On Tuesday, the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission interviewed the applicants for the Court of Appeals seat vacated by the retirement of Judge Clayton Greene, Jr. That seat is designated for residents of the Fifth Appellate Judicial Circuit, which includes Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles & St. Mary’s Counties.
Yesterday, the Commission forwarded three nominees to the Governor:
Energetic discovery disputes during litigation occur frequently, frustrating the parties, their attorneys, and the judges who rule on the disputes along the way. When the violations are exceptionally egregious, sanctions may be imposed ranging from new deadlines for compliance to dismissal of the lawsuit in its entirety. Recently, the Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a case based on perceived discovery violations in Colvin v. Eaton Corp., No. CSA-REG-2103-2016 (Oct. 4, 2019). The reversal reflected the importance of clear communication, both in the details of a discovery order and from the attorneys representing a party when there are changes during litigation. Read More…
Last week, the Court of Appeals granted certiorari in four cases, including one bypass, to squarely address whether Maryland should adopt the Daubert standard for admitting expert testimony:
Jonathan Hemming v. State of Maryland – Case No. 48, September Term, 2019
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does a trial court have discretion under Md. Rule 4-253 to bifurcate separate counts between judge and jury in a single trial? 2) Did the trial court mistakenly believe that it had no authority under Rule 4-253 to bifurcate separate counts between judge and jury in a single trial and, as a result, fail to exercise its discretion under the rule? 3) Assuming, arguendo, that the trial court recognized and exercised its discretion, was the court’s refusal to bifurcate the counts charging possession of a regulated firearm by a disqualified person and possession of ammunition by a disqualified person from the remaining counts of the indictment an abuse of discretion under the circumstances of this case?
Harford County v. Maryland Reclamation Associates: A $45 Million Lesson on the Running of Statutes of Limitation
Maryland Reclamation Associates (“MRA”) purchased 62 acres of land in Harford County, with the intention of constructing and operating a rubble landfill on the parcel. Harford County thereafter enacted a series of zoning ordinances and made administrative rulings singularly aimed at precluding the parcel’s use for that purpose. The administrative and judicial review proceedings the controversy engendered have lasted some 20 years, so far, and have included four appeals to the Court of Appeals. In MRA’s last administrative effort to save its plans from the dumps, the Harford County Board of Appeals (“Board of Appeals”) affirmed a lower level administrative ruling denying MRA’s request for variances from the ordinances that would have permitted the landfill. The Board of Appeals did so by a unanimous board vote on June 5, 2007. In the Court of Appeals’ fourth decision, on March 11, 2010, the court affirmed the Board’s denial. Maryland Reclamation Assocs. v. Harford C’ty, 414 Md. 1, 994 A.2d 842 (2010) (“MRA IV”).
On February 19, 2013, MRA filed an action in the Circuit Court for Harford County, alleging that the County’s actions constituted a regulatory taking, in violation of the Maryland Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights. The Circuit Court declined to dismiss the action as time barred pursuant to Maryland’s three-year general statute of limitations for civil actions. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101. After a jury trial, the Circuit Court entered judgment for MRA in the amount of $45,420,076, in April 2018. The Court of Special Appeals, in Harford C’ty v. Maryland Reclamation Assocs., No. 788, September Term, 2018 (Md. App. decided Aug. 1, 2019) (“MRA V”), vacated MRA’s judgment and remanded the case for entry of judgment in the County’s favor. Read More…