action on net neutrality. In five states, governors have issued executive orders to protect net neutrality. Washington has become the first state to enact net neutrality legislation, while legislation has been proposed in 26 states. In the Ohio Legislature, House Concurrent Resolution 18, Continue Net Neutrality and Open Access, was introduced on December 4, 2017. The resolution recognizes the necessity of high-speed internet services, the importance of equitable access to those services, and the protections that had been mandated by the 2015 rules. The resolution declares Ohio’s support of net neutrality, and calls on the President and Congress to protect open internet access. For more on net neutrality, check out C|M|Law Professor Brian Ray discussing net neutrality on ideastream’s The Sound of Ideas, original air date December 18, 2017.

Faculty Interviewed for Tonight’s Local News

 C|M|Law will be featured on News Channel 5s broadcast tonight at 6pm. Professor Brian Ray was interviewed about internet bots. What is a bot? According to C|Net, “a bot is an application that performs an automated task, such as setting an alarm, telling you the weather or searching online.” The tasks that bots perform range from helpful, to annoying, to malicious. Bots crawl the web, finding new websites and updating search engines, and helping users order items or find discounts. There are even Lawyer-Bots. Bots can also pose cybersecurity threats, spamming your social media with ads and other junk, tricking you into thinking that you’re interacting with another person, and spreading misinformation or even viruses. For further reading about bots, check out these articles from The Atlantic, Techopedia, and Venturebeat.

For more on cybersecurity, check out C|M|Law’s Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection, and the C|M|Law Library’s Cyberlaw Guide.