Archive | February 2014

Event: 50th Anniversary Commemoration Brady v. Maryland

Another invite for a great upcoming event appeared in our inbox:

“There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land. Only judges can put a stop to it.” These two sentences were written by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case of United States v. Olsen. Brady v. Maryland was issued by the Supreme Court of the United States on May 13, 1963. It has, during the course of the past fifty years, been cited (as of February 18) 82,597 times. Under “The Brady Rule,” prosecutors are required to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession to the defense. “Brady material” or evidence the prosecutor is required to disclose under this rule includes any evidence favorable to the accused – evidence that goes towards negating a defendant’s guilt, that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness. Read More…

The Elite Federal Bar in Baltimore, 1818 to 1834

by Steven M. Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

[On the anniversary (plus one day) of William Wirt’s argument before the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland, I am reprinting below an article that has previously appeared in The Federal Lawyer and Maryland Litigator. I would like to dedicate this re-print to my late cousin, Kevin Rooney, who passed away last June. When this article appeared in The Federal Lawyer in 2011, Kevin—who attended seminary in Baltimore before deciding to become a lawyer—emailed me regarding our Wirt connection. When Kevin served as Assistant Attorney General for Administration, he chose Wirt’s portrait to hang in his office at the U.S. Department of Justice. Kevin, however, found the happy balance between career and family that eluded Wirt.]

[The article is Copyrighted 2011,  Steven M. Klepper.]

As the federal bar took shape in the early decades of the nineteenth century, Baltimore, Maryland, was home to a disproportionate share of that bar’s elite members. G. Edward White, in his volume of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the Supreme Court, observed that the “period from 1815 to 1835 was one of the highwater marks in the history of the Supreme Court bar.”[1] Of the six pre-eminent attorneys whom Professor White profiled, three—Luther Martin, William Pinkney, and William Wirt—centered their trial practices in Baltimore. After the deaths of Martin and Pinkney in the early 1820s, future Chief Justice Roger Taney, himself an accomplished advocate before the Marshall Court, moved his practice to Baltimore. In a time when United States Attorney General was a part-time job, Pinkney, Wirt, and Taney all served in that role while maintaining private practices in Baltimore. Read More…

Three New Court of Special Appeals Judges Named

By Steve Klepper

Huge news here at the Maryland Appellate Blog! One of our editors, Kevin Arthur, is among three judges named today to the Court of Special Appeals. Kevin is also one of my law partners, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Below are the three appointees’ bios from the Governor’s press release:

Governor O’Malley announced the appointment of three judges to the Court of Special Appeals.

Judge Michael Wilson Reed has served on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City since 2011. Prior to his appointment to the Circuit Court bench, Judge Reed practiced as a litigator for over twenty years in both the public and private sectors. His public service included five years as an Assistant Attorney General at the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and eleven years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. Judge Reed is the President-Elect of the Bar Association of Baltimore City. He earned a law degree from George Washington University’s National Law Center and an undergraduate degree from College of the Holy Cross.

Andrea Margaretta Leahy-Fucheck has been a partner with the firm of Leahy & DeSmet, LLC since 2006. Previously, she served as Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Parris Glendening, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Associate County Attorney for Prince George’s County, and Of Counsel at Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP. Ms. Leahy-Fucheck also served as a member of the State Ethics Commission and was twice named as one of the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women. She earned a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and a bachelor of arts from Catholic University.

Kevin Francis Arthur is a principal with Kramon & Graham PA, where he has spent his entire legal career. Mr. Arthur has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States, in regulatory proceedings before state and federal agencies, and in arbitration cases, including cases before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He has also served on bar committees examining best practices in civil pattern jury instructions and appellate advocacy, and he is the current chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Committee on Laws. Mr. Arthur earned a law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Maryland Certiorari Grants, February 2014

The Court of Appeals of Maryland granted certiorari in three cases on Friday.  The cases, with questions presented, are below.

Granted February 21, 2014

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1300 and David A. McClure v. William T. Lovelace, Jr.– Case No. 25, September Term, 2014

Issue – Labor & Employment – Is an internal union remedy “inadequate” under Md. common law if it does not allow for the monetary damages that the plaintiff seeks in court?

Joseph F. Cunningham, et al. v. Matthew Feinberg– Case No. 27, September Term, 2014

Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Does application of the Md. choice of law principle of lex loci contractus preclude a claim under the Md. Wage Payment and Collection Law (MD. Code Ann. Lab. & Empl. § 3-501 et seq. (“MWPCL”))? 2) Does proper application of lex loci contractus preclude respondent’s MWPCL claim?

Dennis J. Kelly, Jr. v. George W. Duvall, Jr., et al.– Case No. 26, September Term, 2014

Issues – Estates & Trusts – 1) Did the lower court err in construing the Will in a manner inconsistent with Md. Code Ann. Estates & Trusts § 4-401 and finding that it imposed survivorship as a condition precedent to inheritance under the Will? 2) Did the lower court err in construing the Will as demonstrating the Testatrix’s contrary intent sufficient to overcome the presumption that § 4-403 (2013) (the “anti-lapse” statute) applies?

State Seeks Reversal of DeWolfe II: What Do You Think?

Yesterday, the State filed its opening brief in Ben C. Clyburn et al. v. Quinton Richmond et al., No. 105, Sept. Term 2013. Clyburn v. Richmond addresses the injunction entered by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City to implement DeWolfe II, which found a state constitutional right to counsel at initial appearances. The State has asked the Court of Appeals to reverse DeWolfe II. The State’s summary of that argument (from pages 27 through 29 of the brief) is pasted below. We’d love for our readers to start a conversation on both the substance and the form of that argument. Click here or go down to “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this post. Read More…

Event: Recent Impact Decisions of the Maryland Appellate Courts

This just in our inbox:



Recent Impact Decisions of the Maryland Appellate Courts

Thursday, March 13, 2014
5:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Court of Appeals of Maryland
Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
Fourth Floor
361 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Social Hour Reception – Foyer to the Courtroom
Cash Bar (Beer & Wine) & Heavy Hors D’oeuvres

6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Court of Appeals Courtroom
Speaker Presentations and Audience Questions

$10.00 for MSBA Litigation Section
$25.00 for others


HON. CHARLES E. MOYLAN, JR., Judge (retired), Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

TIMOTHY F. MALONEY, ESQUIRE, Joseph Greenwald & Laake, PA

THIRUVENDRAN VIGNARAJAH, ESQUIRE, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City

DONALD G. GIFFORD, Professor of Law, University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law


Please register on-line at or complete information below and mail with a check in the amount above payable to the MSBA, c/o Theresa L. Michael, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, with the attendee(s) name and email address or telephone number.

McCulloch v. Maryland—Revisited With Newly Discovered Document

By Michael Wein

A recently auctioned document[1] puts a few historical facts in context of the historic Supreme Court decision in McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), holding that a Maryland law seeking to tax the Second National Bank in Baltimore was unconstitutional, under an expansive reading of the Federal Government’s implied powers through the “Necessary and Proper” Clause. Here’s the link to the Ebay auction. Read More…

Fourth Circuit issues a primer on statutory construction in siding with consumers against debt collectors

By Jonathan Biran

In Clark v. Absolute Collection Service, Inc., issued on January 31, 2014, the Fourth Circuit provided a useful review of several standard tools of statutory construction, the application of which led the Court to come down on the pro-consumer side of a federal Circuit split. Mr. and Mrs. Clark incurred debts at a health care facility in North Carolina. After they didn’t pay those debts, the creditor referred the debts to ACS, a third-party debt collector. ACS then sent collection notices to the Clarks that said, among other things: “ALL PORTIONS OF THIS CLAIM SHALL BE ASSUMED VALID UNLESS DISPUTED IN WRITING WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS” (emphasis added). Read More…

BABC Appellate Advocacy Event

An email invite (text cut-and-pasted below) just appeared in our inboxes for the following Baltimore City Bar Association event:


Wednesday, February 12, 2014
12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Clarence Mitchell Courthouse
Room 504
(Bar Library’s Brown Room)

Bring Your Lunch.

Appellate Advocacy

Guest Speaker

The Honorable Joseph F. Murphy, Jr.
Court of Appeals of Maryland, Retired
Member, Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, LLC

Judge Murphy, Maryland’s foremost expert in appellate advocacy, retired from the Court of Appeals in August 2011 and joined the law firm of Silverman, Thompson Slutkin & White, LLC, where he focuses his court practice to litigation support.  He also heads the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.  Judge Murphy authored the Maryland Evidence Handbook, teaches Evidence at the University of Baltimore Law School, and teaches Trial Practice at the University of Maryland Law School.


BABC Members – FREE
Non-Members $40

For information or to register, email, or call 410-539-5936.