The University of Baltimore School of Law received more funding from the university, while a title attorney received an immediate disbarment from the Court of Appeals. The Top 5 law stories of the week also includes advice on how to argue before the state’s top court, but it’s a lawsuit filed by a man who spent 20 years in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit that takes the top spot.
1. Suit seeks $15M for wrongful murder rap — by Steve Lash
James Owens’ attorneys filed the civil-rights lawsuit Wednesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court, where a jury 23 years earlier convicted him of killing Colleen Williar, and where he was sentenced to life in prison.
In 2008, DNA testing of genetic material found on Williar excluded Owens, winning him a new trial. City prosecutors, who had consented to the DNA tests, instead dropped the charges that October.
Owens alleges that the prosecution in 1988 knew its star witness — James A. Thompson — was lying about Owens’ involvement and feared the case against Owens was unraveling. So, the complaint says, prosecutors “fed” Thompson information to fabricate eyewitness testimony, made promises of leniency if he testified as suggested and threatened to prosecute him if he did not.