Law digest – 3/20/14


Criminal Procedure, De facto arrest: When police detained and transported defendant to the police station in an ongoing criminal investigation for the limited purpose of executing a warrant for his DNA and fingerprints, the three-hour delay in obtaining that evidence did not render his continued detention “unreasonable”; even if detectives could have executed the warrant earlier, the relevant analysis was whether their conduct was reasonable, based on the totality of circumstances. Barnes v. State, No. 34, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0305-20, 24 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Double jeopardy: Under the “same elements test” for double jeopardy purposes, disobeying a lawful order is not the “same offense” as fleeing and eluding police, because the lawfulness of the order is not an element of the offense of fleeing and eluding police. Scriber v. State, No. 35, Sept. Term. RecordFax No. 14-0305-21, 19 pages.

Insurance Law, Release of claims: Under the applicable section of the Insurance Article, a tort victim may execute a boilerplate, general release with a tortfeasor’s liability insurer without prejudicing the tort victim’s claim under her uninsured motorist policy. The Brethren Mutual Insurance Company v. Buckley, No. 10, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0304-20, 20 pages.

Professional Responsibility, Disbarment: Disbarment is the appropriate sanction for an attorney who violated the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct in representing a divorce client by missing scheduled settlement conferences, making misrepresentations to the client, ignoring her requests for updates and attempts to get him to withdraw, keeping unearned fees, charging unreasonable fees and failing to hold client’s funds in trust or create required records of such funds. Attorney Grievance Commission v. Lewis, Misc. Docket AG No. 80, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-0227-20, 21 pages.

Real Property, Ground-rent remedies: Legislation that replaced ejectment with a lien-and-foreclosure process applicable to defaulting lessees of ground rents extinguished the right of re-entry, a part of the previously created bundle of vested rights in ground rent holders, and therefore violated due process provision of Maryland’s Declaration of Rights and takings provision of Maryland’s Constitution. State v. Goldberg, No. 8, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0226-23, 64 pages.


Civil Procedure, Attorney’s fees: Although the circuit court was required to recognize that appellants were entitled to an attorney’s fee award from appellees and was required to fashion a reasonable fee award to compensate appellants, the court was not necessarily required to apply the “common core of facts” doctrine to award a fully compensatory fee. Ochse v. Henry, No. 1118, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-0225-02, 29 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Order for Conditional Release: Where appellant was committed to Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and subsequently conditionally released, the circuit court did not err in extending the Order for Conditional Release for an additional four years even though when its order issued after the date that the OCR was scheduled to expire. Harrison-Solomon v. State, No. 2253, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 14-0225-01, 19 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Writ of Actual Innocence: Circuit court properly denied defendant’s petition for Writ of Actual Innocence without a hearing because, where defendant failed to timely allege newly discovered evidence, the petition did not meet the requirements for stating a claim for a Writ of Actual Innocence as a matter of law. Hawes v. State, No. 146, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 14-0225-00, 37 pages.


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