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Law Digest: November 29, 2010


Constitutional Law, Right to public trial: Defendant’s right to a public trial was violated when two spectators were excluded from the courtroom after the state claimed the witness would be intimidated by the individuals. Longus v. State, No. 68, Sept. Term 2009. RecordFax No. 10-126-22.

Constitutional Law, Self-incrimination: A former employee of a corporation cannot assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled incrimination to a subpoena duces tecum commanding him to produce corporate documents in his possession. Park v. Cangen Corporation, No. 152, Sept. Term, 2008. RecordFax No. 10-1027-20.

Criminal Procedure, Improper statements by prosecutor: Defendant was entitled to a new trial because prosecutor’s statements that police witnesses were unlikely to lie constituted improper vouching for witnesses’ credibility and may have influenced the jury. Donaldson v. State, No. 83, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 10-1026-23.

Criminal Procedure, Plea agreements: Resorting solely to the record established at the plea proceeding to determine what defendant reasonably understood to be the negotiated sentence exceeded terms of the plea agreement and was, therefore, illegal. Cuffley v. State, No. 136, Sept. Term, 2008. RecordFax No. 10-1028-21.

Torts, Liability of independent contractors: Defendants were entitled to summary judgment in a wrongful death action because the surviving spouse failed to establish that defendants retained sufficient control over the work that caused her husband’s accident. Appiah v. Hall, No. 33, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 10-1027-22.


Contract Law, Employment agreement: Physician’s action against defendant health care provider was properly dismissed by the circuit court because physician failed to allege sufficient facts establishing that defendant was his employer. Mohiuddin v. Doctors Billing & Management Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 1286, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 10-1101-02.