Archive by Author | MdAppBlog

Four Apply for Maryland Court of Appeals

Three appellate judges and one lawyer have applied for the Court of Appeals vacancy that will arise when Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty turns 70 this coming April. This seat on the State’s highest court is for the Third Appellate Judicial Circuit, which includes Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard and Washington Counties. The applicants are:

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When can a haircut amount to destruction or concealment of evidence?

By Brad McCullough

When can a haircut amount to destruction or concealment of evidence? That question was before the Court of Special Appeals in Rainey v. State, No. 3094, Sept. Term 2018 (Sept. 28, 2021). The defendant was charged with murder. At the time of the slaying, he sported long dreadlocks, but when he was arrested, his hair was close-cropped. As the appellate court noted, the Court of Appeals has said “that a jury may infer consciousness of guilt if a defendant alters his appearance after the commission of a crime.” But Maryland does not have a pattern jury instruction that covers that issue. At trial, the prosecution did not propose a customized jury instruction, but instead asked the circuit court to give the pattern jury instruction that covers destruction or concealment of evidence. The court gave that instruction and the jury returned a guilty verdict. Did the trial court err in giving that instruction? Does cutting hair destroy evidence?  

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Seven Apply for Court of Appeals Vacancy (Harford and Baltimore Counties)

Three judges and four lawyers have applied for the Court of Appeals vacancy that will arise when Judge Robert McDonald turns 70 this coming February.

The applicants are:

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Ten apply for Montgomery County COSA Seat

Five judges and five practitioners have applied for the vacancy created on the Court of Special Appeals when Governor Hogan elevated Judge Steven Gould to the Court of Appeals.

The applicants are:

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Conditional Cross-Appeals After Korotki

By Barnett Harris (Twitter: @BarnettHarris_)
Guest Contributor[*]

A new decision from the Court of Appeals says that even when you think you’ve won you must file a conditional cross appeal or risk losing the whole thing. The Court of Appeals recently ruled that an individual who failed to file a conditional cross appeal could not revisit that determination on remanded because that determination is considered a “final judgment” under Maryland law—which resulted in a million-dollar judgment going to zero. The decision will likely have broad implications for the Maryland bar.

The case, MAS Assocs., LLC v. Korotki, centered on a dispute over a business arrangement. Harry Korotki invested both his time and $275,000 in the business. When the business broke up, Korotki filed suit. Korotki’s principal claim was that he was a partner in the business: that the money he invested was the purchase of a share, the work he performed was as a partner, and that on termination, he was he entitled to the value a share of the business. Korotki argued in the alternative that he was an employee of the business and the $275,000 he gave was a loan to the business. As a result, Korotki’s alternative argument was that he was owed repayment of the loan and wages.

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October 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Today, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in these five cases:

Nicholas Jabbar Williams v. State of Maryland – Case No. 37, September Term, 2021 (Reported CSA Opinion by Ripken, J.)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in finding the verdict was not impermissibly inconsistent?  2)  In what circumstances does the no-impeachment rule set forth in Maryland Rule 5-606(b) yield to a defendant’s constitutional rights and a jury’s true verdict?  3)  Did CSA err in holding there was sufficient evidence to convict Petitioner of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a person younger than twenty-one?

Anne Arundel County, Maryland v. 808 Bestgate Realty, LLC – Case No. 38, September Term, 2021 (Unreported CSA Opinion by Kenney, J.)

Issue – Local Codes – 1) Is CSA’s interpretation of § 17-11-207 of the Anne Arundel County Code in conflict with the County Charter and the County budget process as it relates to the funding of public improvements?

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September 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants, Batch 2

The Maryland Court of Appeals today granted review in two criminal cases.

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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.

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The Proliferation of Dissents from the Denial of Rehearing En Banc

By Megan E. Coleman

Each week my email inbox receives links to published opinions released by the Fourth Circuit. When I saw the link for Jane Doe v. Fairfax County School Board, No. 19-2203, I almost did not click on it. It was an order denying rehearing en banc and my first thought was, what could be enlightening about that? Luckily, I thought twice. After all, the Fourth Circuit decided to publish this order, so there must be more to it. Indeed, there was.

The first line of the order reads as one would expect: “The court denies the petition for rehearing en banc.” But what follows is an unexpected exchange between a concurring opinion and two dissenting opinions in which the concurrence writes to “confront” the dissent about a practice that is appearing with more frequency in the Fourth Circuit – dissenting from denials of rehearing en banc.

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“Don’t Say Daubert”? Why Not?

By Derek Stikeleather

No one likes to arrive at a party just as the fun is ending and the guests are leaving. Yet, within a year of the Court of Appeals completing its two-decade journey towards formally adopting the Daubert standard for admitting expert testimony, see Rochkind v. Stevenson, 471 Md. 1 (2020), a nationwide legal movement has begun rallying behind the slogan “Don’t Say Daubert.” Has Maryland arrived at the Daubert party only to see everyone else leave?

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