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Top 5: ‘We have all sinned’

A former public official pleads guilty, a University of Maryland student indicted for making fake IDs, and the family of a breast cancer victim is awarded $3.8 million by a city jury. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. Ex-PG County Exec. Jack Johnson admits to extortion, tampering – by Steve Lash

Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of extortion and one count of tampering related to money he received from developers in exchange for helping them secure federal grants and approvals.

As part of the plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, federal prosecutors said they would not pursue bribery and conspiracy charges for which Johnson was also indicted. The prosecution also pledged to pursue a lighter sentence than the 20-year prison term and $250,000 fine permitted under federal sentencing guidelines for both extortion and witness or evidence tampering.

2. Miles & Stockbridge to move Baltimore office to former Legg Mason building – by Danielle Ulman

Uncertainty about its long-term future in the Bank of America building, coupled with the changing nature of the legal industry, led Miles & Stockbridge PC to decide it would move its Baltimore office to the Transamerica Tower at 100 Light St.

Miles & Stockbridge, which had occupied the art-deco 10 Light St. building since the firm was founded in 1932, announced Thursday it would move its 275 employees down the street beginning in April 2013.

3. University of Maryland student indicted for making high-quality fake IDs – by Danny Jacobs

The printer that federal investigators took from a University of Maryland, College Park student indicted for making fake IDs wasn’t also used for printing out term papers.

What Theodore S. Michaels had in his dorm room was an older version of a professional, high-performance card printer more commonly used to create security passes for hospitals and office buildings. The printers, made by Zebra Technologies, can retail for thousands of dollars and create more than 100 IDs an hour with unique bar codes like the ones found on the back of Maryland licenses.

4. City jury awards $3.8M to family of man who died of breast cancer – by Brendan Kearney

In a case the plaintiffs’ attorneys say exposes the human cost of managed care, a Baltimore jury has awarded more than $3.8 million to the family of a Catonsville electronics technician after finding his doctor’s negligence contributed to his death of breast cancer at age 54.

Though trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court stretched over a week, the panel only deliberated about an hour before deciding Dr. Bernita C. Taylor was at fault, attorneys for David Dash’s widow and daughters said Wednesday. The verdict, which will be reduced to less than $1.1 million due to the state cap on non-economic damages, was assessed against St. Agnes Healthcare Inc., the only remaining defendant at trial.

5. Baltimore lawyer Stephen Snyder settles with BB&T – by Danny Jacobs

Baltimore litigator Stephen L. Snyder has settled a $10.3 million confessed judgment filed against him by Branch Banking & Trust Co.

The confidential settlement was reached Tuesday during a mediation session with Judge Kathleen G. Cox in Baltimore County Circuit Court. A motions hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday morning and a trial had been set for the end of July.