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Week in review: 5/6/11

Towson U. eyes Commons space

Administrators at Towson University has been talking with the owner of the nearly vacant Towson Commons about leasing space to use for classrooms and academic offices. Some local leaders have said such a conversion could rejuvenate the community.

MTA defends reports

The Maryland Transit Administration says there was nothing wrong with its reporting of bus ridership when the total it provided to federal officials was 18 million higher than the number it gave to the state in fiscal 2009.

2 of 3 officers convicted

In Gregg L. Bernstein’s first trial as Baltimore City state’s attorney, the jury found two policemen guilty of misconduct in office Tuesday for picking up two teenagers in West Baltimore and then abandoning one across town and the other in Howard County, while a judge found a third officer in the van had not acted criminally.

Traffic ticket tossed

A Bowie lawyer got his own $40 fine thrown out by the Montgomery County Circuit Court when he pointed out what is essentially a typo in the 5-year-old speed camera statute. A county police spokeswoman said the ruling affects only his citation, but he and others disagree.

MySpace affects trial

In a 5-2 decision, the Court of Appeals has overturned a murder conviction and 50-year prison sentence, ruling that a judge improperly admitted into evidence a threat to a would-be trial witness purportedly posted on the MySpace page of the defendant’s girlfriend.

‘Dram shop’ suit OK’d

In a ruling that contradicts Maryland law, a Montgomery County Circuit judge has allowed the grandfather of a 10-year-old girl killed by a drunk driver to sue the Gaithersburg bar that allegedly served the driver and let him drive away.

Injunction request dropped

The state’s second attempt to find a developer to build a casino in Baltimore will move forward after the disqualified winner of the first attempt dropped his request Wednesday that the courts put the process on ice.

Reopening of case urged

A lawyer for an alleged lead-paint poisoning victim in Baltimore urged a sympathetic but seemingly unsupportive Court of Special Appeals to reopen his client’s negligence case against his client’s childhood landlords — a lawsuit that ended in the defendants’ favor in 1997.

Lawyer disbarred

The Court of Appeals has disbarred a Virginia lawyer who is also admitted to practice in Maryland after he allowed a woman to forge her terminally ill mother’s signature on estate documents.

Emergency volunteers

Target Corp. and 19 other businesses have agreed to donate inventory, staff members or both to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in case of a disaster under a $1.8 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.