Corporations Need Counsel

By Karen Federman Henry

It’s not really new—corporations cannot participate in court proceedings without an attorney.  The same concept applies to the otherwise informal process before an administrative agency.  So what should a corporation do when its counsel withdraws from an administrative proceeding?  The Court of Special Appeals recently answered the question in an unreported decision—retain counsel or say something to preserve the issue for further review.

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April 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

On Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in six cases (four civil and two criminal) and, in a miscellaneous docket proceeding, accepted certified questions from the Court of Special Appeals to resolve three criminal appeals. Those cases, with questions presented, are below. Read More…

Court of Special Appeals to Disclose Panels 7-10 Days Before Argument

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Until now, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (like the Fourth Circuit) has not disclosed the identities of the three judges hearing an appeal until the morning of argument. That is changing, beginning next month.

According to the Court’s May 2019 schedule:

Panel assignments for argued cases will be identified for each courtroom approximately 7 – 10 days in advance of argument. Panel assignments are always preliminary and subject to change. If any party has a basis for seeking recusal of any judge listed as sitting in a courtroom in which that party’s case is pending, a motion should be filed no later than three business days before the argument.

This change comes just four months after Chief Judge Matt Fader took the reins at the Court of Special Appeals.

The timing of panel disclosure means that briefing will have closed by the time the parties learn which judges will be hearing their cases. Without leave of court, replies must be filed at least ten days before argument, under Rule 8-502(b).

 

March 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Batch 2)

On Friday, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in two cases. The Court has assigned both to its docket for next term, which begins September 1. The grants are below, with links to the Court of Special Appeals opinions under review. Read More…

The Renewed Push to Rename Maryland’s Appellate Courts

By John Grimm

It’s no secret that the names of Maryland’s appellate courts are not to be taken literally: The Court of Special Appeals hears all appeals, while the Court of Appeals hears only special ones. Even lawyers admitted in Maryland who do not practice regularly in state court stumble over this nomenclature, and for non-lawyers or out-of-state lawyers (or even judges), the courts’ names provide little useful information about their roles in the Maryland judiciary.

A proposed amendment to the Maryland Constitution—SB 595 and its companion HB 1329—would eliminate this confusion, by renaming the State’s appellate courts. Read More…

Lamone v. Benisek: Round Three in the Supreme Court for Partisan Gerrymandering Challenges to Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District

By Alan B. Sternstein

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on March 26, 2019 for the third time in the ongoing legal challenge to the 2011 changes in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District.  Lamone v. Benisek, No. 18-726 (“Benisek”).[1] Boundary changes to the Sixth District were made after the 2010 census, and Appellees in Benisek successfully challenged before a three-judge panel of the federal district court below the changes as retaliation for their voting as Republicans in the Sixth District during past general elections.  Benisek will be argued in conjunction with Rucho v. Common Cause, No. 18-422 (“Rucho”), in which, in addition to the First Amendment grounds asserted in Benisek, Appellees successfully challenged before another three-judge court, on Equal Protection grounds, South Carolina’s Congressional redistricting after the 2010 census.[2] Read More…

Governor Appoints Booth to Court of Appeals, Wells and Gould to Court of Special Appeals

Governor Larry Hogan issued this press release today:

Brynja McDivitt Booth has been appointed to the Court of Appeals, 1st Appellate Circuit, which includes Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. Ms. Booth is an attorney and shareholder of Booth, Booth, Cropper & Marriner, P.C. and has extensive appellate experience. Ms. Booth is the president of the Maryland Municipal Attorneys Association. She is a frequent speaker on appellate practice and land use. She received her B.A. from Bucknell University, cum laude, and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law, cum laude. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable William S. Horne, Circuit Court for Talbot County.

Edward Gregory Wells had been appointed as an at-large member of the Court of Special Appeals. Judge Wells has served as a judge on the Circuit Court for Calvert County since 2012. Prior to his appointment to that Court, he served as a judge on the District Court of Maryland serving three southern Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s. He also served as Master for Domestic Relations and Juvenile Causes for Calvert County. Judge Wells also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General and was the first African-American to serve as Calvert County State’s Attorney. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from the University of Virginia, School of Law.

Steven Bennett Gould has been appointed to the Court of Special Appeals, 7th Appellate Court (Montgomery County). Mr. Gould is a founding partner of Brown Gould Kiely, LLP. He is a trial lawyer and civil litigator who has litigated, arbitrated, and tried numerous complex commercial litigation cases. He has served as the co-chairperson of the Commercial Litigation Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, and is active in his synagogue, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, where he has served on the board of directors and currently holds the position of general counsel. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, cum laude.

 

A Necessary and Proper Post on the 200th Anniversary of McCulloch v. Maryland and the Upcoming Maryland Bicentennial Symposium

By Diane E. Feuerherd

On March 6, 1819, exactly 200 years ago today, Chief Justice John Marshall issued his landmark McCulloch v. Maryland opinion, on behalf of a unanimous Supreme Court. On its face, McCulloch confirmed the federal power to create a national bank free from state taxation. But more enduring than the national bank’s charter (which expired by 1836) is the holding in favor of Congress’s implied powers, under the “Necessary and Proper” clause of the Constitution’s Article I, Section 8. Today, law students and elite legal minds alike continue to study the case and its lasting impact on our government framework and constitutional jurisprudence. Read More…