This week’s top 5 staff law stories include Baltimore police being sued for $270 million for shooting a man outside a nightclub and the Enoch Pratt Free Library settling a discrimination lawsuit. Here are the top 5:
1. Lawyer, 2 employees indicted for mortgage fraud scheme – by Danielle Ulman
A lawyer and title company owner and two of his employees were indicted Wednesday in a $4 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on eight counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud for a Ponzi-like scheme that involved delaying payments to banks in real estate closings and refinancing mortgages on employees’ homes without paying back the loans.
2. Marine’s family sues police for $270M – by Brendan Kearney
The family of a Marine shot dead by an off-duty Baltimore police officer outside a nightclub last June has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the officer and the police department, claiming the incident was preventable and seeking millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.
The suit, brought on behalf of Tyrone Brown’s widow, children and mother, comes less than two months before the defendant and officer, Gahiji Tshamba, is scheduled to stand trial on criminal charges including first-degree murder.
3. Enoch Pratt library settles discrimination lawsuit – by Brendan Kearney
The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s $100,000 settlement of an employee’s disability discrimination lawsuit was approved by the Baltimore Board of Estimates Wednesday, but the agreement between the city library system and the woman will have to be modified to remove an errant confidentiality provision.
Asked about the deal, plaintiff Joan Bourne’s attorney initially said he was gagged by the settlement agreement. But after learning that the city’s top lawyer spoke about the case, Bruce Luchansky negotiated a change in the agreement and talked about his client’s years-long effort to secure a reserved parking place behind the main library branch downtown.
4. Glenn Ivey joins Venable – by Danielle Ulman
Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey has made the transition from public service to private practice this week, with a new job as a partner at Venable LLP.
Ivey will spend time in the firm’s Baltimore and Washington D.C. offices, he said Tuesday, working in its white collar and government investigations practices.
5. Verdict: Merck owes fired employee $555K – by Brendan Kearney
A Baltimore jury has awarded $555,000 to a former Merck & Co. saleswoman who claimed she was fired two years ago in retaliation for reporting her supervisor’s violations of corporate policies.
The panel deliberated about three hours Friday afternoon before finding in favor of Jennifer Scott, a 47-year-old Ellicott City woman who worked at Merck from 1992 to 2008. The jury of five women and three men determined Scott was owed $513,000 in back pay and $42,000 in front pay. Similar to back pay, front pay essentially is the equivalent of future lost earnings.