Category: News

Hannah Botkin-Doty teaching Summer Adoption Law Institute

Learn about topics including: the history of adoption law, the adoption process, wrongful adoptions, the impact of artificial reproductive technology, second parent adoptions, and much more! Hear from exciting guest speakers with expert knowledge in specific practice areas such as the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Listen to adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share their personal journeys through the adoption process.



Benefits of Sealing a Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal record is valuable when applying for a job or license, seeking a line of credit, applying for educational programs, obtaining housing and securing other opportunities.  Most employers and landlords are not eligible to view a sealed criminal record.

Eligibility for Sealing Records

There are eligibility requirements when seeking to seal criminal records.  In most cases, a person can have no more than two misdemeanor convictions or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction to be eligible to have a criminal record sealed.

When two or more convictions are from the same criminal act, they shall be considered one conviction under the eligibility standard.  When two or three convictions result from the same charges and result from related criminal acts that were committed within a three-month period, the court has discretion to make all the acts count as one conviction under the eligibility standard.  A person who has pending criminal charges is not eligible.  Certain types of convictions, such as OVI’s (drunk driving), can never be sealed.

A conviction of a minor misdemeanor is not considered a conviction under the eligibility standards.  Therefore, a minor misdemeanor does not count as a misdemeanor towards the eligibility requirement of sealing the records.

Time for Filing a Request to Seal Records

After a certain time frame, eligible offenders may start the process to seal their record(s).  For misdemeanor convictions: one year after a final discharge.  For felony convictions: three years after a final discharge.

Any person who is found not guilty or has had charges dismissed against them may apply to the court for an order to seal the records anytime after the finding of not guilty or the dismissal of the charge.

Sealing the record for criminal convictions in Ohio requires a relatively small investment for a potentially significant benefit.  If you wish to know more about expungements, please contact attorney Scot Ciszewski at Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP.


Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney. People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

Man gets 37 months in federal prison for intimidating witness on Facebook

Man gets 37 months in federal prison for intimidating witness on Facebook

The son of a man now serving a 27-year prison term in a Tennessee methamphetamine distribution case is himself also facing a significant time in federal prison.

That’s because Daniel Ray Sands, 32, sent a witness in his father’s case an intimidating Facebook message and put memes indirectly threatening “snitches” on his own account. He was sentenced Monday to 37 months, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

His Facebook Messenger communication to the witness said: “I’ll be sure to pay back the faver [sic]. Thanks, you little [expletive]. Daddy was good to u. C U around,” an earlier Knoxville News Sentinel article reported.

“This is obstruction of justice,” senior U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan of the Eastern District of Tennessee told Sands on Monday, adding: “We need to send a message to others that if you do the crime, you do the time.”

Sands pleaded guilty in January to a charge of obstructing justice by threatening to retaliate against a witness. His lawyer, Karmen Waters, argued for a lighter sentence since there was no direct threat, and the witness—who was already in protective custody due to an earlier attack on him and his home in which Sands is not accused of involvement—was not at risk of actual harm.

The father, Leonard Sands, was convicted of drug conspiracy and money laundering charges in a November trial.

A news release in November by the U.S. Department of Justice provides more information about the case against Daniel Ray Sands.


Negotiation and Mediation Skills are Life Skills

Negotiation and Mediation Skills are Life Skills

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever they can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses and waste of time.” Abraham Lincoln, July 1, 1850

The Center for Dispute Resolution at Capital University Law School ( can help you enhance your negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution skills.

Parent Coordination

A number of Ohio courts are currently using parenting coordination. However, since no state-wide rules or standards currently govern parenting coordination, its use can differ from court-to-court. As a result of the lack of uniform standards, the Supreme Court’s Dispute Resolution Section and its former Advisory Committee on Dispute Resolution have developed the new Parenting Coordination Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, effective April 1, 2014. These rules will ensure that parties are best served by courts developing high-quality programs; appointing qualified professionals; and complying with nationally recognized guidelines published by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).




Sup. R. 90 defines parenting coordination as “a child-focused dispute resolution process…to assist parties in implementing a parental rights and responsibilities or companionship time order using assessment, education, case management, conflict management, coaching, or decision-making.”

Sup. R. 90(C) defines parenting coordination as “a child-focused dispute resolution process…to assist parties in implementing a parental rights and responsibilities or companionship time order using assessment, education, case management, conflict management, coaching, or decision-making.”


The rules provide parenting coordinators with standards regarding authority, qualifications, and responsibilities. There are also provisions for the confidentiality, privilege, and public access to parenting coordinator files. Courts may create by local rule requirements above and beyond those prescribed in the Rules of Superintendence.


Although parenting coordinators are required to have extensive mediation training, apply mediation skills and have decision-making authority, they are not mediators or arbitrators under the rules. Therefore, mediation and arbitration rules and statutes do not apply. A parenting coordinator’s decision-making authority is prescribed in the appointment order. Mediators may serve as the parenting coordinator for the same case, provided there is written consent by the parties and approval by the court to ensure the parties understand the role change. This deviation from the AFCC national guidelines meets the needs of rural counties that may have limited qualified dispute resolution professionals.


Due to the nature of cases appropriate for parenting coordination, it is imperative for parenting coordinators to have specific education, experience, and training to effectively assist parties. The training requirements mirror those of a family court mediator with an additional twelve hours of specialized training in parenting coordination.


Source: Excerpts taken from The Supreme Court of Ohio’s Parenting Coordination Toolkit,