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Author Archives: Steve Lash

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Steve Lash covers appellate courts and general legal affairs for The Daily Record.

Severna Park H.S. wins mock-trial crown

Severna Park H.S. wins mock-trial crown

Amid echoes of Ferguson, Mo., high-school students from Severna Park and Cumberland battled Friday in the mock trial of a fictional police officer accused of shooting an unarmed 18-year-old man to death without justification. With his team cast as the prosecution, Severna Park High School student Cory Jeweler said in his opening statement that Michael Case’s arms were raised in surrender when officer Darren Gray fired nine shots into him on a warm, clear day last August. “It is the police officer’s duty to protect and serve,” Jeweler said to start the championship round of the statewide High School Mock Trial Competition. “Gray didn’t protect and serve anyone. He pulled out his gun and pulled the trigger.”

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Property owners lack standing in zoning-law cases, court says

In a defeat for those concerned about increased neighborhood traffic, Maryland’s top court has ruled property owners cannot challenge a comprehensive local rezoning ordinance in court unless they are taxpayers who have suffered a financial loss or increased taxes due to the new law.

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Treat lawyers respectfully even when undeserved, ALJs told

Treat lawyers respectfully even when undeserved, ALJs told

Administrative law judges must treat lawyers and litigants with respect – even when they don’t deserve it, the chair of the Maryland ALJs’ Ethics and Professionalism Committee said Tuesday. “It’s up to you as the judge to set the tone for order and decorum,” ALJ Louis Hurwitz told attendees at the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary’s midyear conference, co-sponsored by The Daily Record.

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Special-ed, school advocates say court should be last resort

Parents of children in special education have the right to take the school board to an administrative hearing and to court, if they believe their needs are not being met -- but such a move should be a last resort, advocates for schools and students said Monday. Going to court costs time and money and foments hostility between families and schools when they should be working together to ensure the child’s education, said Bonnie Walston, director of special education at Wicomico County Public Schools.

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General Assembly raises tort claims damages caps

The General Assembly passed legislation in the final hour of its 2015 session to raise to $400,000 the liability cap for state, county and local governments for negligent acts that injure people. The legislature also increased to $800,000 the cap on a county or local government’s liability on any single claim, regardless of the number of plaintiffs.In addition, individuals injured through the negligence of county or city employees will have up to one year from the date of their injury to notify the locality of their intention to sue.

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General Assembly passes divorce-by-settlement bill

The Maryland General Assembly on Monday passed legislation to enable married couples without minor children to divorce through settlement agreement and forgo the state’s one-year separation requirement before terminating a marriage. Both spouses would have to sign the agreement and be present when a judge grants their absolute divorce. The measure, if signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan, would go into effect Oct. 1.

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Divorce-by-settlement bill races sine-die clock

Time permitting, the Maryland General Assembly appears poised to pass legislation that would enable married couples without children to divorce through settlement agreement and forgo waiting the state’s one-year separation requirement before terminating a marriage. Sen. Robert A. “Bobby” Zirkin, the bill’s chief sponsor, has called the measure a sensible way for couples to end their marriages when they can reach amicable agreements on the division of property without the acrimony of a trial or being legally bound to each other for 12 months.

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