May 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has posted its certiorari grants from its May 19 conference. This month’s list is unusually heavy on civil cases, with only one criminal appeal compared to four civil appeals. Perhaps most notably, Seley-Radtke v. Hosmane addresses the burden of proof in defamation actions brought by private individuals. The full list appears after the jump.

Granted May 20, 2016

Eastern Shore Title Company v. Steven J. Ochse, et al. – Case No. 16, September Term, 2016

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) May a party recover their attorney’s fees for the exact same matter more than one time as “damages”, even in separate cases? 2) Did the trial court and CSA err in the legal standard used to determine the correct amount of the damages award pursuant to the collateral litigation rule for legal expenses incurred? 3) Does the collateral source rule apply to an award of damages for the breach of two separate contracts involving different parties under different circumstances in different courts where separate consideration was paid for each contract?

Keisha Ann Hartman v. State of Maryland – Case No. 15, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law – Where a defendant enters into a non-binding plea agreement in the District Court in which the State agreed to recommend no incarceration, and subsequently notes a de novo appeal from the final judgment of the District Court, does the State remain obligated to make that sentencing recommendation in the Circuit Court if the defendant pleads guilty?

National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. v. The Fund for Animals, Inc. – Case No. 18, September Term, 2016

Issues – Insurance Law – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the actual prejudice standard in Insurance Art. § 19-110 requires an insurer to prove that, had it received timely notice, the outcome would have been different? 2) Did CSA exceed its authority by instructing the trial court on remand to permit and grant a belated motion for judgment, when such a motion was never filed at the time of trial? 3) Did Petitioner waive the affirmative defense of collateral estoppel by failing to plead that defense in its answer or mention it during discovery? 4) Does collateral estoppel apply to the findings made in the Endangered Species Act case?

Albert F. Oliveira, et al. v. Jay Sugarman, et al. – Case No. 17, September Term, 2016

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Is a board of directors entitled to the presumption of the business judgment rule contained in Md. Code Ann, Corps. & Ass’ns § 2-405.1 when responding to a shareholder demand without presenting evidence that the board acted independently, in good faith, and was reasonably informed as required by Boland v. Boland, 423 Md. 296, 31 A.3d 529 (2011)? 2) May shareholders of a Md. corporation bring direct claims against the board of directors for misrepresentations made in a proxy statement soliciting shareholder votes and for breaches of a shareholder-approved incentive stock plan?

Katherine Seley-Radtke v. Ramachandra S. Hosmane – Case No. 19, September Term, 2016

Issue – Torts – In a defamation case brought by a private individual, does the heightened standard for overcoming a conditional privilege, as recognized in Jacron Sales Co., Inc. v. Sindorf, 276 Md. 580 (1976), impose a burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence?

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