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Ohio Jury Selection

Ohio jury selection is part psychology, part hunch.  In a few minutes, attorneys must decide if a person could be fair in a particular case.  That person could be a very fair person, but may not be able to decide a particular case fairly.  On the other hand, another person may usually side with a particular side, but just may do so in a particular situation. 

 

Stereotypes Do Not Work In Ohio Jury Selection

 

The first rule in jury selection is not to rely on stereotypes.  While stereotypes can provide a good starting point, the potential juror needs to be questioned as to his or her particular beliefs and biases.  For example, I am Italian and I love Italian food.  While I know it may be hard to believe, there might be some Italian person out there that does not like Italian food.  Another possibility is that the person has an Italian last name but does not identify as Italian.  Perhaps, the Italian culture in that person's family is long gone and replaced by other cultures, or simply the American culture.  This also holds true for professions.  While many social workers and teachers may tend to be sympathetic to people's feelings and pain, there may be some who are more skeptical.  The point is before a lawyer starts assuming he or she has a juror who can explain some Italian cultural or cuisine item to the rest of the jury, make sure the potential juror fits the bill.

 

Select Ohio Jurors Based On Their Experiences And Beliefs

 

The second rule is to get right at what drives that person.  Get right at the person's experiences and beliefs.  Most of the time, an attorney only gets a few questions per juror to determine this.  I devote some technical questions to determine someone's intellectual beliefs.  Then, I ask some questions about how they feel about certain topics to determine their emotional beliefs.  If there is going to be a unique approach to the trial, I may ask the jurors if they have any issues with that approach.  For example, I tried a case where we slowed down the security video footage to get a better look at what happened.  I simply asked the jury how they felt about instant replay.  The jurors who liked it would likely appreciate the value in slowing down the video to examine the events.  The jurors who did not like instant replay would likely tune out all the hard work we put into slowing down the video for their benefit. 

 

Select Ohio Jurors With Values Favorable To The Facts Of Your Case

 

The third rule is ask jury questions that hit on values related to the case, without describing the case they will be hearing.  The judge may not allow me to ask questions that get too close to the facts of the case, so I usually have to be careful.  The judge limits questions like that because he or she does not want me to gather a straw poll on the potential verdict.  Would I like to do that?  Of course I would.  On the other hand, I would not put too much stock in that process anyway, as a simplified version of the facts may not match that juror's view of the facts after hearing the evidence.  Different jurors focus on different things.  Sometimes, they ask themselves if the Defendant is acting the way he or she should be acting in such a situation.  This can be a brutal analysis, as one charged with a crime may be extremely nervous and struggle to get his or her words out, making it look like they are not acting right.  Sometimes, this intuitive approach is telling; other times, it is misleading.  Yet, jurors bring in their lifetime of experiences and techniques in analyzing people.

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Experienced.  Aggressive.  Dedicated.

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993.  He immediately began practicing as an assistant prosecutor working in a courtroom that focused on major traffic cases, such as DUI and driving under suspension, spending over one year focusing on the many issues in these cases.  Attorney Daniel Gigiano then spent the next five years of his government practice working on misdemeanors, felonies, grand jury and preliminary hearings, juvenile delinquency cases, and abuse and neglect cases.  In 1999, he was admitted to practice in Ohio.  In 2000, he took his experience to a private practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio.  Attorney Gigiano has maintained a practice in Wadsworth since that time.  During his private practice, he has tried numerous criminal and civil jury trials to verdicts.  Call now at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of an experienced Medina County trial attorney in Wadsworth.


Ohio Felony Sentencing

Ohio felony sentencing laws place most Ohio crimes into five classes.  These range from the lowest (fifth degree felony) to the highest (first degree felony).  This article will focus on the basic sentencing scheme.  This article will not discuss specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws, such as the death penalty, life imprisonment, and mandatory additional prison time.  Rape and murder are crimes that fall into such specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws. 

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Ohio Felony Sentencing

Ohio felony sentencing laws place most Ohio crimes into five classes.  These range from the lowest (fifth degree felony) to the highest (first degree felony).  This article will focus on the basic sentencing scheme.  This article will not discuss specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws, such as the death penalty, life imprisonment, and mandatory additional prison time.  Rape and murder are crimes that fall into such specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws. 

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Ohio Child Custody Evaluations

Some child custody battles in Ohio need a more in-depth look than what can be provided by just the testimony of the witnesses. Ohio child custody evaluations can provide that deeper look into the parents and children involved.  A child custody evaluation is ordered by the court and usually consists of psychological evaluations of the parents, observations of the parents with the children, interviews of the parents, and collateral information.

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Divorce And Dissolution

How do divorce and dissolution differ from one another? A dissolution is an agreement to terminate the marriage, with an agreement on how to divide their assets and debts, as well as agreement on child custody, child support, parenting time and spousal support. In order to have a dissolution, the parties must agree on all of the issues. Paperwork is filed and the matter is resolved in a single hearing. The dissolution process is usually completed within two to three months after filing.   When the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but wish to terminate the marriage, they must do so with a divorce. One of the eleven grounds for divorce must be alleged. Incompatibility cannot be proven, but must be agreed upon by both parties in order to be used as a ground for divorce. Divorce usually consists of temporary orders hearings, case management hearings, pre-trial hearings, and final hearings (trials). The final hearing does not usually occur until at least nine months after filing and sometimes well over one year after filing.   (more…)

When Can Grandparents Take Custody Of A Child?

When can grandparents take custody of a child? A nonparent can be awarded custody of a minor child if the court makes a finding of parental unsuitability. Parental unsuitability can be determined if the "parent abandoned the child; contractually relinquished custody of the child; that the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child; or that an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.” Parents who are suitable persons have a paramount right to the custody of their minor children.   In other words, parents have a right to care for and raise their children. In order to infringe on that right, someone must first demonstrate that the parent is unsuitable, commonly known as unfit parents. A typical case of parental unsuitability is when the parents leave the children with the grandparents and disappear for a long period of time. In such an instance, the grandparent will likely be able to prove parental unsuitability and may be able to obtain custody of the children.   (more…)

What Is Separate Property In Divorce?

Daniel F. GIgiano, Attorney at Law, Wadsworth, OhioWhat is separate property in divorce?  It is property that the spouse gets to keep without it being subject to an equitable division by the divorce court.
First, we should look at what is marital property under Ohio law.  The Ohio law defining marital property is found in Ohio Revised Code 3105.171 (R.C. 3105.171).  Marital property is:
  1. All property currently owned by either or both parties or acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage; and
  2. All property interest that either or both parties currently holds acquired by either or both of the spouses during the marriage;
  3. Active income, which is all income and appreciation on separate property, due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution of either or both of the spouses that occurred during the marriage;
  4. Anything that is not separate property.
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What Does The IRS Consider To Be Spousal Support?

Daniel F. GIgiano, Attorney at Law, Wadsworth, OhioWhat does the IRS consider to be spousal support?  A divorce decree labels payments as spousal support, maintenance, or alimony.  Does that mean that the payments are considered to be alimony by the IRS?  Not necessarily.  Why does this matter?  It matters because qualifying spousal alimony payments are deductible by the payer and included in the recipient’s income.
In Ohio, alimony is called spousal support.  For purposes of this article, we will use the Ohio term.  In order for a payment to qualify as spousal support by the IRS, all of the following requirements must be met: (more…)

Notice of Intent to Relocate

What is a notice of intent to relocate?  It is a provision that is most likely tucked away within an order allocating parental rights and responsibilities, including divorce decrees, dissolution decrees, and legal custody orders.  It is a provision that is often overlooked.  If a residential parent moves, that parent must notify the court when he or she moves.  If one parent does not know where the other parent lives, they may become anxious about where their children are during that other parent’s parenting time.  This could lead to one parent employing various methods to respond.  Such methods may include methods that may not be permissible, such as withholding visitation.  That parent may also decide to call the police or file a motion in court to have custody changed, all because that parent simply did not know where their children were at during the other parent’s parenting time. (more…)

Medina County Legal Custody Attorney

What does a Medina County legal custody attorney do?  In Ohio, it is usually a request from the court to “allocate parental rights and responsibilities” or when modifying an existing custody order, “reallocate parental rights and responsibilities.”  If a parent is granted custody in a divorce, dissolution, annulment, legal separation or parentage case, that parent is named the residential parent and legal custodian of the child.  If shared parenting is granted, both parents are the residential parents, but one will be the residential parent for school purposes, which means the child will go to school in the district in which that parent resides.  Shared parenting does not necessarily mean equal time or support, but simply means that both parents share equal responsibilities. (more…)

Burbank Divorce Attorney

A Burbank divorce attorney provides aggressive representation for family law matters, such as divorce, dissolution, post-decree motions, paternity complaint, child custody, child support, civil protection orders, and  motion to modify parental rights and responsibilities.  Hiring a Burbank divorce attorney to be on your side gives you better access to justice by making your voice heard in court.
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Burbank DUI Attorney

A Burbank DUI attorney provides aggressive representation for individuals accused of OVI in Burbank, Ohio.  Ohio refers to DUI as operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, otherwise known as OVI.  OVI cases can be made up of two separate charges: (1) the OVI charge, which alleges that the person operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them; and (2) the BAC charge, which usually alleges that the person operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, which is determined by a breath sample, or an equivalent amount by blood serum or plasma or urine, as well as levels of various drugs.  The statute provides for a minimum driver’s license suspension of 180 days and a minimum period of jail or equivalent incarceration of 72 hours upon a conviction for an OVI or BAC charge.  Such minimum penalties increase with a BAC of .17 or more, and prior convictions for OVI or BAC. (more…)

West Salem Divorce Attorney

A West Salem divorce attorney aggressively represents individual in family law cases, including divorce, dissolution, post-decree motions, paternity complaint, child custody, child support, civil protection orders, and  motion to modify parental rights and responsibilities.  Having a West Salem divorce attorney on your side gives you greater access to the divorce court by giving you a better opportunity to have your voice heard by the court.
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Smithville Criminal Defense Attorney

A Smithville criminal defense attorney in Wayne County defends individuals accused of committing a crime in Smithville, Ohio.  A criminal defense lawyer in Smithville provides defense for a variety of criminal cases, such as negligent homicide, felony OVI, drug trafficking, assault, disorderly conduct and traffic offenses.  An experienced Wayne County criminal defense attorney determines and pursues potential defenses, as well as errors in the police investigation that can lead to a dismissal of the charges.  Uncovering such defenses or errors can save the client from the severe consequences that can result from a criminal conviction, such as prison, jail, house arrest, fines and suspension of their driver’s license.  Errors in police investigation can be exposed by filing and pursuing a motion to suppress, which, if granted by the court, would prevent the State of Ohio from presenting evidence arising out of the police’s wrongful conduct.  If the evidence is vital to the State of Ohio’s case, this can result in dismissal of the charges. (more…)

Sharon Township Criminal Defense Attorney

A Sharon Township criminal defense attorney in Medina County defends persons accused of committing crimes in Sharon Township.  A Sharon Township criminal defense attorney is available to provide a defense for traffic, misdemeanor and felony cases, including, but not limited to, DUI, speeding, manufacture of drugs, robbery, and burglary.  Hiring a Sharon Township criminal defense attorney gives you access to the justice system and your opportunity to present your case.
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Can a Juvenile Court Give an Adult Sentence?

Can a juvenile court give an adult sentence?  It sure can.  However, this option is only available for a Serious Youthful Offender (SYO), which blends juvenile and adult sentences.  Bindovers to adult court are not included in this article, as those cases involve a hearing to determine if a juvenile should be tried as an adult, and, if so, the juvenile’s case is transferred to adult court.  SYO exists in the world between the typical juvenile proceedings and adult court. (more…)

Everything You Wanted To Know About Child Support

Everything you wanted to know about child support but were afraid to ask is right here.  Just about.  Putting everything in would fill books.  Maybe, this should be called a quick look at what you need to know about child support. Anyway, here goes.
If a child’s parents are separated from each other, chances are that a child support order is either in place or can be put in place.  Child support may also be ordered when the parents are in divorce, dissolution of marriage, paternity and legal separation cases.  A child support award can originate or be modified through the county’s Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA), domestic relations court or juvenile court.  In Medina County, child support is usually awarded in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court.  Summit County is the same, as it also has moved all of its parentage and/or paternity cases to the Summit County Domestic Relations Court.   A Summit County attorney or Medina County attorney would file for child support in domestic relations court, regardless of whether the case was a dissolution, divorce or paternity action.  However, Wayne County has not moved its parentage and/or paternity cases to domestic relations court.  A Wayne County attorney would file for child support in Wayne County Juvenile Court in a paternity action.  That same Wayne County attorney would still file for child support in Wayne County Domestic Relations Court in a divorce or dissolution. (more…)

What Should You Do If You Are Involved In a Traffic Accident?

What should you do if you are involved in a traffic accident?  If you get involved in a traffic accident on a public road, you are required to do a number of things.  First, you must stop and remain at the scene.  You must also give your name, address, vehicle license plate number, and name and address of the vehicle owner to the police, persons injured in the accident and to the operator, occupant, or owner of the damaged vehicle.  If he injured person is not in a position to understand or receive this information, you must immediately notify the nearest police authority of the location of the accident, your name and address and your vehicle license plate number.  You must also show your driver’s license to anyone who requests it.  You must also remain at the scene until the police arrive, unless you are transported to another location by ambulance. (more…)

Medina County Divorce Attorney

What is a Medina County divorce attorney? A Medina County divorce lawyer practices family law.  A divorce for Medina County residents begins in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court, 99 Public Square, Medina, Ohio 44256.

Medina County Divorce Process

  A divorce in the Medina Domestic Relations Court usually starts with the filing of a complaint, affidavits, and a request for temporary orders. This initial process is important as it determines support, child custody and other issues until the final hearing.  The court determines the discovery schedule and trial date in its case management order. (more…)

Medina County Criminal Defense Attorney

What is a Medina County criminal defense attorney? A Medina County criminal defense lawyer provides defense for a variety of criminal cases, including traffic (DUI, speeding and more), misdemeanors (domestic violence, disorderly conduct and more), and felonies (auto theft, felonious assault and more).

Medina County Criminal Courts

  Misdemeanors that do not start out in a Mayor’s court, are heard in the municipal courts. These courts are known as the Medina Municipal Court, 135 North Elmwood Ave., Medina, Ohio 44256, and the Wadsworth Municipal Court, 120 Maple Street, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281.  Felonies may start out in the municipal courts, but the bulk of the case will be heard in the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, 93 Public Square, Medina, Ohio 44256.  Juvenile cases are heard in juvenile court in the same location as the common pleas court. (more…)

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