Archive | October 2018

October 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Batch #2)

The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari today in seven cases. The likely headliner is In re S.K., reviewing a 16 year-old’s conviction for distributing child pornography, based on her texting two friends a video depicting herself engaged in lawful and consensual sexual conduct.

The grants, with questions presented, are below. Read More…

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When does a statute abrogate the common law and when may an arbitration award be vacated due to legal error?

By Brad McCullough

In 1793, the General Court of Maryland – which from 1776 to 1806 exercised both general and appellate jurisdiction – held that an arbitration award could be set aside for reasons “apparent on the face of the award.” Dorsey v. Jeoffray, 3 H & McH. 81 (Md. 1793). In the ensuing years, and well into the Twentieth Century, the Court of Appeals followed that general principle, holding that an arbitrator’s “gross and manifest” mistake can lead a court to set aside an award, Roloson v. Carson, 8 Md. 208, 220-21 (1853), and that an award may be set aside if there is a mistake of fact or law appearing on the face of that award, Parr Constr. Co. v. Pomer, 217 Md. 539, 544 (1958).

In 1965, however, Maryland adopted the Uniform Arbitration Act, Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§3-201 et seq., which contains five specific grounds for vacating an arbitration award, but a manifest mistake of law is not among them. In the years following adoption of the Act, Maryland courts continued to rule – in cases not governed by the Act – that an arbitration award could be set aside for manifest disregard of the law. Baltimore Cty. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 v. Balt. Cty., 429 Md. 533, 564 (2012); Downey v. Sharp, 428 Md. 249, 265 (2012); Board of Educ. of Prince George’s Cty. v. Prince George’s Cty. Educators’ Ass’n, 309 Md. 85, 101-02 (1987). But what about those cases covered by the Act? May an award in one of those cases be vacated for manifest disregard of the law? Or may an award in a case covered by the Act be disturbed only if based on a ground specified by the Act? In WSC/2005 LLC v. Trio Ventures Assocs. (Md. July 30, 2018), the Court of Appeals answered that question. Read More…

October 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Batch #1)

The Maryland Court of Appeals today granted certiorari in two cases, outside its regular schedule.

D.L. v. Sheppard Pratt, a follow-up to the Court’s involuntary commitment decision in Bell v. Bon Secours, was circulated to the judges back in March and appears to have been held for review pending the Bell decision. This will likely be the last time that the Court of Appeals reviews an opinion by Senior Judge Arrie Davis, who recently stopped hearing cases.

The Court also granted review in Moore v. Fernwood Mobile Home Park, a “tenant holding over” dispute, at the same time it granted the petitioner’s motion to stay execution on the writ of execution.

There should be at least one more batch of grants this month, when the Court rules on the petitions that were distributed to the judges, in the ordinary course, at the Court’s September 27 conference.

The two grants, with questions presented, are listed below. Read More…