November 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals granted review in five cases: `

Baltimore County, Maryland v. Michael Quinlan – Case No. 50, September Term, 2018

(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Leahy)

Issues – Workers’ Compensation – 1) Did the trial court err in denying Petitioner’s motion for summary judgment, given the lack of a clearly defined occupational disease as the basis for the claim and evidence that the conditions were shown to be prevalent in all occupations involving heavy physical labor not uniquely related to the work of a paramedic or EMT as an inherent and inseparable risk? 2) Did CSA err in finding that Respondent met the statutory requirements set forth in LE §9-502(d)(1) and that he had sufficiently established at trial that his condition resulted from an inherent hazard of his employment as a paramedic or EMT? 3) Should this Court review the decision below under the statutory requirements and existing case law, particularly Black and Decker Corporation v. Humbert, 189 Md.App. 171 (2009), which similarly ignores the legislative requirement that a disease is only occupational if it is “due to the nature of an employment in which the hazards of the occupational disease exist” (LE §9-502(d)(1)(i)), to provide clarification and guidance on the requirement for establishing a legally sufficient claim for occupational disease?

Gordon Collins v. State of Maryland – Case No. 54, September Term, 2018

(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Moylan)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In Pearson v. State, 437 Md. 350 (2014), this Court held that on request a trial court is required to ask whether any member of the venire has strong feelings about the crimes with which the defendant is charged. Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked the venire whether anyone in the venire or their immediate family had been the victim of a crime? 2) Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked the seated jury properly phrased “strong feelings” questions after the jury had been sworn and had heard opening statements? 3) Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked a number of other generic questions?

State of Maryland v. Hassan Emmanuel Jones – Case No. 52, September Term, 2018

(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Fader)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Should the accomplice corroboration rule that “a conviction may not rest on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice,” be revisited and either replaced or revised to allow the jury to measure the weight of the evidence and judge the credibility of witnesses, with appropriate instruction from the trial court to guide it in the consideration of accomplice testimony? 2) Was the testimony of Respondent’s co-conspirators sufficiently corroborated, and, therefore, the evidence sufficient to convict Respondent of conspiracy to commit armed carjacking?

State of Maryland v. Willie B. Stewart – Case No. 53, September Term, 2018

(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Rodowsky)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) What is the proper analysis for determining when jury verdicts are legally inconsistent? 2) Where a verbal threat was the basis for the robbery and assault charges, but the jury was instructed that second-degree “intent to frighten” assault required a finding that Respondent committed an act with the intent to place [the] victim in fear of immediate physical harm,” did CSA err in holding that the verdicts of guilty of threat-of-force robbery and not guilty of assault were legally inconsistent?

Tamere Thornton v. State of Maryland – Case No. 51, September Term, 2018

(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Arthur)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the trial court properly deny the motion to suppress on the grounds that Petitioner’s attempted flight from a pat-down, which the motions judge believed was based on “very questionabl[e] reasonable suspicion,” attenuated the link between any unlawful police conduct and the discovery of a firearm on Petitioner’s person? 2) Where it was never suggested in the trial court or on appeal to CSA that Petitioner’s attempted flight constituted a new crime, did CSA err in concluding that the flight established probable cause to arrest Petitioner for fleeing and eluding under the Transportation Article? 3) If Petitioner’s attempted flight did not provide probable cause to arrest him for the offense of fleeing and eluding, to what extent may flight in and of itself constitute an intervening circumstance for purposes of the attenuation doctrine? 4) Assuming, arguendo, that Petitioner’s attempted flight did establish probable cause to arrest him for fleeing and eluding, does the commission of any new crime attenuate the taint from an unlawful search or seizure, or only the commission of certain crimes? 5) Did CSA misapply the third factor of the attenuation doctrine (i.e., the purpose and flagrancy of the police misconduct)?

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