Archive | October 2016

Rules Committee recommends ending ethics prohibition on “specialist” label

By Michael Wein

In a report released online on Wednesday, the Maryland Rules Committee recommended to the Maryland Court of Appeals that attorneys be no longer prohibited from advertising themselves as “specialists.” This was proposed as an amendment to Rule 19-307.4, Communication of Fields of Practice. (If you’ve never heard of Chapter 19, which now incorporates the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (MLRPC), you’re in good company, as the reorganization only took effect on July 1.) A briefing on why this change has been suggested can be found in my previous extensive write-up two years ago on this Blog.

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Doe I, Doe II, Federal Dough and Federalism

By Alan Sternstein

Though supreme in their own domains, even sovereigns may, by agreement, accept obligations that lawfully bind them. Depending on the case, they may also pursue, even by coercion, rights granted by other sovereigns. This reflects nothing more than the operation at ever-higher levels of organization (partnerships, corporations, municipalities, states, and nations) the fundamental principles governing legal relationships between individuals. See generally W. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions (1919). These principles recognize the ability of juridical entities through the power of contract to create rights, duties, and other legal relationships among themselves, regardless of the comparative strength of their sovereignties by other measures.[i]

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October 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Six days after granting expedited review of a Baltimore City ballot dispute,  the Court of Appeals issued its regularly scheduled monthly batch of certiorari grants. The five grants include Norman v. State (previously covered by Chris Mincher as part of his COSA Dissent Watch feature), involving pat-downs of passengers when officers smell marijuana during a traffic stop. Continuing the theme of impaired driving, the Court of Appeals accepted two petitions by the MVA in cases where drivers refused intoxication tests. The entire list, including questions presented, appears after the jump. Read More…

Regulatory deference, not restrooms, at issue in high-profile petition

By John Grimm

One of the most closely watched cert petitions before the U.S. Supreme Court in its new term is G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, scheduled for conference on October 14. The Fourth Circuit decision — which gained national attention in April — was a major milestone for transgender rights, but the petition raises only a narrow question unrelated to civil rights: whether the Court should abandon a relatively obscure, but increasingly controversial, doctrine of administrative law. G.G. is a striking example of how seemingly dry concepts of administrative procedure can have unexpected relevance outside of traditional “administrative law” practice areas.

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Maryland high court grants expedited hearing for Baltimore City Council ballot

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

This past Thursday, which seems like a political lifetime ago, the Court of Appeals of Maryland granted certiorari in the following case:

Linda H. Lamone, et al. v. Ian Schlakman, et al. – Case No. 50, September Term, 2016

Issue – Election Law – Did the trial court err in entering an ex parte temporary restraining order that requires the Appellants to remove the name of a qualified candidate from the ballot in Baltimore City Councilmanic District No. 12 for the 2016 General Election?

The Court of Appeals will hear the argument at a special sitting on October 18.

Green Party nominee Ian Schlakman and independent candidate Frank W. Richardson filed suit against the State Administrator of Elections, seeking to remove Dan Sparco (a self-described “Unaffiliated Democrat”) from the ballot. According to an August article by the Baltimore Sun’s Luke Broadwater, Sparaco “acknowledges he missed the state’s deadline,” but he “gained access to the ballot through his own federal lawsuit, which alleged that Maryland’s February filing deadline was unconstitutionally too early.” Sparaco “agreed to drop his suit once State Board of Elections officials agreed to let him on the ballot if he gathered enough signatures.” Read More…