Facing Type: A Tour of the Court of Appeals’ List of Suggested Fonts for Briefs
By John Grimm
The Daily Record recently informed me that the Governor’s stay at home order has left appellate lawyers “generally unscathed.” “Indeed,” I thought to myself, while downstairs my eleven-month-old patiently waited a full workday as I edited a brief. Actually, working from home has left at least this appellate lawyer a bit scathed, so I’ve had little time to study the appellate news lately. And what news there is seems to be all about courts’ new emergency procedures anyway, so in this post, I am going to address a topic that is irrelevant to current events, but which is a preoccupation for many appellate lawyers: typography. Read More…
Washington Post v. McManus and Clear Channel v. Department of Finance: Important Lessons from Maryland’s State and Federal Court’s in Assessing Content and Means Based Abridgements of Speech
Two First Amendment cases recently decided in state and federal courts in Maryland interestingly parallel each other factually but reach different results as to the constitutionality of the governmental actions challenged in each case. The facts and First Amendment issues in Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. v. Department of Finance, No. 2910 (Md. App. Sept. Term, 2018) (“Clear Channel”), which the Court of Special Appeals decided on January 29, 2020, bear a useful and instructive comparison to those in the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Washington Post v. McManus, No. 19-1132 (4th Cir. Dec. 6, 2019) (“Washington Post”), which was the subject of a post earlier this year on the Maryland Appellate Blog. Read More…
April 2020 Maryland Certiorari Grants
The Maryland Court of Appeals today granted review in two cases, both civil. They include the final certiorari petition filed by former City Solicitor (and Fourth Circuit Judge) Andre Davis before his retirement. The two cases, with questions presented, are below.
Fourth Circuit Fires Away at Defective Felon-in-Possession Convictions
By Stuart Berman, Guest Contributor
In June 2019, the Supreme Court held in Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019), that in federal prosecutions of illegal aliens for knowingly possessing a firearm, the government “must show that the defendant knew he possessed a firearm and also that he knew he had the relevant status when he possessed it.” As expected, Rehaif was quickly applied to other categories of “prohibited persons,” including one of the most commonly-prosecuted federal crimes, “felon in possession” – knowing possession of a firearm that had moved in interstate or foreign commerce by a person previously convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year of imprisonment, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
The trickier issue was whether Rehaif would be applied retroactively. Read More…
Update: Maryland Court of Special Appeals, For Now, Appears to Adopt Televised “Zoom” Oral Arguments for Public, and Other Appellate Court Developments
By: Michael Wein
As a previous piece last week noted, the four (4) appellate courts potentially affecting Maryland practitioners postponed their March and/or April oral arguments, because of the coronavirus health crisis. We now have more information on what three (3) of the courts have adopted, as at least interim solutions, while retaining some flexibility of a “wait and see” approach depending on the status of the crisis in early May. Read More…