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March 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Diane E. Feuerherd

Here are the writs of certiorari granted by the Court of Appeals today:

State of Maryland v. Philip Daniel Thomas – Case No. 73, September Term, 2018

(Reported CSA Opinion by Raker, J.)

Issue – Criminal Procedure – As a matter of first impression, is a sentence imposed on remand legal if the new sentence imposes the same or fewer years of imprisonment but results in a later parole eligibility date than the original sentence? Read More…

An Extra Maryland Certiorari Grant for February 2019

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

On Friday, the Court of Appeals granted review in one additional appeal, to go with seven grants from earlier this month.

Edinson Herrera Ramirez v. State of Maryland – Case No. 72, September Term, 2018 [Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Shaw Geter]

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did CSA err when it held that a structural error did not occur when a biased juror was not stricken from the jury by trial counsel? 2) Did CSA err when it held that even if a structural error occurred Petitioner was not prejudiced? 3) Was Petitioner denied effective assistance of counsel under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984)? 4) Did CSA err when, as support for its decision, it used the number of prospective jurors in St. Mary’s County when trial in this case was held in Carroll County?

Friday’s orders also included the denial of review in a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status case, In re W. E-R., which I covered in a prior post. Read More…

McLaughlin Opinion Provides Valuable Guidance After Final Judgment Rule Sinks Another Maryland Appeal

By Derek Stikeleather

A recent foreclosure action in the Court of Special Appeals presented Judge Arthur with the opportunity to cleanly explain one of the more maddening—and anxiety-producing—rules of appellate practice, the Final Judgment Rule. See McLaughlin v. Ward, No. 1827, September Term 2017 (Jan. 30, 2019). The rule begins with a simple premise: one cannot appeal a trial court’s ruling until the court has entered a final judgment that resolves every claim in the case. See Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 12-301. Yet, the rule has exceptions. And it is those exceptions that bedevil practitioners (and courts) as they grapple with proper application of the rule and try to avoid noting an appeal too early or—even worse—too late.

Read More…

February 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Today’s cert grants will bring a wide variety of issues before the Court of Appeals, including: the method for obtaining appellate review of an incarceration sentence in light of the Justice Reinvestment Act of 2016; the authority of the Workers’ Compensation Commission to revise an incorrectly-calculated award; and whether statutory relocation benefits should be extended to tenants vacating government-owned property.

Read More…

Upcoming Events: Appellate Practice in Maryland

From our inbox.


Join the MSBA Continuing Legal Education Department for a new presentation of Appellate Practice in Maryland, on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at the University of Baltimore’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center in Baltimore, MD and on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at the Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center in Rockville, MD.

If fish could talk, who would ask an Angler how to catch a fish? These judges can talk. Let’s ask them how to win on appeal.

Questions and Answers on Effective Appellate Practice with The Honorable Daniel A. Friedman and The Honorable Sally D. Adkins (Baltimore location) and The Honorable Daniel A. Friedman and The Honorable Irma Raker (Rockville location).

Leading the event will be Emily Malarkey, Esq., Steven M. Klepper, Esq. and Paul Mark Sandler, Esq. Members and guests will be invited to pose questions of their own.

Registrants will have the chance to buy Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer: State and Federal, Fifth Edition at 10% off its regular sale price.

Two hours of credit with the surrounding MCLE states will be offered. If you cannot join us in Baltimore, the Rockville program will be webcast live concurrently and available online on-demand a week after the program.

For more information and to register for the program follow this links:

ROCKVILLE LOCATION: http://bit.ly/AppellateRockville19

BALTIMORE LOCATION: http://bit.ly/AppellateBaltimore19

Another Special Immigration Juvenile petition arrives at the Court of Appeals

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

The September 2018 Term could become known as the “SIJ Term” for the Maryland Court of Appeals. “SIJ” stands for Special Immigrant Juvenile status under a federal statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J). As the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website says, “you may qualify for lawful permanent residency (also known as getting a Green Card)” if “you are in the United States and need the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent.”

Although the Court of Appeals has been granting certiorari in fewer cases than usual so far this term, it has given close attention to petitions in SIJ cases. Three of its 62 grants have involved SIJ status. Read More…

Three Nominated for Eastern Shore Seat on Court of Appeals

An end is in sight for the vacancy on the Maryland high court. The Judicial Nominating Commission today forwarded to Governor Hogan three nominees to replace Court of Appeals Judge Sally Adkins, who retired in October. Read More…

Court of Special Appeals Rules for Adverse Possessor in Dispute About a Property on the Ocean City Boardwalk

By Jonathan Biran

On December 21, 2018, in Nathans Associates v. The Mayor and City Council of Ocean City, the Court of Special Appeals handed the descendants of Nathan Rapoport a big victory, preventing Ocean City from kicking Nathans Associates out of a property the Rapoport family has continuously occupied and controlled since 1912 (the “Nathans Property”).  In so doing, the Court reversed a trial verdict for Ocean City issued by retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Dale R. Cathell.  This case is a cautionary tale for anyone who has the burden of proof to show that a modern-day building is located at a particular point on an old plat in a town’s records. The case is also interesting because of a motion to recuse that Nathans Associates made during the trial, after Ocean City introduced a letter that Judge Cathell wrote to Mr. Rapoport in 1972 when Judge Cathell was the City Solicitor of Ocean City.  The Court of Special Appeals found no abuse of discretion in Judge Cathell’s denial of Nathans Associates’ recusal motion.

Read More…

January 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Diane E. Feuerherd

Happy New Year from the Maryland Appellate Blog!

Three new writs of certiorari start off our 2019:

(I) In re Santos Nohe Lopez Perez – Order granting an emergency petition for writ of certiorari and ordering the case be remanded to allow the petitioner to apply for special immigrant status, “with haste” and before his impending 21st birthday later this week (the Daily Record’s Steve Lash gives further coverage of this case, including a quote from Perez’s attorney – the Blog’s own EIC, Steve Klepper);

(II) Ronald F. Moser, et al. v. Kristi Heffington, et al. (COSA Reported Opinion by Judge D. Eyler) – Civil Procedure – 1) Did CSA err when it vacated the trial court’s denial of Respondent’s motion to stay in a case where: A) Respondent initiated the civil action for defamation; B) during the pendency of the civil action, Respondent was criminally indicted for the conduct at issue in the civil suit, yet Respondent had fully participated in all aspects of discovery both prior to and after the indictment, which discovery included her own deposition; and C) on the eve of trial, and four months after the indictment, Respondent filed an 11th hour motion to stay the civil trial on the grounds that she intended to invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify at the civil trial? 2) Did Respondent waive her Fifth Amendment privilege in the civil action by testifying at her deposition and providing other discovery responses without invoking the privilege, after she was on notice that the police were investigating her for the conduct at issue? 3) Given that Respondent had already answered questions at her deposition concerning the conduct at issue, did Respondent fail to preserve for review the denial of a stay of the civil action where she failed to proffer the questions as to which she intended to invoke her right to silence – which was necessary to determine if she could validly exercise the privilege or had waived it? 4) Did CSA unnecessarily decide a Constitutional question, i.e. whether the trial court had failed to fully consider Respondent’s Fifth Amendment right by not granting a stay of the civil action, after it learned that Respondent had been convicted of the very conduct that formed the basis of the alleged defamation, which rendered moot her defamation claim?

(III) State of Maryland v. John Schlick (COSA Reported Opinion by Judge Raker) – Criminal Law – Does a court lose revisory power over a criminal sentence “after the expiration of five years from the date the sentence originally was imposed,” as Maryland Rule 4-345(e) states, or does the court indefinitely retain “fundamental jurisdiction” to revise a sentence, which it is an abuse of discretion not to consider exercising, as CSA held below?

Four Added to the Applicant Pool for the Court of Appeals Vacancy

By Diane E. Feuerherd

After re-advertising, the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission noted four additional applicants for the Court of Appeals (First Appellate Judicial Circuit) vacancy:

Brynja McDivitt Booth, Booth, Booth, Cropper & Marriner (Easton)

Joyce Elizabeth Jones, Jones & Suh, LLC (Church Hill)

Carla Lynn Knight, Lynn Knight Law (Centreville)

Jane Chace Miller, Law Office of Jane Chace Miller (Chester)

These four individuals join Christopher F. Drummond, Judge Christopher B. Kehoe, and Judge Brett W. Wilson, who each applied in August of 2018. The Commission intends to meet on January 14, 2019 to review these applications.