The Final Judgment Rule: It ain’t over ’til it’s over

By Karen Federman Henry

Just when you think you know all of the rules for determining when a final judgment exists, they shift a bit.[*] The March 24 decision of the Court of Appeals in URS Corp. v. Fort Myer Construction Corporation interpreted the separate document requirement in Md. Rule 2-601 to allow a waiver of the requirement when doing so does not prejudice a party and preserves a party’s right to appeal. In some respects, the Court has returned us to some of the uncertainty that accompanied its decision in Houghton v. County Commissioners of Kent County, 305 Md. 407 (1986).

The elements of a final judgment sound simple—when all of the issues have been decided and the parties are effectively “out of court,” the time to appeal starts to run. Read More…

May 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

This month’s first batch of certiorari grants from the Court of Appeals of Maryland is here. The most interesting cases come from the criminal side, with questions regarding a “missing witness” instruction as to a defendant’s mother, and regarding the use of a “music video/slide show” as a victim impact evidence.

The Court may issue additional certiorari grants following its May 18 conference. The full list of five certiorari grants, with questions presented, appears after the jump. Read More…

Fourth Circuit Senior Judge Andre Davis to Become Baltimore City Solicitor

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

There is some bittersweet news out of Baltimore. Senior Judge Andre Davis, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, will be resigning his commission to become the new Baltimore City Solicitor, effective September 1, 2017. He has heard his last Fourth Circuit arguments and will be finishing work on opinions over the summer. Read More…

Governor Appoints Next Chief Judge of Court of Special Appeals

The Office of Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following press release:

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Judge Patrick L. Woodward as Chief Judge to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Judge Woodward has served as a judge on the Court since 2005. The appointment is effective May 6, 2017.

“I am confident that Judge Woodward is the most qualified individual to fill the chief judge vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Hogan. “Judge Woodward has an exceptional and extensive judicial background, and has exhibited integrity and a strong commitment to justice. I offer him my sincere congratulations and best wishes.”

“I am truly honored by the trust and confidence that the Governor has placed in me,” said Judge Woodward. “I will do everything in my power to discharge my new duties faithfully, diligently, and competently.”

Judge Patrick L. Woodward is currently a judge for the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland where he has served since 2005, when he was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich. Prior to his appointment, Judge Woodward served as a judge for both the Circuit and District Courts of Montgomery County. Before serving as a judge, he was a sole practitioner and principal for Jackson & Campbell, P.C. Judge Woodward received his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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27 Apply for Court of Special Appeals: April 2017

By Brandon Moore

Twenty-seven applicants applied for an at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals, according to the list made public on Thursday. The seat will become vacant upon the mandatory retirement of Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser, who turns 70 years young on May 5. Eight of the applicants are being considered automatically because the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission had previously recommended them for the Court.

See the full list of applicants below.

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Twombly-Iqbal “Plausibility” and Maryland’s Pleading Requirements

Kamil Ismail Guest contributor

In a pair of decisions from 2007 and 2009, the Supreme Court of the United States established what has become known as the Twombly-Iqbal standard for a federal complaint to state a claim. With Twombly-Iqbal now entrenched in federal court, practitioners may be wondering whether that standard’s “plausibility” requirement also applies to complaints in state court. A better question, though, may be whether such a requirement was ever lacking in state court. Read More…

Fourth Circuit Weighs “Exceptional Importance” and Possible En Banc Hearing on Travel Ban 2.0

By Derek Stikeleather

President Trump’s revised “travel ban,” which targets six predominantly Muslim nations, has drawn intense media scrutiny and legal challenges across the nation. The proceedings in the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Hawaii and Washington, have garnered the lion’s share of the media spotlight. But proceedings here in the Fourth Circuit may yield the first substantive appellate court decision on the travel ban’s constitutionality.

As often happens in high-profile appeals, unusual procedural questions have also arisen. Last week, the Fourth Circuit received briefing, which it had ordered from the parties just days earlier, “on the appropriateness of initial en banc review” by the entire court. This is atypical for many reasons. Read More…

Event: Effective Appellate Advocacy for Family Law Cases

From the Maryland Appellate Blog inbox, and highly recommended:

THE LITIGATION SECTION OF THE MARYLAND STATE BAR ASS’N AND ITS APPELLATE PRACTICE COMMITTEE

TOGETHER WITH THE FAMILY AND JUVENILE LAW SECTION

AND MILES & STOCKBRIDGE, P.C.

PRESENT

Effective Appellate Advocacy for Family Law Cases

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Court of Appeals of Maryland

Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building

Fourth Floor 361 Rowe Boulevard Annapolis, MD 21401

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Social Hour Reception – Foyer to the Courtroom

Cash Bar (Beer & Wine) & Hors D’oeuvres

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Court of Appeals Courtroom

Speaker Presentations and Audience Questions

$20.00 for MSBA Litigation Section or Family and Juvenile Law Section Members

$35.00 for others

SPEAKERS:

THE HONORABLE DEBORAH S. EYLER, Judge, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

STEPHEN J. CULLEN, ESQUIRE, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

CYNTHIA E. YOUNG, ESQUIRE

Please register by mailing your check payable to the MSBA, Attention: Theresa L. Michael, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland  21201. SPACE IS LIMITED

April 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants: Charter Schools and GPS Evidence

The Maryland Court of Appeals has posted its first batch of April 2017 certiorari grants, and next term is already looking interesting. The four grants include Baltimore charter schools’ appeal of an order staying their challenge to the city school board’s proposed funding formula. The Court of Appeals is also set to address the necessity of expert testimony to introduce a cell phone’s GPS location record. The cases are likely to be argued in September. The full list appears after the jump.

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Remembering Judge Howard S. Chasanow

By Brandon Moore

We mourn the loss of Judge Howard S. Chasanow, a former judge on the Court of Appeals of Maryland, who died on April 2.  I had the privilege to hear Judge Chasanow speak in October 2014 at the portrait and chief judge transition ceremony for his wife, Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, a senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  Judge Chasanow joked about his wife’s aversion to the spotlight, even at an event held in her honor.  “It’s hard to give speeches about people who won’t let you talk about them,” he quipped.  That night, Judge Chasanow displayed the same charm that many lawyers had come to admire.

Read More…