New Yorkers want to be a part of Frosh’s AG campaign

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who praised Maryland state Sen. Brian E. Frosh last month for shepherding gun-control legislation through the Senate in 2013, put his money where his mouth was.

The billionaire Bloomberg donated $4,000 to Frosh’s campaign for Maryland attorney general, according to the senator’s most recent campaign disclosure form.

Brian E. Frosh

In this undated file photo, Maryland state Sen. Brian E. Frosh stands in the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz, file)

And Bloomberg is not the only New Yorker with a fondness for Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat.

New York lawyer David Boies, who famously represented Al Gore in his unsuccessful 2000 Florida recount battle with George W. Bush, has also given $4,000. Boies’ law partner Jonathan Schiller also donated $4,000.

Frosh, 67, said he has no master plan to court New York donors, adding he has known Schiller since they were Hebrew-school classmates at Temple Sinai in Washington in the 1950s.  They also attended Columbia Law School together in the 1960s.

Frosh added that Schiller introduced him to Boies within the past year.

“I am proud of their support,” the senator said.

Frosh is running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general against Dels. Jon Cardin, of Baltimore County; Bill Frick, of Montgomery County; and Aisha Braveboy, of Prince George’s County.  No Republican has joined the race.

Scam involving AG’s office a (phone) numbers game

We regularly receive press releases from attorney general’s office warning us of various scams and frauds being perpetuated on the good citizens of Maryland.

telephoneBut a press release sent Friday morning was unusual because of the unwitting pawn in a “caller ID spoofing” scheme — the attorney general’s office.

In this scam, the scammers mask the number they are calling from. If you try to call back the number or retrieve it through caller ID, you are directed to the Attorney General’s Mediation Unit Hotline.

“This scam is particularly deceitful and hits too close to home as our office would never call consumers and ask for their bank account information,” Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in a statement.

Separately, the release noted several consumers have reported receiving calls from a debt collector claiming to be calling on behalf of the AG’s office.

“This, too, is a scam,” the press release states, “as the Attorney General’s office does not employ any debt collectors, and does not solicit consumers.”

Former attorneys general snub one of their own, back Brown

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has always been led by men but it is apparently not a solid fraternity.

Former Attorneys General J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Stephen H. Sachs have snubbed current AG Douglas F. Gansler and endorsed his opponent Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown in the race for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

“Anthony Brown has been an effective lieutenant governor and I know he’ll make an exceptional governor for all Marylanders,” Curran said in a statement the Brown campaign emailed Thursday.


Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

“With a long record of serving Maryland’s hard-working families and delivering real results, Anthony Brown is by far the best candidate for governor in 2014 and I’ll be working hard to make sure he’s elected,” Sachs said in the same statement.

Bob Wheelock, a spokesman for Gansler, said the endorsements are “no surprise to us.”‘

Sachs mentored Brown in the 1990s at what is now the WilmerHale law firm; Curran is the father-in-law of Gov. Martin O’Malley, under whom Brown serves and who has endorsed Brown for governor, Wheelock said.

“It would be great if they would support us but we understand,” Wheelock added.

Facebook program to stop cyberbullying launches in Md.

facebookMaryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has made stopping cyberbullying one of his key initiatives. On Thursday, Gansler, who is also running for governor, announced Maryland would serve as the pilot location for a Facebook-backed program to combat cyberbullying.

The Education Escalation Channel is designed to streamline reporting of cyberbullying on Facebook and provide each school system with a direct line of communication with the social media company.

Facebook outlined the plan Thursday during the Maryland Association of Boards of Education fall conference.

“We can no longer brush off these [cyberbullying] episodes and we must reject a ‘kids will be kids’ mentality that ignores how to confront this troubling trend,” Gansler said in a statement. “I commend Facebook for working with us to give educators a more streamlined way to report possible instances of cyberbullying among their students.”

The launch coincides with the start of National Bullying Prevention Month and with a new law in Maryland that broadens email harassment to include text messaging and social media.



Law blog roundup

speed cameraWelcome to Monday, the day before the 24th anniversary of the best rendition I ever heard of this Gladys Knight and the Pips standard. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Federal judge deems New York’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional.

– U.S. attorney general seeks to alter mandatory minimum sentences.

– British businessman’s family seeks damages in Chinese murder case.

– Speed cameras come to Chicago. Can Windy City legal challenges be far behind?


Chief Justice Taney returns to Supreme Court

On prominent display at the Supreme Court is its darkest hour.

Chief Justice -- and former Maryland Attorney General -- Roger B. Taney

Encased in glass at the high court is the judicial robe worn by Chief Justice — and former Maryland Attorney General — Roger B. Taney, who wrote the 1857 opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford that blacks are not U.S. citizens and therefore a slave had no standing to sue for his freedom.

The robe, on loan from the Historical Society of Frederick County, Md.,  is part of an  exhibition, “In War and In Peace: The Supreme Court and the Civil War.” The display states the Dred Scott decision “pushed the nation closer to Civil War.”

The exhibition mentions other Civil War era decisions, including Ex Parte Vallandingham, in which the Supreme Court held it had no jurisdiction over appeals from military tribunals, and The Prize Cases of 1863, in which the high court defined the battle between North and South as  a civil rebellion of high magnitude, not a war.

The display also credits Taney, historically scorned for his opinion in Dred Scott, with having ruled in Ex Parte Merryman in 1861 that President Abraham Lincoln lacked the authority to suspend the writ of habeus corpus even during wartime.




Frosh fundraiser fans flames for formal AG run

With the 2012 election in the rear-view mirror, the drive toward 2014 has begun.

Senator Brian E. Frosh

State Sen. Brian E. Frosh, who has all but officially announced his run for Maryland attorney general, will hold a happy-hour fundraiser Wednesday at the Red Red Wine Bar in Annapolis. In a nod toward his legislative support for the environment, the Montgomery County Democrat’s campaign backers — Citizens for Brian Frosh — are tying suggested donation amounts to wildlife and anti-pollution themes in a flyer announcing the event.

For example, $1,000 donors are “Snakehead Warriors”; $500 donors are “Osprey Outlaws”; $250 donors are “Climate Change Hot Heads”; and $100 donors are “Clean Water Clarions.”

Coming up with nicknames for donors is not new for Frosh, who has in past election cycles dispensed with the traditional terms “sponsor” and “patron” in favor of “friend” and “best friend.”

But what is new for Frosh, who has served a quarter-century in the General Assembly, is the amount of money he said he will have to raise in a campaign for the statewide office. Frosh would not put a dollar value to that campaign figure but said a successful run will cost “more than I wish it would.”

“I raised money obviously for my Senate races, but this is a whole different ballgame,” added Frosh, who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “It’s a different order of magnitude.”

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

What do you do when you start a job as an in-house attorney for the first time and there are no other lawyers at your company?
Many lawyers go in-house after practicing law for decades. While they come equipped with knowledge of the law, a general counsel position has its own set of rules and requirements. Often, these attorneys are the only lawyers in the building and have few outlets for advice.

Corporate Counsel asked general counsels how they seek mentorship. Some seek advice in general counsel online forums, others pair up in formal programs with other in-house counsel and some just call other in-house attorneys they are acquainted with on the phone.

So, here’s our question for you:

Where do you seek advice and mentorship in your job as a general counsel?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • More drama at the University of Iowa as a judge decided a case brought by an ex-general counsel.
  • A former legal officer who worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for four decades passed away.
  • First Potomac Realty Trust’s general counsel ceased his duties.
  • An administrative attorney for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry is running for attorney general in the state.
  • Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse
  • Want the latest on who’s been hired, fired or moving and shaking in between? Head to our Movers and Shakers page to find out.
  • For networking events and other happenings this week in Maryland, check out our calendar of events.
  • Get the very latest updates from our law reporters on Twitter: @TDRKristi, @Steve_Lash
  • Check out The Daily Record on Facebook.

Law blog roundup

With all of the Osama bin Laden news last night and today, you might want (need?) a little break. Check out the law links below for a breather.