Archive | October 2017

October 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Maryland Court of Appeals has posted six certiorari grants. The list is heavy on procedural questions, such as the “prison mailbox rule” and interlocutory appeals in criminal cases. (Incidentally, Michael Wein posted yesterday about civil interlocutory appeals.) The list of grants, with questions presented, appears after the jump. We’ve added, in brackets, a link to the Court of Special Appeals opinion. Read More…

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Death of adult with Down syndrome shows difference between federal and Maryland interlocutory appeals

By Michael Wein

A Washington Post article dated September 13, 2017, discussed the upcoming oral arguments and the expectation was that it could “takes months” for a decision, in the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, an adult with Down Syndrome, who after refusing to leave a movie theater, to watch a second showing of Zero Dark Thirty, lead to his tragic death by sheriff deputies in Frederick, Maryland. The Fourth Circuit didn’t think months were necessary, and in a one-page opinion, two weeks later, affirmed Federal Judge William Nickerson’s 65-page decision finding genuine disputes of material facts. Read More…

Assistant AG Matthew Fader appointed to Court of Special Appeals

From this morning’s press release:

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Matthew J. Fader to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The governor made the appointment after reviewing nominees from the judicial nominating commission.

“I am confident that Mr. Fader is the most qualified candidate to fill the vacancy on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Hogan. “I would like to congratulate him on this appointment, and I know that he will serve the people of Maryland well in this new role.”

Matthew J. Fader has served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Attorney General since June 2010 and is currently the Chief of Civil Litigation for the State of Maryland. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Fader was a partner at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhardt, LLP, an international law firm, where he represented clients in commercial litigation in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations. He also counseled clients with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Mr. Fader served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1999-2002. Mr. Fader received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he served as Senior Editor on the Yale Law Journal.

The End of Frye-Reed

By Derek Stikeleather

Maryland’s Frye-Reed era appears to be ending. Last month, in Savage v. State,[1] the Court of Appeals handed down a significant decision on “the proper scope for the threshold evaluation of expert scientific evidence” under Maryland’s “Frye–Reed” test. Although the Frye-Reed test, as originally envisioned, would preclude only opinions based on novel scientific methodologies that were not “generally accepted as reliable within the expert’s particular scientific field,”[2] its scope has greatly expanded in recent decades. The Savage opinion highlights that Frye-Reed now precludes opinions, even those based on methodologies that are both (1) not novel and (2) generally accepted, if the reasoning behind the opinion is simply unreliable. Under Savage, the Frye-Reed inquiry requires trial judges—regardless of whether the expert’s underlying methodology is well-established and valid—to examine “whether the expert bridged the ‘analytical gap’ between accepted science and his ultimate conclusion in a particular case.”

How did we get here and where are we headed? Read More…