November 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Last week, the Court of Appeals granted review in two criminal cases and three civil cases. It posted the questions presented this afternoon, and we’ve posted them below with links to the Court of Special Appeals decisions under review.

Judge Gould is recused from the three cases involving reported opinions, because he participated in the Court of Special Appeals’ vote to report the opinions.

Terence Williams v. Dimensions Health Corporation – Case No. 42, September Term, 2021 (Unreported CSA Opinion by Zic, J.)
Issues – Torts – 1) Does Maryland law require “direct testimony” of Petitioner’s subjective belief that hospitals employ physicians through whom hospitals provide medical services in order to establish apparent agency, or can other testimonial and documentary evidence establish this element of apparent agency by inference? 2) Did the trial court err in granting the hospital’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and did CSA err in affirming this judgment?

Bennett Frankel, et al. v. Casey Lou Deane – Case No. 43, September Term, 2021 (Unreported CSA Opinion by Battaglia, J.)
Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err by failing to remand a medical malpractice case for application of the new Daubert evidentiary standard when considering the admissibility of expert testimony regarding the reliability of neurosensory testing and medical expert inferences of injury and medical negligence resulting therefrom, and instead concluding that Daubert was not invoked and remanding with instruction for a full trial on the merits? 2) Alternatively, did CSA err by holding that the trial court abused its discretion by precluding the expert testimony?

Patrick Spevak v. Montgomery County, Maryland – Case No. 44, September Term, 2021 (Reported CSA Opinion by Beachley, J.)
Issue – Labor & Employment – 1) Does CSA’s holding – that when an employee who is subject to the provisions of Maryland Code § 9-610 of the Labor & Employment Article (“LE”) receives a service-connected total disability retirement from his or her employer, the offset provision applies to any permanent total or permanent partial workers’ compensation benefits the employee is awarded for injuries or diseases related to that same employment – contradict this Court’s holding in Reger v. Washington Cty. Bd. of Education, 455 Md. 68 (2017) and similar cases, which held that the term “similar” in the statute means that the benefits arose from the “same injury” as opposed to the “same employment”?

Dawnta Harris v. State of Maryland – Case No. 45, September Term, 2021 (Reported CSA Opinion by Graeff, J.)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) As a matter of first impression, is a common law felony murder an unintended homicide that, if perpetrated by the operation of a motor vehicle, has been preempted by the manslaughter by automobile statute, thereby precluding the common law offense from serving as a basis for a crime in Maryland? 2) Did CSA err in holding that a juvenile offender who is convicted of felony murder, and who is sentenced to a term of life with the possibility of parole, is not entitled to a constitutionally-heightened sentencing procedure to include consideration of the juvenile’s youth, the attendant circumstances, and penological justifications for a life sentence upon a juvenile for an unintentional killing?

Anthony J. Richardson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 46, September Term, 2021 (Unreported CSA Opinion by Wright, J.)
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did CSA err in affirming the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress the fruits of a warrantless search after concluding that the Petitioner had abandoned the property, i.e., a backpack, when both Petitioner and a police officer reached for the property at the same time, and when the police officer picked up the property first, Petitioner ran away? 2) Did CSA err in affirming the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress the search of a cell phone found in the backpack pursuant to a search warrant based on its conclusion that the warrant satisfied the particularity requirement or, in the alternative, that the officers relied on the search warrant in good faith?

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