Md. lawyer creates worst alarm clock ever

When Aaron Titus got a 4:30 a.m. robocall Wednesday morning alerting him Prince George’s County Public Schools would be opening two hours late because of snow, he did not hit the snooze button. He got even.

Titus made his own 4:30 a.m. robocall to county school board members, the Washington Post reports. The message, left Thursday, was the following:

“This is a Prince George’s County School District parent, calling to thank you for the robocall yesterday at 4:30 in the morning. I decided to return the favor. While I know the school district wanted to ensure I drop my child off two hours late on a snow day, I already knew that before I went to bed. I hope this call demonstrates why a 4:30 a.m. call does more to annoy than to inform.”

A school district spokesman said the snow alert was mistakenly sent out an hour earlier than normal.

I couldn’t find an Aaron Titus listed in the MSBA lawyer’s manual or in the client protection fund, but the ABA Journal says his Twitter feed describes as a privacy officer for “a company that helps protect sensitive online data.”

The Twitter feed seems to confirm his identity, where he repeats his explanation for the robocall: “I had to assume they were following the Golden Rule: Doing to me as they’d have me do to them.”

Top 5: ‘It’s so amazingly subjective.’

This week’s top 5 stories in law include a story about a woman who claimed to be fired in retaliation and a story about a lawyer who overcame substance abuse problems to become the Baltimore County Bar Association’s pro bono lawyer of the year. Here are the top 5:

1. Asti flyer violated campaign conduct standard, panel finds – by Steve Lash

Alison L. Asti’s yellow-and-black Election Day flier was “likely to mislead” Anne Arundel County voters and therefore violated a standard of conduct that calls for “truthfulness and dignity” in judicial campaigns, an oversight panel said in an opinion released Thursday.

However, the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee said the Asti campaign’s $150-a-ticket fundraiser following her election to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court passed muster “on the face of it.”

2. Former Merck & Co. saleswoman claims she was fired in retaliation – by Brendan Kearney

Trial began Monday afternoon in the case of a former Merck & Co. saleswoman who claims she was fired two years ago in retaliation for reporting her supervisor’s violations of the pharmaceutical giant’s corporate policies.

Jennifer Scott had complained to Merck’s ethics office in July 2007 concerning William Liberato’s insistence that she allow a co-worker to use her credit card to cover dinners with doctors and about Liberato’s support of unauthorized sales pitches. Scott had worked at the Fortune 100 company for 16 years and won several awards before she was sacked.

3. SECO sues Flanigan IV for $395K – by Danny Jacobs

The late Pierce J. Flanigan III was in the business of making things smooth, from the Baltimore Beltway to the tarmac at what is now Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Now, his survivors and one of his former companies are involved in litigation that could prove rocky.

Parkton-based Standard Equipment Co. is seeking at least $445,000 from Flanigan’s son and a family trust for allegedly keeping too much money from the company’s sale last year. The lawsuit, filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court last week, alleges Pierce J. Flanigan IV and the trustees improperly kept at least $395,000 “in the form of the remaining proceeds” from the sale.

4. A sneak attack on contributory negligence? - by Todd Lamb and Ellen Valentino (Special to The Daily Record)

Everyone is familiar with the old proverb: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Personal injury lawyers have failed many times in attempting to throw aside 150 years of common law and common sense in the Free State by overturning the doctrine of contributory negligence.

After 30 years of legislative failures, there may now be a new approach lurking in the weeds to promote making the change without consulting or including our elected legislators in the process.

5. One lawyer’s journey from addict to pro bono advocate – by Danny Jacobs

Michael F. Connolly is relatively new to pro bono work, but he speaks about it like a seasoned veteran.

“It’s helped me maintain my compassion for people,” he said. “A lot of times I see lawyers that seem to have forgotten this is not about the lawyer making money. It’s about helping people whose lives we affect.”