March 2016 Maryland certiorari grants

At this point, that the Court of Appeals of Maryland is intent on taking fewer cases is old news, but it still feels a little jarring when (essentially) only three cases get through in a month. On Friday, the Court agreed to hear questions regarding polling of jurors, declaratory judgment actions, and expert testimony for certain types of DNA evidence. Check out the specifics after the jump.

Granted March 25, 2016

Roderick Colvin v. State of Maryland – Case No. 8, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in upholding the trial court’s conclusion that, upon request for a jury poll, polling the jury foreperson is unnecessary to ensure a unanimous verdict? 2) Is the claimed defect in the polling procedure cognizable on a motion to correct an illegal sentence?

Hanover Investments, Inc., et al. v. Susan J. Volkman – Case No. 9, September Term, 2016

Issues – Courts and Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA erroneously impose new standards under Md. Code Ann., Courts & Judicial Proceedings Art. (“CJP”) § 3-409(c) by depriving the trial court of all discretion to adjudicate a declaratory judgment action when there is a concurrent proceeding? 2) Did CSA erroneously apply, and thereby alter, the standards under CJP § 3-409(a) and (c) by concluding that there were insufficient facts and circumstances to support the trial court’s findings of unusual and compelling circumstances?

Mark O’Neil v. State of Maryland – Case No. 106, September Term, 2015

Richmond D. Phillips v. State of Maryland – Case No. 7, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Under the Frye-Reed standard what is “generally accepted as reliable” in analyzing and interpreting complex mixtures of low template “touch” DNA? 2) In this case, was the Prince George’s County Crime Lab’s methodology “generally accepted as reliable” in the relevant scientific field? 3) Did CSA improperly deviate from Frye-Reed by reaching a conclusion without considering evidence from the relevant scientific community, other than the two opinions expressed at a pretrial hearing? 4) Did CSA err in holding that compliance with § 10-915 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article required certification of meeting a non-existent standard neither party advocated?

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