September 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Court of Appeals today granted review in two civil appeals and one criminal appeal. These were the first orders signed by new Chief Judge Getty since his appointment as chief judge took effect on Saturday.

Daniel Jay Gross v. State of Maryland – Case No. 32, September Term, 2021 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Nazarian)

Issue – Criminal Law – 1) Under Dorsey v. State, 276 Md. 638 (1975), did CSA err when it reviewed for harmless error and only analyzed the evidence put forth by the State when the Petitioner controverted the evidence at trial through multiple witnesses, including experts? 2) Under Dorsey, did CSA err when it analyzed an improperly admitted prior consistent statement for its cumulativeness since, although prior consistent statements are cumulative, it is their consistency that is the very nature of the harm? 3) Did CSA err in relying on State v. Lawson, 389 Md. 570 (2005), when it held that the social worker and doctor who gave hearsay testimony under Maryland Code § 11-304 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article “fell within the category of person contemplated by the statute” since Lawson merely affirmed the use of social worker hearsay testimony where the worker was “informed of the abuse by police officers” and here there was evidence that both witnesses were directed by law enforcement to act thus, for the purposes of the interview, the social worker and doctor were outside “the course of the person’s profession?” 4) Did CSA wrongly conclude the June 2015 video was not admissible under the prompt complaint exception to the hearsay rule?

Ruby Potter v. Denise Potter – Case No. 33, September Term, 2021 (Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Kehoe)

Issue – Estates & Trusts – Can members of an LLC contract to control the distribution of a member’s interest at death?

Brandon Gambrill, et al. v. Board of Education of Dorchester County, et al. – Case No. 34, September Term, 2021 (Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Friedman)

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Does the federal Coverdell Act, 20 U.S.C. § 7941, et seq., preempt Maryland law and apply to preclude any liability on the part of either school personnel or boards of education in connection with the negligence of teachers and school administrators? 2) Did the federal Coverdell Act shield the individual Respondents from liability for their negligent actions where the Respondents failed to introduce any evidence at all that Maryland accepts the prerequisite federal funding required for the Coverdell Act to apply?

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