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Law digest – 2/27/14

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS 

Criminal Procedure, Competency evaluation: Defense counsel’s passing request to have defendant “evaluated” was not sufficient to trigger the trial judge’s duty to make a determination of competency. Kennedy v. State, No. 51, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0221-20, 22 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Reviewability of sentence: Where defendant failed to object at the sentencing hearing, he did not preserve his claim that his enhanced sentence was not supported by sufficient evidence that he committed the predicate convictions, and, since his sentence was not inherently illegal, defendant’s claim was not reviewable on appeal. Bryant v. State, No. 37, Sept Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0203-20, 31 pages.

Family Law, Marital settlement agreements: Marital settlement agreements were not voidable by a self-represented husband who did not consent, in writing, to his former attorney’s adverse representation of his wife; husband was a sophisticated party who consulted with counsel on a similar agreement with his prior spouse, the agreements at issue apprised him of the right to obtain counsel, and the record revealed no clear example of adverse use of any of husband’s assertedly confidential information. Li v. Lee, No 50, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0221-22, 21 pages.

Professional Responsibility, Disbarment: Disbarment was the appropriate sanction for Maryland attorney who, in his position as Deputy State’s Attorney, engaged in inappropriate relationship with manager of State’s Attorney’s Office by “fixing” traffic citations on manager’s behalf, interfering in manager’s prosecution for embezzlement, assisting in her use of inaccurate timesheets, and accessing her work computer to delete emails following her termination. Attorney Grievance Commission v. McDonald, Misc. Docket AG No. 38. RecordFax No. 14-0221-21, 51 pages.

U.S. 4TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS 

Criminal Procedure, Speedy Trial Act: Although district court erred in requiring that defendant agree to waive her rights under the Speedy Trial Act as a condition for granting a mistrial, appellate review was not available because defendant’s claims under the Act were not timely asserted in the district court. United States v. Mosteller, No. 12-4434. RecordFax No. 14-0204-60, 15 pages.

Immigration Law, Asylum: Where aliens had two children born in the United States, remand was warranted regarding the denial of their claim for asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act based on China’s one-child policy, because neither the immigration judge nor the Board of Immigration Appeals explained why the evidence did not sufficiently establish a reasonable basis for asylum. Chen v. Holder, No. 12-2279. RecordFax No. 14-0205-60, 28 pages.

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