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Proposed Changes to Rules for Attorney Specialization and Rule of Practice and Procedure
Post on September 19th, 2023

Proposed amendments to the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar and Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct would impact specialization for Ohio attorneys. Prof.Cond.R 7.4 now provides that a lawyer shall not state or imply that they are a specialist in a particular field of law unless the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization approved by the Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists AND the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.  

The proposed amendments to the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct delete this section of the Rule and the related Comment to the Rule. This would effectively allow any organization to certify attorneys as specialists in fields of law that the certifying organization may recognize for specialization. The certifying organizations would not have to be accredited by the Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists.  

The Supreme Court of Ohio is accepting public comment on these proposed amendments in writing before October 26, 2023. 

Amendments are also proposed to Ohio Rules of Practice and Procedure: Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Evidence, and Rules of Juvenile Procedure.  

Here is a summary of proposed amendments:  

App.R.26 Reopening Appeal Based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel 

Would expand the category of people who may apply for reopening their appeal based on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.  

Civ.R. 4 and 4.7 Waiver of Service 

Proposes three clarifications to waiver of service: for domestic relations and civil protection orders; that an attorney may sign a waiver of service only if attorney of record on the matter; and requiring an address for future service if an individual signing a waiver on their own behalf.  

Civ.R. 4.1 Accepting Service 

To limit signatures on certified or express mail service to those accepting delivery.  

Civ.R. 30 Depositions; Time Limits 

Would limit depositions to one day of seven hours, unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court and instructs that courts must allow additional time. This aligns the Ohio Rule with its federal counterpart.   

Civ.R. 45 Subpoena Service 

To specifically reference unrepresented parties as those who may be issuing subpoenas under the rule and revises rule’s service language to make it consistent with the July 1, 2023, effective changes to R.C. 2319.09 process server requirements under Civ.R. 4.1.  

Crim.R.4 Timing of Probable Cause Determination, Complaint, and Initial Hearing 

Sets times for post-arrest events and defines “court day” as any weekday other than a legal holiday.   

Evid.R. 702 Expert Witness Qualification 

Adds a preponderance of the evidence standard for expert witness qualification.  

Juv.R. 1 Scope of Rules 

Changes the scope of the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure to specifically exclude proceedings for custody, parenting time, companionship, visitation, and child support brought under Revised Code Chapter 3109, to ensure the Civil Rules apply for these case types and clarifies the exclusion of the entirety of a criminal proceeding. 

The Supreme Court will accept public comment on these proposed amendments in writing before October 16, 2023.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if there are any questions.

Gretchen K. Mote, Esq.
Director of Loss Prevention
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.572.0620
[email protected]
Merisa K. Bowers, Esq.
Loss Prevention Counsel
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.859.2978
[email protected]


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