Ohio Administrative Research

Researching the Ohio Administrative Code, especially superceded codes, is shrouded in mystery. This article removes some of the mystery from researching the OAC by summarizing available resources and locations.

The starting point for this, and many other Ohio legal research questions, is, Ohio Legal Research Guide, by Melanie K. Putnam and Susan M. Schaefgen. Another source is the User’s Guide to the Ohio Administrative Code. The information in this article is drawn mainly from these publications.

Before 1977 no central agency managed administrative regulations. Also, unlike Federal Legislative history, not much was kept regarding the intent behind these regulations. There are rarely committee notes, public comments or analysis. To find available information, Putnam and Schaefgen suggest contacting the JCARR, Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review https://web.archive.org/web/20190217194715/http://www.jcarr.state.oh.us:80/home
or if needed materials are a few years old to request the information from the Ohio Historical Society http://www.ohiohistory.org/.

Prior to 1977 there was not a complete set of agency regulations in a central location. Each agency published their regulations at their discretion. In 1976, the General Assembly of Ohio passed a law calling for publishing the Ohio Administrative Code. The first complete set of Ohio’s agency regulations was published in 1977.

For example, when researching the regulation for the approval of plans regarding construction in the year 1965, first check the current index for the appropriate section: 3701-25-02. 3701-25-02’s history reads Prior HE-25-02. The prior version of this rule was issued by the Ohio Department of Health as Rule HE-25-02. The Department of Health should be able to provide information or copies of the superceded rule.

Another excellent resource for superceded or historical Ohio regulations is the Government Information Department of the Ohio State Library . This department houses the current Ohio Administrative Code and the Ohio Monthly Record from the beginning, 1977. They also have access to a limited number of pre-1977 state agency regulations. If they do not have a specific regulation they can refer the researcher to the appropriate department or agency.

To summarize, these resources will help you overcome the mystery and tedium of Ohio Administrative Code research.

The Cincinnati Law Library Assoc.
601 Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
email: reference@cms.hamilton-county.org
web page: https://lawlibrary.hamiltoncountyohio.gov
OAC holdings: Current OAC, OMR from 1984-present

Ohio State Law Library, Government Information
65 South Front Street, 11th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4163
email: govinfo@winslo.state.oh.us
web page:
OAC holdings: Current OAC, OMR from 1977-present and selected agency regulations pre 1977

Ohio Historical Society
1982 Velma Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211-2497
web page: http://www.ohiohistory.org/
OAC holdings: Older JCARR filings on rule summaries, fiscal analysis and testimony

Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review
77 High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
web page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190217194715/http://www.jcarr.state.oh.us:80/home
OAC holdings: committee notes, testimony and filings of recent regulations. These documents are sent to the Ohio Historical Society when no longer required. For in depth Ohio Administrative information, one may sign up for the agency listserve from their website. The list provides to researchers weekly filing summaries and tentative agendae for Committee Meetings.


The Cincinnati Law Library Association Newsletter is published by the Staff of the
Cincinnati Law Library
for the information and assistance of Association members.

Closed on Legal Holidays
TELEPHONE: (513) 946-5300
FAX: (513) 946-5252
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

E-mail Reference questions to:


Had you noticed...?

In order to inform you of the Cincinnati Law Library’s holdings, this column will feature brief reviews of new, important or underutilized publications.

Personal Injury

The Law Library has resources to aid members in the area of personal injury. The Library has Ohio specific resources, treatises and resources on damages/jury verdicts.

Ohio Materials

There are a few Ohio specific resources on the subject of personal injury law. In addition to CLE materials, there are two publications.

Ohio Personal Injury Practice Successful Trial Strategies [Ohio Room and Reference KFO 539 .P4 I41 2000] is from the Baldwin’s Ohio Handbook Series. Like other books in the series, this book is divided into two parts. First, is the text and then the relevant sections of the Code are printed.

Ohio Litigation Checklists [Ohio Room and Reference KFO 538 .L57 O5] published by Lawyer’s Cooperative Publishing (Lexis). Volume two of this two-volume set contains checklists for personal injury/damages. In addition to the checklists, there are references to primary and secondary authorities.

Other Personal Injury Material

Personal Injury [Text Room KF 1256 .A8 F7], published by Matthew Bender (Lexis), is a 28 volume treatise addressing personal injury actions, defenses, and damages. This set also has forms and a thorough index in the last volume. Although not state specific, this treatise provides an overview on personal injury research but also includes pertinent primary authority from multiple jurisdictions.

What’s it Worth? [Text Room and Reference KF 1257 .H3] By James P. Munger. This book is a Lexis publication. The material in this volume "... is designed to aid in determining the value of a plaintiff’s case, or for a defense attorney in estimating the extent of a client’s exposure." The book is divided into chapters that each deal with a particular type of injury. Settlements, adequate verdicts, inadequate verdicts, and excessive verdicts are the chapter divisions.

Stein on Personal Injury Damages 3rd Edition [Text Room KF 1257 .S74], a seven volume set is published by West, addresses the types of damages recoverable; elements & proof of compensatory damages; adjustments & limitations of awards; and litigation of damages issues. Volumes four and five offer a Digest of Awards. This is similar to What’s it Worth (above) and is organized by area or part of the body injured. Volume six has a discussion of state statutes and rules relating to personal injury. Finally, volume seven contains checklists, agreements, and pleadings.

Handbook of Personal Injury Forms and Litigation Materials 2nd Edition [Text Room KF 1257 .A3 S95] by Edward M. and Elly D. Swartz and published by Clark Boardman Callaghan (West). This resource has forms for the whole range of personal injury practice including case preparation, complaints, and discovery.

Personal Injury Forms: Discovery & Settlement [Text Room KF 1257 .A3 T37] by John A. Tarantino and David J. Oliveira published by James Publishing. This form book goes into considerable depth. It offers forms on the initial client contract; investigation & valuation; experts; discovery; settlement; worker’s compensation & social security disability hearings; and slip & fall. Another advantage to this resource is that all of the forms are available on disks that circulate. This allows the form to be saved directly as a word processing file (Word Perfect or Word). The disks can be requested from the Reference Librarian or Circulation staff.

Local Jury Verdicts Database [Available on the computers in the computer room] is published by JAS Publications and uses Folio software to provide local jury verdicts for Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia. This is the electronic version of The Ohio Trial Reporter [Reference KFO 67 .O3] with additional features. First and most obvious, it reports more than just Ohio verdicts. Second, it allows a search that encompasses more than just the current issue. It offers a very user-friendly search template including criterion as type of injury, facts, state, county, expert witnesses used and more. Finally, the prints made on the laser jet printer are superior to copies from the print volumes.

Totidem Verbis ?

Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1734


New Computers New Procedure

There are now four computer workstations available to Law Library members. These are faster and more reliable than the others.

In order to assure that the computer workstations are available for Law Library members, we will be using a Password protected screensaver. The Reference and Circulation staff will be able to assist you in logging onto the workstations.

The Law Library now offers e-mail reference to members. You may address e-mail reference questions to: reference@cms.hamilton-co.org

Please include a telephone and fax number as well as an e-mail address for response.