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Law digest: 3/21/11

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS

Civil Procedure, Continuance of trial: Trial court abused its discretion in denying a continuance of trial in order to accommodate plaintiff’s religious beliefs, which prohibited any appearance or advocacy on his behalf during a particular religious holiday that occurred in the midst of trial. Neustadter v. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, Inc., No. 12, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0224-21

Insurance, Notice of claim: An insurer may disclaim coverage on a liability insurance policy on the ground that the insured has breached the policy by not giving the insurer required notice only if the insurer establishes that the lack of notice has resulted in actual prejudice to the insurer. Sherwood Brands, Inc. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 62, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0224-23

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS

Criminal Procedure, Expungement of juvenile records: Where juvenile was convicted in the circuit court and then transferred to juvenile court for sentencing, juvenile court had the power to expunge the juvenile’s criminal record. In re Nancy H, No. 1404, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-0225-02

Real Property, Foreclosure: In the context of a foreclosure sale, the first foreclosure purchaser who defaults is liable only for the deficiency between the original sale price and the immediately following resale price, not for all deficiencies occasioned by subsequent resales of the foreclosed property after successive defaults in resales of the property. Simard v. Burson, No. 1302, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-0225-01

U.S. DISTRICT COURT, MARYLAND

Consumer Protection, Debt collection: Defendant acted as a debt collector in the State of Maryland without a license and unlawfully filed lawsuits against plaintiffs as part of its debt collection practices, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act, and the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. Bradshaw v. Hilco Receivables, LLC, Civil Action No. RDB-10-113. RecordFax No. 11-0223-40

Insurance, Want of due diligence: “Want of due diligence,” under an insurance policy’s liner negligence clause, equated to simple negligence. National Casualty Company v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, Civil Action No. AW-05-1992. RecordFax No. 11-0214-41

Labor & Employment, Retirement benefits: Plaintiffs’ count for violation of ERISA’s minimum vesting requirements stated a claim for “other appropriate equitable relief” and they could simultaneously bring a claim for recovery of benefits under ERISA; however, plaintiffs failed to state a claim with respect to employees who ceased employment with defendants before ERISA’s effective date. England v. Marriott International, Inc., No. RWT 10cv1256. RecordFax No. 11-0214-40

Torts, False Claims Act: Because the defendants were serving as members of the federal armed forces when they allegedly submitted false claims for payment to the government, the plaintiff’s qui tam action was barred by the False Claims Act’s intramilitary immunity provision. United States v. Anthony, Civil No. CCB-09-356. RecordFax No. 11-0209-40