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Impact of COVID-19 on Ohio Courts

The Coronavirus is affecting all facets of our lives and society, and this includes Court operations in federal and state courts – see more below. Importantly, we want to ensure our clients that we here at OLRB remain engaged and are coordinating client matters with the Courts and internally. We are in unchartered territory, and of course, things remain in flux.

1. Franklin County Courts – Municipal and Common Pleas Courts (General / Domestic / Probate Divisions) are suspending all but the most essential court functions (the Courts have not given any direction on what is deemed essential yet) AND postponing to a future date (yet to be determined) all civil and criminal matters that are currently scheduled through April 10, 2020.

2. U.S. District Court So. Dist. Ohio – The U.S. District Court has issued a General Order effective March 12, 2020, which provides that any matter set for trial between March 12, 2020, to April 13, 2020, are continued for 30 days. Any other deadlines during this 30-day time period remain in effect. Essential staff for the above Courts and Clerks’ offices remain working to keep cases moving otherwise.

Note that there are many, many Courts throughout Ohio and our state-wide practice creates challenges to keep track of what other Courts may be doing. We will be analyzing client matters in the other Courts as deadlines appear on our firm’s internal docket system. There are undoubtedly many questions clients may have and we will strive to answer what we can but know there remain uncertainties.

OLRB has designated Colleen Ryan as our Client Coordinator during this period; thus, if you have further questions, you can contact Colleen by email: cmr@olrblaw.com or phone: 614-716-0500.

Thank you for your patience and the continued opportunity to be of assistance to you.

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 6:47 pm and filed under News and Press.

What Happens to My Facebook and Email Once I Pass Away?

Digital assets are essentially anything that exist in electronic format and come with the right to use (such as social media accounts or online bank accounts). Your digital assets don’t automatically go away once you pass away, and you might not want them to. However, you will want the right people to have the ability to access, manage or terminate your digital assets.

Digital assets carry sentimental value and financial value, as well as important personal and private information. For example, you may have photographs stored that your loved ones may want to keep as mementos. As another example, your email account might contain emails with important information like electronic statements for bills, utilities, bank accounts, etc. Or perhaps your Google calendar has information about important upcoming meetings that your loved ones might need to know about.

It is a good idea to inventory your digital assets and consider them in your estate plan, particularly if they have financial value. Some digital accounts, such as Facebook and Google Accounts, give you the option to decide what happens to your digital accounts. Follow the below instructions:

Facebook: Facebook allows you to either pick a “legacy contact” to manage your account or delete your account once Facebook is informed that you pass away.

Log in to your account at www.facebook.com

  1. Click on the upside-down triangle ▼ in the top right corner to open up a drop-down menu
  2. Click on “Settings”
  3. Click on “Security”
  4. Click on “Legacy Contact”
  5. Choose the following: My Legacy Contact OR Account Deletion
    1. My Legacy Contact: this is a person you choose to manage your account after you pass away; they will be able to post on your “legacy” page but will not be able to post as you individually or see your message
      1. If you choose this option, you can give your legacy contact “Data Archive Permission,” which allows them to download a copy of everything you’ve shared on Facebook
    2. Account Deletion: your account will be permanently deleted after you pass away
  6. Click the “Close” button to save changes

Google Accounts: Google allows you to choose people who will have access and/or the ability to manage your Google Accounts once your account has been inactive for a designated period of time.

Log in to your account (for example, log in to www.gmail.com for a Gmail Account)

  1. Click on your Google icon in the top right corner to open up a drop-down menu
  2. Click on “My Account”
  3. Click on “Personal info & privacy”
  4. Click on “Control your content”
  5. Under the category “Assign an account trustee” and “Inactive Account Manager,” click “Change This Setting”
  6. Click “Setup”
  7. The following actions occur automatically once you enable your “Inactive Account Manager” (Step 10) but may be modified:
    1. Alert Me: You will be alerted by email and phone before any of the below-selected actions happen to your account
    2. Timeout Period: Your account will time out if you haven’t signed in to your Google account in the period you select (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 months)
    3. Notify Contacts and Share Data: You can choose up to ten contacts who will be notified when your account is inactive; You can also permit these contacts to have access to your data with if your account becomes inactive
  8. The following action can be opted into:
    1. Optionally Delete Account: Your account will be deleted after the above actions have been completed if you select this option
  9. Click “Enable” to save changes

If you have digital assets with financial value or are interested in learning more about how to properly plan your estate, contact the estate planning attorneys at Onda, LaBuhn, Rankin & Boggs Co., LPA. Derek Graham at (614) 716-0500 or dlg@olrblaw.com or Brittany Pace at (614) 716-0500 or bmp@olrblaw.com.

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2016 at 1:06 pm and filed under News and Press.

Your Passport Can Be Revoked for Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”) signed into law by President Obama on December 4, 2015, adds another weapon to the collection arsenal of the Internal Revenue Service – revocation of your passport. The FAST Act added a new section 7345 to the Internal Revenue Code, which requires the Internal Revenue Service to notify the U.S. State Department if an individual is certified to have a “seriously delinquent tax debt”. The U.S. State Department then may deny, revoke or limit the individual’s passport.

A seriously delinquent tax debt generally means an unpaid federal tax liability:
1. which has been assessed by the Internal Revenue Service;
2. which is greater than $50,000, including interest and penalties; and
3. with respect to which, either:
a. a notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative rights have been exhausted or lapsed; or
b. a levy has been made.

Beginning 2017, the $50,000 threshold will be annually adjusted for inflation.
If you have a seriously delinquent tax debt which cannot be paid, there remains a number of actions you can take to maintain your passport. Depending on your individual circumstances, these actions may include paying the tax debt under an installment agreement or an offer-in-compromise with the Internal Revenue Service, requesting a collection due process hearing, or requesting for innocent spouse relief.

For more information, please contact any of the following tax attorneys at Onda, LaBuhn, Rankin & Boggs Co., LPA: Robert J. Onda at (614) 716-0500 or rjo@olrblaw.com; Todd A. Ernsberger at (614) 716-0500 or tae@olrblaw.com; and Brian K. Kim at (614) 716-0500 or briankim@olrblaw.com.

Posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 10:07 pm and filed under News and Press.

What Authority Does Your Healthcare Power of Attorney Have?

As of March 20, 2014, the law related to Ohio healthcare powers of attorney changed. A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone, called an agent, to make your health care decisions for you if you are either temporarily or permanently incapable of making those decisions for yourself. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the privacy of your health information by prohibiting medical providers from sharing such information with third parties, including spouses, unless the third party seeking your health information has a HIPAA release.

A common misconception is that a healthcare power of attorney contains a general HIPAA release, when the truth is that not all do. A standard Ohio healthcare power of attorney only empowers your agent once you are incapacitated. Only then can your agent act and/or access your health information.

Why does this matter? Until you have a healthcare power of attorney with specific HIPAA language or a HIPAA release form, your agent cannot access your health information until you are incapacitated. There are several situations in which you may want your agent to access your health information prior to this time. For example, if you have an upcoming medical procedure, you may wish to provide your healthcare agent access to your health information to enable your healthcare agent to discuss post-procedure treatment and recovery plans with healthcare providers.

For more information, contact the estate planning attorneys at Onda, LaBuhn, Rankin & Boggs Co., LPA so we can discuss your goals and make sure your plan accomplishes your goals. Please contact Derek Graham at (614) 716-0500 or dlg@olrblaw.com or Brittany Pace at (614) 716-0500 or bmp@olrblaw.com.

Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 at 11:39 am and filed under Commercial Litigation.

Estate Planning: Is it too early to plan? Too late?

March 31st of 2015 marked the 10 year anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the young Florida woman who collapsed abruptly in her apartment and then remained in a vegetative state for over 15 years. A highly publicized and controversial 15 year battle ensued between Terri’s parents and husband. Ultimately, the court made Terri’s end-of-life decision on behalf of her and her family. Terri brought to light the fact that estate planning may help eliminate stress and court involvement in these tragic situations.

If you have a living will or power of attorney, you are on the right track. Ideally, any adult should have these documents in place during their life – whether 18 or 88 years of age. There are other important estate planning documents which come into play after your life, such as a will or a trust, which should be established during your life. If you have either of these documents, you are likely still on the right track. However, you should think about a few things: How long ago was your estate plan created? Has it been reviewed or updated in the past few years? Did an estate planning attorney help you? Have you experienced any major life changes? It may be time to revisit your estate plan.

If you are one of the nearly 50% of Americans who do not have an estate plan in place, today is as good of a day as any to start.

We understand that no estate plan is the same. Whether you have an elaborate plan in mind or need help determining where to begin, the estate planning attorneys at Onda, LaBuhn, Rankin & Boggs Co., LPA can help you understand how proactive planning can save you and your loved ones stress, time and expenses. Please contact Brittany M. Pace via telephone at (614) 716-0500 or email at bmp@olrblaw.com to discuss your next (or first) step to an effective estate plan.

Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 at 8:17 pm and filed under News and Press.

Working to Improve Ohio’s Guardianships

Derek Graham of OLRB was recently quoted in the Columbus Dispatch in connection with his work with the Ohio Supreme Court to revamp and improve minimum standards for guardians of incompetent adults in Ohio. Earlier this year the Ohio Supreme Court passed a new Rule of Superintendence which, among other changes, requires all guardians of incompetent adults to complete a 6-hour fundamental course on how to be an effective guardian. The Ohio Supreme Court engaged Derek to develop and teach part of the course. The development of the course has been challenging and rewarding. It is estimated that Ohio has approximately 40,000 guardianship cases statewide and Derek is now in the process of traveling across the state teaching the 6-hour fundamental course.

Additional information on the fundamental course is also available in the feature segment linked below which aired in May on Court News Ohio and which features Derek and Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor discussing the new rules and standards.


As part of his larger disability law and estate planning practice, Derek provides legal representation to Advocacy & Protective Services Inc. (“APSI”). APSI is a guardian of last resort for adults with developmental disabilities. In that position, Derek serves as counsel of record in over 4,000 guardianship cases across the state of Ohio. If you would like more information on guardianship, disability law or estate planning then please do not hesitate to contact Derek Graham at 614-716-0500.

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 12:51 pm and filed under News and Press.

Setting Up Your New Dental Practice

So you are about to open your own dental practice. The following is a general discussion of some of the important legal topics that should be addressed when organizing your dental practice for the first time in Ohio.

  1. Legal Entity

Generally, your ownership of a dental practice should be through a legal entity. Popular choices include a limited liability company (“LLC”) and a corporation. Entity ownership of your practice should afford you a “limited liability shield” that protects your personal assets against liabilities of your dental practice. However, note that the shield will not protect you against malpractice that you commit yourself. Thus, it is crucial to carry adequate liability insurance for you and the entity. Additionally, the name and ownership structure of your entity must comply with Ohio’s statutes and regulations governing dentistry.

An Ohio LLC or corporation must be registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. You also will need written organizational and/or corporate documents in place, as the lack of proper entity documentation can enable creditors to “pierce the corporate veil” of your entity and reach your personal assets.

  1. Tax Election

Tax considerations will influence your preferred choice of entity. Generally, S corporation partnership, and sole proprietorship tax regimes are popular for small businesses and can offer beneficial tax treatment for your practice. It is important, however, for you to consult your attorney and accountant to determine the best tax election for your particular circumstances.

If an LLC is your entity of choice, your tax treatment options will vary depending upon the number of members of the LLC. A single member LLC may be taxed as either a sole proprietorship or as a corporation (either as an S corporation, or as a less tax advantageous C corporation). Alternatively, if your practice has other owner-members, it will be a multiple member LLC and can be taxed as either a partnership or a corporation (again, either as an S corporation or a C corporation). If a corporation is the entity of choice under State law, your practice must be taxed as either an S corporation or a C corporation.

Taxation as a sole proprietorship generally requires all tax attributes applicable to your practice to be stated on your personal individual income tax return (via the appropriate schedules). Taxation as either a partnership or as an S corporation generally permit tax attributes of the entity (such as income, credits, losses and deductions) to pass through to you (and other owners). These taxing regimes are advantageous since there is generally only one layer of taxation, which is applicable at your personal income tax rate. One significant difference may exist between the partnership and S corporation tax regimes, however, in that entities taxed as S corporations can provide additional savings from self-employment taxes for its owners. Finally, taxation as a C corporation requires the practice’s income to become subject to double taxation: first at the corporate level on the corporation’s income, and second at the individual shareholder level on dividends paid to the shareholders by the corporation.

Attorneys at OLRB would be pleased to walk you through these issues and make sure that your interests are maximized and protected. Please contact Brian Kim for your legal needs at 614-716-0500 or briankim@olrblaw.com.

Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 at 6:29 pm and filed under News and Press.

Ho Ho Hope for the Holidays – 2014 Edition

COLUMBUS, OHIO (December 1, 2014) Onda, LaBuhn, Rankin & Boggs (OLRB) is proud and honored to announce its continued participation in and contribution to the “Ho Ho Hope for the Holidays” campaign, which is hosted by The Open Shelter of Columbus.  This season will mark the 4th year of OLRB’s participation with the campaign, which provides holiday cheer and help to the homeless and marginally housed of Central Ohio.

In addition to the holiday meal and good cheer provided to the hundreds of men, women and children that attend its holiday celebration, The Open Shelter, through the contributions and participation of its many supporters, is able to provide holiday gifts to those that may otherwise be left without. OLRB encourages you to consider joining us in reaching out during this holiday season to The Open Shelter or other worthy organizations that make a special difference in the lives of those in the most need.

For those interested in assisting with gift items for The Open Shelter holiday celebration, please contact Harry
Yeprem or Mary Beittel at 614-222-2885.  For further information about The Open Shelter and how to help this holiday season, please view its webpage at www.theopenshelter.org.

Happy Holidays from the OLRB family!

Posted on Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 10:53 pm and filed under News and Press.

OLRB Human Resources Law Series: Job Descriptions

Many business owners and HR professionals overlook the benefits that can be derived from a properly-written job description.  Though its most-basic function is to act as a hiring tool to attract potential candidates, a proper job description also sets reasonable employee expectations for the position, defines what governs employee success in the position, and serves as a basis for future performance evaluations.

To draft a proper job description, you should start by examining the position’s role within the organization.  The job description should include all essential job functions, while containing no functions that are not relevant to the position.  Perhaps most notably, business owners and HR professionals must understand that a job description is a living document.  Descriptions should be reviewed and updated annually to ensure that they properly reflect changes in the employee’s role within the organization.

OLRB’s labor and employment attorneys can help your business be proactive in structuring and drafting your human resource materials to lessen the risk of employment litigation.  Please contact Gregory A. Goetz via telephone at (614) 716-0500, or via e-mail at gregg@olrblaw.com to discuss how OLRB can assist your business.

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014 at 8:41 pm and filed under News and Press.

Gun Trusts

What is a gun trust?  The answer can be simple but that is true with most things.  At its core, a gun trust is primarily a mechanism to own your regulated guns and firearms that are designed to provide legal use by others you identify and means to transfer ownership.  Like anything else, gun trusts are not for everyone and you need to understand what you want to accomplish.  The fact exists though is that the federal and state governments have enacted many complicated laws over the years that affect your gun rights.  The answer is not to just ignore the laws under the guise of your belief in the constitutional right to own and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.  To date, nearly most aspects of the gun laws and regulations have been upheld by the Courts.  Importantly, governmental regulators seem particularly interested in enforcing gun laws, and the consequences can be severe – including criminal prosecution for unwitting violations that most gun owners would never expect.  Attorneys at OLRB have experience and knowledge in gun trusts and will walk you through the process.  OLRB believes that the best protection is careful planning and attention to the details.  Please contact Tim Rankin via phone (614-716-0500) or email (tsr@olrblaw.com) to discuss how a gun trust will assist you.

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 6:29 pm and filed under News and Press.

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