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Court Calendar, Including Dates of Certiorari Conferences, Now on Md. COA Website

By Michael Wein

Attorneys have wondered in the past, “What date will the Court of Appeals decide my certiorari petition?” Wonder no more. To continue its evolution under Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera – who, as discussed in previous posts, has required that an opinion in each case be issued by the end of the term in which it was considered, and spearheaded a “pending cases” webpage to keep track of undecided cases – the Court of Appeals this week created an online calendar on its homepage listing dates of significant Court events, including oral arguments. Of most interest is that now, for the first time, the anticipated dates of certiorari conferences will be available to the general public. (Thursday, September 18, 2014, and Monday, October 20, 2014, are the next-scheduled conferences.) That of course does not necessarily mean that a party’s certiorari petition will be decided at any certain conference, but at least practitioners will know to check for the outcome a day or two after each conference rather than daily throughout the month. There are additional certiorari decisions that come from time-sensitive petitions (such as in some injunction, family law, and election law cases) that are unlikely to be scheduled in advance. Still, this calendar feature should give approximate notice to most certiorari applicants of when they can learn the fate of their petitions, a welcome improvement.


Highlights of FBA’s “Highlights of the Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 Term”

On July 17, the Federal Bar Association hosted its second-annual panel discussion of the highlights of the Supreme Court’s most recent term. Held at the U.S. Courthouse in Baltimore, presenters included the Hon. Benson Everett Legg (Ret.), former judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland; the Hon. Joseph F. Murphy Jr. (Ret.), former judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland; Suget Raman, the current appellate chief of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the District of Maryland; and Jonathan Biran, a previous appellate chief of that Office and, more notably, current contributor to this blog. (Potential bias alert: Judge Legg is this author’s former employer, and Judge Murphy and the author are currently members of the same firm.) A recap of the event, along with these distinguished commentators’ takes on the cases that most caught their attention, appears below (after the jump).

Read More…

FBA Event: Highlights Of The Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term

This invitation just arrived in our inbox.

Highlights Of The Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term
July 17th at 6:00 pm

United States Courthouse, Courtroom 1A
101 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

 Campaign contributions-government prayer-recess appointments-search and seizure-death penalty-restitution for crime victims-and more to come!

Please come to a free panel discussion about the most significant cases from this Supreme Court term, with a reception to follow.  Panelists will include:

  •  The Honorable Joseph F. Murphy, Jr. retired from the Court of Appeals of Maryland in October 2011 to join Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White. His practice focuses on alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration, as well as appellate and litigation consultation services. Prior to his elevation to the Court of Appeals, Judge Murphy was Chief Judge of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the state’s intermediate appellate court. Judge Murphy has authored hundreds of published appellate opinions. He also served as a trial judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore County from 1984-1993. Judge Murphy has served as a former Deputy State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, as an Assistant State’s Attorney, and as a Legal Aid Bureau Staff Attorney.
  • Sujit Raman, Appellate Chief in the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, has litigated numerous cases in the US Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Mr. Raman is appearing in his personal capacity; his statements are not the official position of the Department of Justice, and his position is provided for identification purposes only.
  • Jonathan Biran has briefed and argued cases in federal appellate courts including the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A federal prosecutor for more than 16 years, he served as Appellate Chief in the Maryland US Attorney’s Office before starting the law firm of Biran Kelly LLC, with offices in Baltimore and Washington.

This event is sponsored by the Md Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Please direct any questions to Mike Leotta at

Lively Discussion at MSBA Supreme Court Roundup Panel

By Jonathan Biran

Yesterday at the MSBA Annual Meeting in Ocean City, the Appellate Practice Committee and Litigation Section put on a very good program about the U.S. Supreme Court’s soon-to-be concluded term. The panel was comprised of John Elwood, an appellate lawyer in the Washington, D.C. office of Vinson & Elkins; Jesse Holland, an Associated Press reporter who has covered the Supreme Court; and Prof. Louis Seidman, who teaches Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law Center. The moderator was Andrew Baida of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP in Baltimore.

Among the cases the panel discussed were:

Schuette v. BAMN: In this 6-2 decision (with Justice Kagan recusing), the Court upheld Michigan voters’ amendment to the state Constitution prohibiting state and governmental entities in Michigan from including race-based preferences as part of the admissions process at state universities. Read More…

Event: SCOTUS Panel at MSBA Annual Meeting

This week’s MSBA Annual Meeting will, as usual, feature a “United States Supreme Court Year in Review” Panel, sponsored by the Appellate Practice Committee and Litigation Section. The panel will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, June 12, at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland.

The program chairs are Hon. Robert A. Zarnoch and Andy Baida.  This year’s panelists are Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press, Professor Louis Michael Seidman of Georgetown University Law Center, and John Elwood of Vinson & Elkins LLP (and known in blogging circles for authoring the Relist Watch at SCOTUSblog). We hope to see you there!


Event: 50th Anniversary Commemoration Brady v. Maryland

Another invite for a great upcoming event appeared in our inbox:

“There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land. Only judges can put a stop to it.” These two sentences were written by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case of United States v. Olsen. Brady v. Maryland was issued by the Supreme Court of the United States on May 13, 1963. It has, during the course of the past fifty years, been cited (as of February 18) 82,597 times. Under “The Brady Rule,” prosecutors are required to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession to the defense. “Brady material” or evidence the prosecutor is required to disclose under this rule includes any evidence favorable to the accused – evidence that goes towards negating a defendant’s guilt, that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness. Read More…

Event: Recent Impact Decisions of the Maryland Appellate Courts

This just in our inbox:



Recent Impact Decisions of the Maryland Appellate Courts

Thursday, March 13, 2014
5:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Court of Appeals of Maryland
Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
Fourth Floor
361 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Social Hour Reception – Foyer to the Courtroom
Cash Bar (Beer & Wine) & Heavy Hors D’oeuvres

6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Court of Appeals Courtroom
Speaker Presentations and Audience Questions

$10.00 for MSBA Litigation Section
$25.00 for others


HON. CHARLES E. MOYLAN, JR., Judge (retired), Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

TIMOTHY F. MALONEY, ESQUIRE, Joseph Greenwald & Laake, PA

THIRUVENDRAN VIGNARAJAH, ESQUIRE, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City

DONALD G. GIFFORD, Professor of Law, University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law


Please register on-line at or complete information below and mail with a check in the amount above payable to the MSBA, c/o Theresa L. Michael, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, with the attendee(s) name and email address or telephone number.

BABC Appellate Advocacy Event

An email invite (text cut-and-pasted below) just appeared in our inboxes for the following Baltimore City Bar Association event:


Wednesday, February 12, 2014
12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Clarence Mitchell Courthouse
Room 504
(Bar Library’s Brown Room)

Bring Your Lunch.

Appellate Advocacy

Guest Speaker

The Honorable Joseph F. Murphy, Jr.
Court of Appeals of Maryland, Retired
Member, Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, LLC

Judge Murphy, Maryland’s foremost expert in appellate advocacy, retired from the Court of Appeals in August 2011 and joined the law firm of Silverman, Thompson Slutkin & White, LLC, where he focuses his court practice to litigation support.  He also heads the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.  Judge Murphy authored the Maryland Evidence Handbook, teaches Evidence at the University of Baltimore Law School, and teaches Trial Practice at the University of Maryland Law School.


BABC Members – FREE
Non-Members $40

For information or to register, email, or call 410-539-5936.