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Twombly-Iqbal “Plausibility” and Maryland’s Pleading Requirements

Kamil Ismail Guest contributor

In a pair of decisions from 2007 and 2009, the Supreme Court of the United States established what has become known as the Twombly-Iqbal standard for a federal complaint to state a claim. With Twombly-Iqbal now entrenched in federal court, practitioners may be wondering whether that standard’s “plausibility” requirement also applies to complaints in state court. A better question, though, may be whether such a requirement was ever lacking in state court. Read More…

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Event: Effective Appellate Advocacy for Family Law Cases

From the Maryland Appellate Blog inbox, and highly recommended:

THE LITIGATION SECTION OF THE MARYLAND STATE BAR ASS’N AND ITS APPELLATE PRACTICE COMMITTEE

TOGETHER WITH THE FAMILY AND JUVENILE LAW SECTION

AND MILES & STOCKBRIDGE, P.C.

PRESENT

Effective Appellate Advocacy for Family Law Cases

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Court of Appeals of Maryland

Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building

Fourth Floor 361 Rowe Boulevard Annapolis, MD 21401

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Social Hour Reception – Foyer to the Courtroom

Cash Bar (Beer & Wine) & Hors D’oeuvres

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Court of Appeals Courtroom

Speaker Presentations and Audience Questions

$20.00 for MSBA Litigation Section or Family and Juvenile Law Section Members

$35.00 for others

SPEAKERS:

THE HONORABLE DEBORAH S. EYLER, Judge, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

STEPHEN J. CULLEN, ESQUIRE, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

CYNTHIA E. YOUNG, ESQUIRE

Please register by mailing your check payable to the MSBA, Attention: Theresa L. Michael, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland  21201. SPACE IS LIMITED

April 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants: Charter Schools and GPS Evidence

The Maryland Court of Appeals has posted its first batch of April 2017 certiorari grants, and next term is already looking interesting. The four grants include Baltimore charter schools’ appeal of an order staying their challenge to the city school board’s proposed funding formula. The Court of Appeals is also set to address the necessity of expert testimony to introduce a cell phone’s GPS location record. The cases are likely to be argued in September. The full list appears after the jump.

Read More…

March 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Maryland Court of Appeals posted the “questions presented” in seven March certiorari grants yesterday, though only six of them are now live appeals. One petition, Deon Leroy Williams v. State, was granted on March 3, only to be dismissed on reconsideration on March 24. The first on the list, Burak, may provide some key insights on how the Court of Appeals will apply last year’s de facto parenthood decision in Conover v. Conover. The six live certiorari grants, with questions presented, appear after the jump. Read More…

Enter Judge Pamela Harris

Adam Farra
Guest contributor

Remember when that partisan street fight broke out after Pamela Harris was nominated to the Fourth Circuit by President Obama?  David Fontana wrote in The New Republic that “liberals should rally behind” then-nominee Harris because she – “more than any other Obama judicial nominee” (whew!) – would “be a sympathetic vote to liberal causes,” would “give rise to the next generation of liberal legal elites,” and would “be an eloquent and inspiring champion of liberal jurisprudence.”  Carrie Severino blisteringly responded in National Review that the Senate “should be deeply skeptical of her ability to put the law ahead of her political views,” and National Review did multiple pieces attacking her candidacy.  The questioning at her confirmation hearing tracked this line of attack.  Confirmed with 50 votes (no filibuster after Harry Reid triggered the nuclear option), Judge Harris fortified Obama’s transformation of the Fourth Circuit.

A few years have passed – and were the commentators right?  Is she a liberal lion and a conservative’s worst nightmare?

Read More…

Mitchell v. MVA: The Court of Appeals’ Reluctant Engagement with the Public Forum Doctrine

By Alan Sternstein

Braving to step into the “Stygian swamp that envelops the public forum doctrine,” Slip Op. at 19, the Court of Appeals in Mitchell v. Maryland Motor Vehicle Admin., 450 Md. 282, 148 A.3d 319 (2016) (“Mitchell”), successfully emerges from the swamp but leaves its way out as murky as the swamp it dared to enter. The Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Special Appeals, which, in turn, affirmed the Circuit Court’s judicial review of an Administrative Law Judge’s determination to uphold an action of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”). That action revoked vehicle license plates issued to the Appellant and bearing the Spanish word “MIERDA,” whose primary English meaning is the expletive “shit.” Heeding public forum analysis, though not without periodic pause, the Court’s opinion adopts essentially the reasoning of the Court of Special Appeals and holds that state-issued license plates are a nonpublic forum. Slip Op. at 2, 22. Consequently, MVA’s action passed muster under the standard discussed below and applicable to determining the constitutionality of government limitations on speech and expression in nonpublic forums. Read More…

Six New Maryland Certiorari Grants, January 9, 2017

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has posted six new certiorari grants. Five are criminal cases. The one civil case involves a Court of Special Appeals opinion, authored by Judge Arthur, with facts that read like a Trusts & Estates exam. On the criminal side, Savage v. State presents interesting questions regarding a defense expert’s neuropsychological examination and DSM-IV diagnosis.

The Court of Appeals is likely to issue any additional grants for this month on a rolling basis between now and January 20 (the day after its January 19 conference).The six grants, with questions presented, appear after the jump. Read More…

The Court of Special Appeals celebrates being 50 years young

By Michael Wein

As highlighted in a media release on the Maryland Judiciary web site, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court, the Court of Special Appeals, is having a fiftieth anniversary celebration today. This is meant to coincide, exactly, with the first day, January 6, 1967, that the original five Court of Special Appeals judges were sworn to the newly created constitutional position (including the first Chief Judge of that Court, Robert C. Murphy, who went on to be Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals 5 years later, and after whom the appellate courts’ building is now named). Read More…

Goodbye Chris, Hello Brandon

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

We have some exciting but bittersweet news. Longtime blog manager Chris Mincher has departed, but for the best of reasons. He has taken a new job as Deputy Legal Counsel in the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel. Chris has taken the laboring oar countless times over the past three years. We offer him the sincerest thanks for his hard work, discerning editorial eye, good humor, and font expertise.

Fortunately, Brandon Moore has agreed to take over the role of blog manager. Brandon is an obvious choice. He served three federal clerkships, with Fourth Circuit Judge Andre M. Davis and U.S. District Judges Theodore D. Chuang and George L. Russell, III. During law school, Brandon served as the Managing Editor of the Maryland Law Review and interned for then-Chief Judge Robert M. Bell on the Court of Appeals of Maryland. He is now an associate with Gallagher, Evelius & Jones in Baltimore. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Brandon for five years and am thrilled that he will be joining the blog.

December 2016 Maryland certiorari grants include life without parole, rule against perpetuities

The Court of Appeals of Maryland today posted nine certiorari grants. The full list, with questions presented, appears after the jump.

Read More…