November 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

It looks like the new normal is that the Court of Appeals of Maryland will now issue two batches of certiorari grants each month: one during its argument session at the beginning of the month, and one following its mid-month conference. The Court just posted four certiorari grants. Lewis v. State presents some interesting questions under the Uniform Act to Secure Attendance of Witnesses from Without a State in Criminal Proceedings (Court of Specials opinion here). The full list, including questions presented, appears after the jump.

Jayson Amster v. Rushern L. Baker, County Executive For Prince George’s County et al. – Case No. 63, September Term, 2016

Issue – State Government – Does the invocation of the Commercial Exemption in the Md. Public Information Act eliminate the statutory bias favoring disclosure, judicial oversight of facts and efforts to facilitate access to non-commercial or publicly known information?

Deer Automotive Group, LLC t/a Liberty Ford v. Barbara Brown et al. – Case No. 62, September Term, 2016

Issue – Civil Procedure – Is an order of the trial court denying a petition to compel arbitration, the sole issue in a separately-docketed case, a final judgment when there is pending a previously-filed case in the same court addressing all the substantive issues between the same parties in the same transactions?

Miguel A. Fuentes v. State of Maryland – Case No. 64, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Was the evidence legally insufficient to support Petitioner’s convictions where the convictions were contingent on Ms. R’s status as a “mentally defective” individual and the State failed to present evidence that she had been diagnosed with either mental retardation or a mental disorder? 2) Where Petitioner’s knowledge of Ms. R’s purported mental deficiency was a required element of both convictions, was it reversible error for the State to inform the jury at closing argument that Petitioner had admitted to taking advantage of her “mental diminished capacity” in an interview that was never admitted into evidence at trial? 3) Where Ms. R’s ability to understand the conduct of others and to communicate with others was central to the jury’s determination of whether she could be considered a “mentally defective” individual, did the trial court err in refusing to allow the defense to present employment performance evaluations that assessed both of these skills during her employment, when the sexual activity took place?

Grant Agbara Lewis v. State of Maryland – Case No. 61, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) If an out-of-state witness is in Maryland pursuant to a summons issued by the witness’s home state, and an accompanying judicial order from that state as well as the governing Maryland statute explicitly grant the witness immunity from prosecution in Maryland, may a Maryland court nonetheless exercise jurisdiction over the witness’s prosecution? 2) Is immunity from prosecution waived by failing to file a pre-trial motion under Md. Rule 4-252?

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