Public Defender Responds to Cell-Site Info Petition for Rehearing

Back in August, Jonathan Biran posted on this blog regarding the Fourth Circuit’s split decision in United States v. Graham on warrantless requests for cell-site location information. The Government proceeded to petition for en banc rehearing (petition available here) last month, and the Fourth Circuit ordered a response. Read More…

Supreme Court Summarily Reverses Maryland Court of Appeals in Kulbicki

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Today the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam ruling summarily reversing the four-to-three Court of Appeals decision in Kulbicki v. State, 440 Md. 33 (2014). Interestingly, the Supreme Court never issued an order calling up the state court record (see, for instance, the docket in Martinez v. Illinois) – even though Maryland is not a state where the record is available online.

It took the Supreme Court just 4½ pages to unanimously reverse. Read More…

Maryland Court of Appeals Aims To Take Fewer Cases, But Petitioners’ Success Rates Stay the Same

By Derek Stikeleather

The Daily Record recently reported Chief Judge Barbera’s plans to reduce the number of cases that the Maryland Court of Appeals hears each term. According to the article, the Court will hear an average of 88 cases per year, a significant reduction from the Court of Appeals’ historic average of more than 100 cases per year. For example, in its 2011-13 terms, the Court docketed 133, 105, and 119 appeals, respectively. Table CA-3 of Maryland Judiciary Annual Statistical Abstract Fiscal Year 2014 (“2014 Abstract”).

Read More…

September 2015 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Court of Appeals website has posted certiorari grants from its September 17 conference, to go with an unscheduled September 3 grant we previously covered. The first grant, which is of great interest to (at least one of) our Annapolis readers, raises an important public policy question: Will downtown Annapolis get a Chipotle? The full two-case list is after the jump. Read More…

FBA Annual Meeting: The BWI-SLC Connection

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the Federal Bar Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Our panel, “The Renewed Debate on Unpublished Appellate Opinions,” included Judge Carolyn B. McHugh of the Tenth Circuit, Senior Judge Andre M. Davis of the Fourth Circuit, and Michelle Olsen of Appellate Daily. Read More…

Maryland High Court Grants Rapid Review of Underage Drinking Liability

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Update (9/8/2015): I have since learned that the grant in Davis v. Stapf was not an “own motion” grant. Rather, before the Court of Special Appeals filed its opinion, the plaintiff filed a petition asking the Court of Appeals to consider Davis v. Stapf along with a similar case (Manal Kiriakos v. Brandon Phillips, Case No. 20, September Term, 2015) where certiorari was granted in March. Still, it remains interesting that the Davis v. Stapf opinion prompted the Court of Appeals to grant certiorari outside of its normal conference schedule.

Yesterday saw unusual and fast action by the Court of Appeals of Maryland in a major case on liability for serving alcohol to minors. In an August 26 opinion in Davis v. Stapf, the Court of Special Appeals  ruled against the estate of a 17-year-old passenger killed in an auto accident following a party. The decedent, who riding in the bed of a pickup truck, and the 22-year-old driver were both intoxicated. The panel majority (in an opinion by Judge Graeff and joined by Chief Judge Krauser) found that the party’s host, who served the minor alcohol in violation of Criminal Law § 10-117(b), owed no statutory duty of care to the minor that could result in tort liability. Judge Nazarian concurred, believing that the fact the minor was not the driver cut the chain of causation.

Yesterday, just eight days after the CSA’s opinion, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued a single grant of certiorari, outside its normal schedule: Read More…

Three Names Forwarded for Seat on Maryland High Court

The Maryland Courts website shows that the Judicial Nominating Commission has forwarded three nominees to Governor Hogan for the Prince George’s County seat on the Court of Appeals of Maryland. The nominees are: Read More…

One Week, Four Court of Appeals Cases, One Potential Blockbuster

By Michael Wein,

Well, we’re one week away until the Maryland Court of Appeals’ self-imposed deadline of Monday, August 31, 2015, for deciding all cases in the September Term. Per the “Pending Cases” page on the Court of Appeals’ website, four, count that, only four, decisions are left, one from April (State v. Dykes), one from May (State v. Waine), and two from June (State v. Westray and Wicomico County Department of Social Services v. B.A.). The two from June may not reflect any particular disagreements between the judges, but are pending simply because they were the most recently argued, or, in the case of Westray, because it will be decided in tandem with the Dykes case from April, as both involve issues about the right to discharge counsel. The “Questions Presented,” as posed on the Court of Appeals’ web page, for all remaining cases are listed below.

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August 2015 Certiorari Grants

Summer’s winding down, and the Court of Appeals is getting back into high gear with 10 new certiorari grants. Hint: If you’re as interested in this case even a fraction as much as Alan Sternstein has been, you’re going to want to check out the full rundown after the jump.

Read More…

Fourth Circuit cell-site info decision creates circuit split

By Jonathan Biran[1]

On August 5, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit decided United States v. Graham, a Hobbs Act robbery case originating in the District of Maryland. Although the Appellants raised several challenges to their convictions, the most interesting issue was whether the Court should extend Fourth Amendment protections to records about where and when a mobile phone connected to antennas and electronic communications equipment on a cellular network, data called “cell-site location information” (CSLI). Senior Judge Andre Davis, one of the Fourth Circuit judges from Maryland, wrote the majority opinion, holding that users of cellphones have a reasonable expectation of privacy in historical CSLI, at least where such information covers an extensive period of time. Judge Davis was joined by Judge Thacker in that conclusion. One of the other Maryland judges on the Court, Judge Diana Motz, dissented from that portion of the majority opinion.

Read More…


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