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Ice Miller Awarded Best Brief in the Ohio Supreme Court Ice Miller Awarded Best Brief in the Ohio Supreme Court

Ice Miller Awarded Best Brief in the Ohio Supreme Court

Ohio State Bar Association’s Inaugural Award Given For Merit Brief Filed In State ex rel. Walgate v. Kasich
The Ohio State Bar Association has named Ice Miller as an inaugural winner of the Best Brief Award submitted in the Ohio Supreme Court’s 2015 Session. The award was presented for Ice Miller’s work on the Merit Brief filed in State ex rel. Walgate v. Kasich, overseen by partners Matt Fornshell and John Oberle.  
"This is an excellent recognition of the thoughtful work and successful strategy implemented in this case by Ice Miller's Litigation team," said Richard Barnhart, a managing partner of Ice Miller.
In the case, 17 plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of Ohio’s casino amendment and related statutes which permitted the expansion of gaming in Ohio.  The State of Ohio, joined by a consortium of casino and video lottery terminal gaming companies (the “Casino & VLT Appellees”), successfully defended the State’s gaming statutes and regulations by dismissing plaintiffs on jurisdictional standing grounds in the lower courts. 
On appeal before the Ohio Supreme Court, the Casino & VLT Appellees argued that invalidating Ohio’s casino regulatory scheme would improperly frustrate Ohio’s democratic process, as voters had repeatedly approved the expansion of gaming in Ohio.  Representing the Casino & VLT Appellees were: (1) Ice Miller LLP, which was the primary brief writer; (2) Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP; (3) Dinsmore & Shohl LLP; and (4) Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP.  The winning brief stated:
As the Supreme Court has long recognized, Ohio’s judicial branch is not a quasi-legislative body with the power to veto laws enacted through the democratic process.  Rather, the standing requirement limits litigation only to matters where the private rights of persons or property are in jeopardy.  Without standing, litigants could use the courts to regulate the affairs of another branch of government based on philosophical disagreement.  But … mere ideological opposition … is not sufficient to establish a justiciable case or controversy (internal quotes and citations omitted). 
The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of 16 of the 17 plaintiffs.  On remand to the trial court, the remaining plaintiff was then dismissed for failing to adequately state an equal protection challenge against Ohio’s gaming laws. 
About Ice Miller LLP
Ice Miller LLP is a full service law firm dedicated to helping our clients stay ahead of a changing world. With over 340 legal professionals in seven offices, we advise clients on all aspects of complex business issues across more than 20 practice areas. Our clients include emerging growth companies, FORTUNE 500 corporations, municipal entities and nonprofits. Learn more about Ice Miller and our client commitments.
Fornshell has served as the leader of two Ice Miller litigation practice areas: Securities Litigation and Regulation and Government Enforcement, Internal Investigations and Corporate Compliance. His practice focuses on representing public and private companies and individuals in connection with state and federal securities investigations and litigation, antitrust investigations and confidential internal corporate investigations.

Oberle is co-chair of Ice Miller's Ohio Government Law Group. John is also Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Gaming and Liquor Committee.  John has more than 24 years of experience as a regulatory attorney, public sector advocate and lobbyist to ensure clients' interests are well represented regionally before state governmental agencies, city halls and the Ohio statehouse.
This press release is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
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