Legal Insights | Summer 2012 | Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
Legal Insights is a newsletter of timely and practical legal information that we hope you can use in your professional and personal pursuits. Please contact your attorney at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper if you have any questions or comments or if you would like to suggest topics of interest for future issues.
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Ohio cracks down on distracted driving
Ohio cracks down on distracted driving
Wireless device use limited beginning Aug. 31

Texting and a variety of other activities using wireless devices while driving will be illegal in Ohio starting Aug. 31. A new anti-texting law makes it illegal for anyone 18 years old or older to write, read or send a text communication while driving. The law for drivers under 18 is much stricter, imposing a nearly total ban on the use of wireless devices while driving.

The new laws have a six-month window during which offenders are to be given written warnings, but not cited. The window closes at the end of February 2013, when offenders can be ticketed.
Read the full article.
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How background checks can backfire
Arrest and conviction records in the EEOC's crosshairs
As an employer, you have the success of your business and the safety of your workforce first and foremost on your mind. So naturally, when hiring new employees you strive to screen out applicants who could negatively impact either—and a criminal background check has likely been an important part of your hiring procedure for years. However, how you screen has just become as important as whether you screen when it comes to checking arrest and conviction records of job applicants.
Read the full article.
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Dealing with customers headed for bankruptcy (Part I)
As the nation's economic "recovery" progresses, many business owners know that collecting receivables remains a challenge. In the last issue of Legal Insights, we discussed practical collection tools that vendors could consider to increase the chances of getting paid. In this issue, we discuss considerations and possible options if your customer is heading for, or has actually filed, a bankruptcy case.
Read the full article.
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Understanding recent changes to Ohio's LLC law
If you do business in the form of a limited liability company (LLC), you should be aware of recent changes that the Ohio Legislature made to the state's LLC law. Whether the new law will affect any particular business venture depends on the circumstances of the business arrangement, but members of LLCs and individuals contemplating forming LLCs would be wise to take note of the following changes that took effect in May.
Read the full article.
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2012 is a reappraisal year for real estate in Cuyahoga County
2012 is a reappraisal year for all real estate in Cuyahoga County. Property values that the county fiscal officer sets for 2012 will carry forward for tax years 2013 and 2014 as well.

A property owner who wishes to challenge the county valuation of real estate for 2012 must file a valuation complaint with the county Board of Revision no later than March 31, 2013.

For assistance appealing commercial or industrial property valuations, contact Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper partner Matthew T. Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons has substantial experience representing commercial and industrial property owners at county boards of revision around Ohio, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court in efforts to reduce property taxes and to challenge proposed increases in property values.

He can be reached at (216) 621-7227 or at fitzsimmons@nicola.com.
Spotlight
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workers' compensation defense team


Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper welcomes attorneys Mike Bertsch and Kathy Gee, who bring with them an established workers’ compensation defense practice and significant experience in workers' compensation and other matters.
Read about our new workers' compensation practice.
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Firm News
article divider Matthew T. Fitzsimmons won a reduction totaling more than $1.4 million in the fair market value of Ohio Bell Telephone Co. property in Solon, cutting the original valuation of the commercial property by two-thirds. Ohio Bell first appealed Cuyahoga County's assessment of $2,121,600 to the County Board of Revision, which reduced the value to $1.4 million. The company then went to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, which further cut the fair market value of the property to $680,000, resulting in a substantial tax reduction and refund for Ohio Bell. Read the Board of Tax Appeals decision here.
Firm News
Syndicated columnist Mildred L. Culp turned to Bruce L. Waterhouse Jr. for her June 10 WorkWise column on contract provisions businesses can use to enhance revenue ("WorkWise: Small-business contracts may enhance revenue").
Firm News
Jim Juliano has been appointed an adjunct professor of law at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Juliano assisted in teaching a course in sports management negotiation strategies this spring as part of the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, a collaboration between the CWRU and Cleveland State University law schools.
Firm News
World Sports Law Report, a monthly journal on sports law and regulations, posted Juliano's article on child abuse on its blog ("Penn State case: Reporting & preventing child abuse"). A version of this article ("Reporting and preventing child abuse"), discussing the obligations of businesses and organizations, appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Legal Insights.
Firm News
Jim Chriszt was interviewed by veteran broadcaster Virgil Dominic on WHK 1420-AM for two editions in May of the Sunday morning show Rethinking Retirement, one dealing with special needs trusts and the other about leaving a legacy. The show is sponsored by Concord Advisors.
Firm News
Juliano was quoted in Crain's Cleveland Business April 23 in an article about three ticket brokers' lawsuit over the city of Cleveland's admissions tax ("Three ticket brokers sue Cleveland over tax" [subscription required]).
Firm News
Brenda L. Wolff has joined the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, an organization committed to expanding knowledge and expertise in estate planning, increasing professional contacts and relationships and enhancing the community through superior client service.
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Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
25 West Prospect Avenue, Suite 1400
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Tel: (216) 621-7227
Fax: (216) 621-3999

www.nicola.com
Legal Insights
Copyright 2012 by Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC

This newsletter contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations.
Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.