Lots of interesting news in the legal world this week, including a $1 award to a bystander who was frisked and detained in a bar bust, and a lawyer disbarred for client neglect. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5:
1. CBS Radio staffer sues WNST for defamation – by Danny Jacobs
A sports reporter for WJZ-FM has filed an $800,000 lawsuit against WNST-AM’s owner and two radio hosts for a year’s worth of alleged attacks through the airwaves and online.
Jennifer Royle claims that Nestor Aparicio, Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark used their blogs and the station’s Twitter feed to challenge her professionalism, saying she was having inappropriate sexual relationships with pro athletes and that she “looks like a stripper,” according to the complaint.
2. Jury awards $1 to bystander in bar bust – by Brendan Kearney
A Baltimore jury has awarded just $1 to one of four city men who were frisked and detained for about an hour in a Westside bar while a half-dozen police arrested another patron on charges that were dropped later.
The six jurors — three men, three women, three black and three white — decided Detective Wayne Jenkins violated Troy Smith’s constitutional rights that December 2008 evening but found for the officers on all other counts in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
3. Court of Appeals: MVA can use expunged records – by Steve Lash
An expungement of the public record of drunken-driving convictions after 10 years does not prevent the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration from retaining a “confidential” record of those convictions for licensing purposes, Maryland’s top court said Monday.
The Court of Appeals’ decision upheld the MVA’s denial, without a hearing, of Thomas P. Headen’s application to renew his driver’s license in 2006.
4. Jury deliberates in suit against Baltimore police officers – by Brendan Kearney
After a week of trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court, it is now up to a jury to decide whether four men who were frisked and detained for about an hour in a Westside bar while another patron was arrested were merely inconvenienced or are instead owed money damages.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs and the half-dozen defendant officers made their final pleas to the jury Tuesday afternoon, and the seven-member panel will begin deliberations Wednesday morning.
5. Lawyer disbarred for client neglect, unearned $1,000 fee – by Steve Lash
Maryland’s top court has unanimously disbarred an attorney who solicited business from a defendant in a civil suit and did absolutely nothing to represent him, even after collecting a $1,000 fee.
Andrew Gregory De La Paz — who had offices in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties — also failed to open an estate despite promising his client for more than a year that he would. He also moved offices without telling a client or leaving a forwarding number, the Court of Appeals said in its disbarment decision Thursday.