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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?

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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.

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Maryland Certiorari Grants and Other Docket Developments

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

We’ve been posting (here and here) about apparent changes in the timing of certiorari grants by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. It’s becoming clear that the Court of Appeals will now be granting certiorari as soon as the judges decide a case is worthy of review. They will not be waiting for their monthly conferences, which are likely to focus on closer calls that warrant discussion. Yesterday, the court posted its second pre-conference batch of certiorari grants for November. It also recently accepted a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

In other news affecting the Court of Appeals docket, The Daily Record’s Steve Lash reported yesterday (from behind the paywall) that Glenn Grossman is retiring as Bar Counsel on January 31, 2017. We don’t usually cover Attorney Grievance Commission cases here at the blog, but it’s important to remember that those cases represent a significant part of the court’s business.

The new certiorari grants and the certified question are listed (with questions presented) after the jump. Read More…

Three more October 2016 Maryland certiorari grants hint at a new pattern

The Maryland Appellate Blog launched in 2013 at the beginning of Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera’s first full term as chief. Since then, the Court has continued the same usual schedule for certiorari grants that we saw under her predecessor, Chief Judge Bell. The Court holds a monthly conference, apart from post-argument conferences, to review certiorari petitions and draft opinions. One business day after that monthly conference, it posts certiorari grants. It then issues certiorari denials the next business day.

The first two months of the September 2016 Term have seen a tweak to the schedule. Read More…

September 2016 Certiorari Grants

One day after its first oral arguments of the new term, the Court of Appeals of Maryland on Friday dropped an unexpected bundle of certiorari grants — the second set to be released in as many weeks. In two of the cases, the primary question presented is whether the odor of marijuana gives a police officer probable cause to search a vehicle; as we briefly noted here, depending on how the Court resolves that issue, there could be a lot of remandin’ happening with these later on down the line. Check out all the grants after the jump.

[Blog editor-in-chief Steve Klepper was not involved in the review, editing, or posting of this piece.]

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