Reform the Ohio Court System
- Make sure that 70% of judges hold an advanced degree in something other than Law. Preferably they will hold Masters or PhD in science, engineering, medicine or education. Whichever degrees are encouraged for the 70% only 30% of the positions can be held by lawyers
- Eliminate the State pension for elected officials retroactively to 1992 when term limits went into effect for State Representative and State Senators
If you support an effort to reform the Ohio Court system this is how I propose you tell me. When you go vote for Appellate Judges this upcoming election, make sure you vote for Michael L. Tucker and you ignore Michael T. Hall and Mary E. Donavan.
All three of these judges are sure to be elected because they have no competition. That is one reason I put in the second proposed change to the Ohio constitution. Currently, there is a backroom understanding between lawyers that they will not make an attempt to run for judge against an incumbent lawyer. Essentially if a lawyer gets elected to a seat on the bench that lawyer has a seat for life and you have no opportunity to replace them. You can see this by looking at the races for the Ohio Supreme Court. Justice Maureen O’Conner is the incumbent and unchallenged. There are two other contested seats because Justice Lanzinger and Justice Pfeifer reached mandatory retirement age. The current lawyers sitting in judge’s seats haven’t earned a State retirement because they colluded with other lawyers to get it without working for it. I include other elected officials because it should be unusual for State Representatives and State Senators that have 8-year term limits to be able to earn a 20 year pension.
The first proposed change is the crux of the solution. Right now the Ohio constitution requires judges to have a law degree. This is exactly opposite of what we need to ensure decisions are based on logic. Lawyers will still have a place in the system supporting the intelligent people we elect to render decisions. But we won’t be subject to rulings that defy logic.
Case in point. You will see references to my lawsuit throughout this website. Basically it boils down to this. I had a written agreement and a history of a specific salary with a former company. In that document we both agreed that either of us could terminate our employment relationship at any time. Which meant that if my company didn’t want to pay me what they agreed to pay me they could fire me. When they came to renegotiate our contract I rejected their offer verbally and in writing and I invited them to invoke their right to fire me. The specifically decline to take that option. I made it clear the cost of my services did not change and that if they continued to accept my work they were agreeing to pay my costs.
In their decision the Appellate Court first writes that, "Inherent in an employment-at-will agreement is the absolute right of either party to change or to terminate the relationship." The court was in quandary after I showed proof that I declared the cost of my services in anticipation of my company bidding on the follow on contract, I showed proof that every statement the company made expressing that they desired to change my salary was countered with a statement from me which effectively changed it back to the last agreed to salary. In fact, the court knew that I changed (by insisting it remained the same) the company’s attempts to change my salary before, during and after every attempt and that at no time did I ever work where I wasn’t the last one to express the rate at which the company was required to pay.
Knowing that they lost this argument the Court countered with, “it stands to reason that an employer who may legally terminate an employee on any given day without reason may also take the lesser step of altering the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment prospectively without incurring liability for breach of contract or promissory estoppel.”
No, this only makes sense to lawyers with a prejudice for big corporations over employees. Each party to a contract deserves to have that contract interpreted by the words that are written in that contract. My contract said that if they wanted to fire me they could do it at any time for any reason. My contract and the history I had with my company showed that we negotiated salaries and agreed to terms. Not once did I agree to give up my right to set the cost for my services and I expected the Courts to enforce the written agreement they had in front of them.
Lawyer logic is indefensible. In order to ensure the people of Ohio receive rulings that don’t treat them like second class citizens to big corporations, I propose we change the Ohio Constitution so that no more than 30% of those in Judge’s seats hold a law degree. The rest will be filled by those with advanced degrees in Engineering, Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Education so that we get rulings from people trained in logic capable of making bridges that stand and providing prescriptions that heal.
Let me know if you want me to undertake this task by voting for Michael L. Tucker and ignoring Micheal T. Hall and Mary E. Donavan when you get to your choices for Appellate Court Judge.
Last edit: by Tom_McMasters