Kratovil applies for Queen Anne’s judgeship

Former U.S. Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr. and David W. “Chip” Gregory, who battled each other in a race for Queen Anne’s County state’s attorney in 2002, are once again competing for the same job.

Gregory and Kratovil, who won that election fight, have both applied for a judgeship in Queen Anne’s County District Court. They and three other candidates will be interviewed by a 13-member trial court judicial nominating commission. The panel will winnow the list of candidates and submit its nominees to Gov. Martin O’Malley on Dec. 6.

O’Malley, if he keeps to his past practice, will appoint the next judge from that list.

Gregory, a Democrat,  was the four-term incumbent Democratic state’s attorney when Kratovil defeated him in the party’s primary in 2002.

Gregory went into private practice with Downes & Gregory in Centreville.

Kratovil won the general election and served six years as state’s attorney. He left the post for Capitol Hill after defeating Republican Andy Harris in 2008 for an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

But Harris gained a measure of revenge last November by beating Kratovil in his re-election bid to represent Maryland’s 1st Congressional District. Since leaving Congress in January, Kratovil has served as assistant deputy state’s attorney in Prince George’s County.

In addition to Kratovil and Gregory, the candidates for the district court judgeship are Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance G. Richardson and lawyers Patrick J. Palmer and Sandra Lynn Reno.

Top 5: Pizza Boli franchisee under fire

Supreme Court rulings, the National Football League, consumer class-action suits, an attorney disbarred and cold pizza — last week’s most-read stories written by The Daily Record’s legal team cover many of the touchstones of the modern-day news diet.

1. Pizza Boli wants D.C. franchisee to go
A federal judge in Baltimore is likely to order a former longtime Pizza Boli’s franchise in Washington D.C., to significantly change the way it does business and may even shut it down for a time.

2. Supreme Court rejects McCrary case, others
The Supreme Court turned aside a host of petitioners Monday, including some of the defendants in retired Baltimore Raven Michael McCrary’s long-running insurance fraud case.

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Divorce lawyers duke it out

You would have thought the lawyers were going through the divorce.

I’ve seen some heated courtroom exchanges, but nothing like what I saw during a contempt hearing Tuesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

The hearing stemmed from the divorce proceedings of Michael C. Hodes of Hodes, Pessin & Katz P.A. and his wife, Lois.

At issue was, of course, money — specifically, how much of it Mr. Hodes owes Mrs. Hodes at this point, based on a November 2008 marital settlement.

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Our law schools are more dangerous than yours

Both of Maryland’s law schools are located on campuses that are among the most dangerous in the country, according to a new ranking.

Both the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland-Baltimore made The Daily Beast’s list of the 25 most dangerous colleges. In fact, UMB is the third most dangerous school in the country, according to this list. The rankings are based in part on crime data the schools are required to report to the federal government and in part on crime stats for the surrounding neighborhoods.

Maryland has the dubious distinction of having more schools on the list than any other state except Massachusetts. The other dangerous colleges in the Free State are University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and Bowie State University. Notably, the Johns Hopkins University is not on there.

No Maryland schools made The Daily Beast’s list of the 25 safest colleges.

Students at the “dangerous” Maryland schools: do the rankings ring true? Do you feel unsafe on campus?

(An aside: I’m proud that my alma mater didn’t make the list. To my dad, who was worried about me going there because of safety concerns: I told you so.)

HT: TaxProf Blog via Above the Law.   

Battle for state dessert designation

smithislandcake.jpg

Delegate Page Elmore, R-Somerset, is hoping to win a sweet victory in the legislative session: to pass his bill that proposes naming Smith Island’s 10-layer cake the official state dessert. (In the newsroom, we’re wondering: what about Baltimore’s Berger cookies?)

On Tuesday, Elmore sought to win the hearts of lawmakers through their stomachs when he had about 500 slices of the cake delivered to the State House.

AP writer Kristen Wyatt watched Del. Melony Griffith, D-Prince George’s, tuck in to a thin slice of the most common flavor: yellow cake in 10-centimeter thick layers with chocolate frosting. “I make a pretty mean sweet potato pie, but oh, this is good,” said Griffith.

About 50 lawmakers have agreed to co-sign the bill, but there are some doubters. Maryland already has 21 state symbols, from the Calico cat to the state sport of jousting, and though some of them are well known, many are not.

Elmore is hoping the bill will boost Smith Island, as pollution has hurt the seafood industry and the working population of the island is dwindling, something former Daily Record reporter Steven Overly discovered when he visited the island for a feature story in August.

On the bill, anyway, we’ll just have to see how the cookie crumbles.

JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Above: Del. William J. Frank, (R-Baltimore County) accepts a wedge of 10-layer Smith Island cake Tuesday, Jan. 22.

UPDATE: Read the extended version of this post for the recipe for Smith Island cake.

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