Archive | June 2019

Food trucks vs. brick-and-mortar restaurants, vestiges of Lochner v. New York, and the parameters of Maryland’s rational basis test – Pizza di Joey, LLC v. Mayor of Baltimore

By J. Bradford McCullough

Economic rivalries between classes of competitors have long existed. In the late eighteenth century, for example, disputes between shepherds and cattlemen were legendary, and clashes between farmers and ranchers supplied the grist for movies depicting life in the American west. In the urban America of the early twenty-first century, a rivalry has developed between food truck vendors and the operators of brick-and-mortar restaurants. The past ten years have seen a rapid increase in the number of food trucks in scores of American cities, leading to restaurateurs’ cries of unfair competition. Different cities have responded in different ways, with some localities welcoming food trucks and carts, while others have acted to protect restaurants by restricting the areas where food trucks may operate. See America’s food-truck industry is growing rapidly despite roadblocks, The Economist, May 2, 2017. Baltimore falls within the latter camp. In an opinion authored by Judge Douglas Nazarian – for a panel that included Judge Daniel Friedman and Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals (specially assigned) Lynne Battaglia – the Court of Special Appeals discussed Baltimore’s regulation of food trucks, considered a legal argument that flowed from the Supreme Court’s decision in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905) and explained the parameters of Maryland’s rational basis test. Pizza di Joey, LLC v. Mayor of Balt., No. 2411, Sept. Term, 2017 (May 30, 2019). Ultimately, the Court upheld Baltimore’s regulation.

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Join Us for the Annual SCOTUS Panel in Ocean City

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

On Friday, I’ll have the pleasure of moderating the annual Supreme Court Term in Review panel at the MSBA Annual Meeting. The program is sponsored by the MSBA Section of Litigation and its Appellate Practice Committee.

Our all-#AppellateTwitter panelists this year are: Read More…

June 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

On Friday, June 7th, the Court of Appeals granted the following writs of certiorari:

Credible Behavioral Health, Inc. v. Emmanuel Johnson – Case No. 19, September Term, 2019

(District Court Appeal, from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County)

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did the trial court erroneously apply Md. Rule 7-113(f) when it reviewed the district court’s construction of a contract’s terms for clear error rather than de novo? 2) Did the plain terms of the parties’ promissory note (“Note”) entitle Petitioner to a judgment against the Respondent? 3) In interpreting the Note, did Maryland law require the trial court to choose the one among two possible readings of the Note that was consistent with the parties’ intent?

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Court of Appeals Bids Farewell to Judge Clayton Greene, Jr.

The Court of Appeals ended its arguments on Friday, the last of the September 2018 Term, by congratulating Judge Clayton Greene, Jr. on his forthcoming retirement from the court at the end of this month. As Chief Judge Barbera’s comments reflect, Judge Greene will continue to sit by designation on the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals. Read More…