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Top 5: ‘…a parent’s worst nightmare’

Parents allege that their child was sexually abused by a peer at a school in Prince George’s County, and news of a Baltimore County-based lawyer/magician who was arrested in an Internet sting operation in Florida could spur a probe by the Attorney Grievance Commission. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. Accuser sits in on foreclosure hearing – by Brendan Kearney

Midway into Monday morning’s show cause hearing in Baltimore City Circuit Court, Special Master Elizabeth A. Ritter paused to ask if anyone in the gallery was a party to any of the foreclosure cases on the docket.

Two men spoke up.

The first was John Burson, managing partner of Shapiro & Burson LLP, the Virginia-based law firm under scrutiny for several signature irregularities in its foreclosure filing process in Maryland in recent years.

2. $2M suit alleges peer sex abuse at P.G. County school – by Steve Lash

The parents of a Prince George’s County elementary school student filed a $2 million lawsuit Tuesday against the school board, claiming administrators at the Robert Goddard Montessori School ignored their complaints that their son was being sexually harassed by a male classmate.

The harassment began with sexually explicit comments in October 2008, when the boy was in fourth grade at the public school, and escalated over the next 20 months to include being forced to perform sexual acts on the tormentor in the school bathroom, according to the complaint filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

3. Ex-law dean Rothenberg got to keep 30% raise – by Danny Jacobs

Karen H. Rothenberg’s base salary increased more than 30 percent — from $370,000 to nearly $500,000 — in her final two years as dean of Maryland’s highest-ranked law school, and stayed at that level until this January as part of a “transition agreement” back to the faculty.

Figures supplied by the University of Maryland in Baltimore show that Rothenberg had a base salary of $485,778 for fiscal year 2010, which began July 1, 2009. That’s the same salary she had in fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, 2009 — the day Rothenberg stepped down after a decade as dean of what is now the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

4. News of Baltimore lawyer’s arrest could spur AGC probe – by Daily Record staff

A Baltimore County-based lawyer/magician who was arrested in an Internet sting operation in Florida on Monday has no history of disciplinary problems, according to the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. However, the criminal proceeding against him, which alleges that he traveled to Florida intending to have sex with an underage boy he met on the Internet, could change that.

Glenn M. Grossman, bar counsel to the Attorney Grievance Commission, declined to comment on Howard Scott Kalin’s case but, generally speaking, said a news report could “absolutely” lead to an investigation, and has done so in the past.

5. Former CareFirst CEO William Jews will receive entire $18M severance – by Danny Jacobs

Former CareFirst Inc. CEO William L. Jews will receive his entire $18 million severance package after the state’s highest court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the Maryland Insurance Administration.

The Court of Appeals’ decision ends a legal battle that began nearly three years ago when Ralph S. Tyler, then the state’s insurance commissioner, ordered Jews’ compensation to be cut in half. Jews was ousted in November 2006 after leading CareFirst for 13 years.