Archive | September 2015

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”).

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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 Our panel, “The Renewed Debate on Unpublished Appellate Opinions,” included Judge Carolyn B. McHugh of the Tenth Circuit, Senior Judge Andre M. Davis of the Fourth Circuit, and Michelle Olsen of Appellate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…