Archive by Author | MdAppBlog

October 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Batch #2)

The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari today in seven cases. The likely headliner is In re S.K., reviewing a 16 year-old’s conviction for distributing child pornography, based on her texting two friends a video depicting herself engaged in lawful and consensual sexual conduct.

The grants, with questions presented, are below. Read More…

Advertisements

When does a statute abrogate the common law and when may an arbitration award be vacated due to legal error?

By Brad McCullough

In 1793, the General Court of Maryland – which from 1776 to 1806 exercised both general and appellate jurisdiction – held that an arbitration award could be set aside for reasons “apparent on the face of the award.” Dorsey v. Jeoffray, 3 H & McH. 81 (Md. 1793). In the ensuing years, and well into the Twentieth Century, the Court of Appeals followed that general principle, holding that an arbitrator’s “gross and manifest” mistake can lead a court to set aside an award, Roloson v. Carson, 8 Md. 208, 220-21 (1853), and that an award may be set aside if there is a mistake of fact or law appearing on the face of that award, Parr Constr. Co. v. Pomer, 217 Md. 539, 544 (1958).

In 1965, however, Maryland adopted the Uniform Arbitration Act, Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§3-201 et seq., which contains five specific grounds for vacating an arbitration award, but a manifest mistake of law is not among them. In the years following adoption of the Act, Maryland courts continued to rule – in cases not governed by the Act – that an arbitration award could be set aside for manifest disregard of the law. Baltimore Cty. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 v. Balt. Cty., 429 Md. 533, 564 (2012); Downey v. Sharp, 428 Md. 249, 265 (2012); Board of Educ. of Prince George’s Cty. v. Prince George’s Cty. Educators’ Ass’n, 309 Md. 85, 101-02 (1987). But what about those cases covered by the Act? May an award in one of those cases be vacated for manifest disregard of the law? Or may an award in a case covered by the Act be disturbed only if based on a ground specified by the Act? In WSC/2005 LLC v. Trio Ventures Assocs. (Md. July 30, 2018), the Court of Appeals answered that question. Read More…

October 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Batch #1)

The Maryland Court of Appeals today granted certiorari in two cases, outside its regular schedule.

D.L. v. Sheppard Pratt, a follow-up to the Court’s involuntary commitment decision in Bell v. Bon Secours, was circulated to the judges back in March and appears to have been held for review pending the Bell decision. This will likely be the last time that the Court of Appeals reviews an opinion by Senior Judge Arrie Davis, who recently stopped hearing cases.

The Court also granted review in Moore v. Fernwood Mobile Home Park, a “tenant holding over” dispute, at the same time it granted the petitioner’s motion to stay execution on the writ of execution.

There should be at least one more batch of grants this month, when the Court rules on the petitions that were distributed to the judges, in the ordinary course, at the Court’s September 27 conference.

The two grants, with questions presented, are listed below. Read More…

Identifying Public Records

By Karen Federman Henry

Whether you advise a government entity or seek information from a government for your private client, the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) provides a useful tool for access to public records. Although many requests seek documents that everyone agrees are public information, the exceptions to disclosure and evolution of an array of electronic information that might constitute a public record can pose dilemmas for the government and the requester.

Two appellate decisions that came out during the summer highlight some of the nuances that arise with identifying public records and public employment generally. In Lamson v. Montgomery County, the Maryland Court of Appeals revisited the issue of when a supervisor’s notes become a public record. Read More…

Bessie Decker to Retire as Clerk of Court of Appeals

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

In bittersweet news for the Maryland bench and bar, Bessie Decker, the first-ever woman to serve as Clerk of the Court of Appeals, will retire on October 1. The upcoming vacancy is now posted on the Maryland Courts website, with an application deadline of October 5.

2008 news story regarding Ms. Decker’s appointment provides some background on her long, distinguished service to the Court of Appeals and Maryland bar: Read More…

September 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants

On Friday, the Court of Appeals granted review in one civil and one criminal case. These grants are in addition to one civil grant on August 30. The grants, with questions presented, are below. Read More…

The Janus decision should not be a surprise

By Karen Federman Henry

Two years ago, we awaited the appointment of a successor to the empty seat on the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted from the death of Justice Scalia. An early casualty of a tie votes occurred in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915. Many public employers and employees had their eyes on the case, which involved the California Teachers Association, because its outcome had the potential to alter the relationship between public employees and their union representatives that has existed since the 1970s. Read More…

Five Years of the Maryland Appellate Blog

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

The Maryland Appellate Blog officially launched five years ago today. The launch coincided with the first arguments of the September 2013 Term, which was Chief Judge Barbera’s first full term as chief judge. Read More…

Locating a Fragmented Appellate Court’s Rule of Decision – The Marks Rule Marks the Spot?

By Alan B. Sternstein

Stare decisis, the practice of following in judicial decisionmaking a rule of decision established in prior cases, is a cornerstone of the United States legal system. More fundamentally, it is the practice of respecting precedent. The Marks Rule, the subject of this post, aides stare decisis by purporting to establish a method for ascertaining the binding rule of decision in fragmented cases, that is, cases in which no majority of a quorum of an appellate court joins in a single opinion of the court or in otherwise expressing the rule of decision. Read More…

Williams & Connolly Partner to Be Nominated to Fourth Circuit

This afternoon, the White House issued a press release announcing President Trump’s intent to nominate Allison Jones Rushing to replace Judge Allyson K. Duncan of North Carolina. Earlier this year, Judge Duncan announced that she would take senior status upon the confirmation of her successor. Read More…