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Law digest – 7/3/14

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS 

Consumer protection, Secondary mortgage loan law: An assignee of a secondary mortgage loan is not directly liable under the Uniform Commercial Code’s Secondary Mortgage Loan Law (“SMLL”) to the borrower for violations of the SMLL committed by the lender at the time of the origination of the loan, regardless of whether the assignee would be liable under provisions of the SMLL that govern repayment of the loan; therefore, assignee was entitled to summary judgment. Thompkins v. Mountaineer Investments, LLC, No. 43, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0623-20, 26 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Mistrial: Trial judge did not abuse her discretion by failing to conduct a sua sponte voir dire of jurors before denying defendant’s mistrial motion, which was based on a note from the foreperson stating that a juror had indicated a willingness to change her vote if it would get her home sooner; since the note at most threatened future misconduct, no presumption of prejudice for excessive or egregious juror misconduct arose. Nash v. State, No. 60, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0620-22, 52 pages.

Election Law, Party affiliation requirement: Under the election law, voters have standing to bring a claim that a putative candidate does not meet the statute’s party affiliation requirement, as such claims “relate to” an election; and the court properly ruled in favor of the challenger in this case, as the putative candidate must meet the party affiliation requirement at the time his or her certificate of candidacy is tendered for filing. Cabrera v. Penate, No. 110, Sept. Term, 2013 (filed June 20, 2014). RecordFax No. 14-0620-20, 23 pages.

Premises liability, Lead-based paint poisoning: Where lead-paint-poisoned plaintiffs lived in multiple residences over the relevant time periods and failed to put forth evidence that the subject properties contained lead-based paint at those times, the evidence was insufficient to infer that defendants’ conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about the alleged injuries, and summary judgment in favor of defendants was affirmed. Hamilton v. Kirson, No. 78, Alston v. 2700 Virginia Avenue Associates, et al., No. 100, September Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0620-21, 47 pages.

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