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Law digest: 7/25/11

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS

Administrative Law, Disclosure of internal records: Records of a police department internal investigation were “personnel records” under the Public Information Act and, thus, mandatorily exempt from disclosure by the custodian of records, even to the county Inspector General. Montgomery County Maryland v. Shropshire, No. 84, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0629-21.

Civil Procedure, Collateral order doctrine: The collateral order doctrine did not apply to entitle defendant to immediate appeal of interlocutory discovery orders because these orders did not resolve an issue that was completely separate from the merits of the action, and the orders were not effectively unreviewable on appeal from a final judgment. Harris v. State, No. 79, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0624-20.

Civil Procedure, Collateral order doctrine: The trial court’s denial of a motion to quash deposition notice and motion for a protective order on grounds of attorney-client privilege was not immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine. Kurstin v. Bromberg Rosenthal, LLP, No. 49 Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0712-20.

Criminal Law, Gun possession by a convicted felon: Defendant’s prior out-of-state felony conviction was properly used as a predicate offense for the purpose of convicting him of unlawful weapons possession by a convicted felon. Jones v. State, No. 87, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0706-20.

Criminal Procedure, Interlocutory appeal: Defendant’s appeal of the circuit court’s denial of his request for a pre-trial evidentiary hearing to determine whether the state could produce DNA evidence at trial connecting defendant to a murder as a prerequisite to imposition of the death penalty was dismissed as an impermissible interlocutory appeal. Stephens v. State, No. 114, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0712-22.

Evidence, Prior written statement: During defendant’s trial for attempted murder, it was not harmless error for trial court to allow state to introduce during cross-examination violent “rap” lyrics that defendant had written, and defendant was therefore entitled to a new trial. Hannah v. State, No. 151, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-0629-20.

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS

Constitutional Law, Parole: The Maryland statutory scheme governing consideration of parole does not create a liberty interest protected by the Fifth Amendment. McLaughlin-Cox v. Maryland Parole Commission, No. 1093, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0711-03.

Criminal Law, Lesser included offenses: The trial court did not err in determining that possession of a controlled dangerous substance is a lesser included offense of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and in so instructing the jury on its own initiative. Williams v. State, No. 924, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0711-02.

U.S. 4th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

Labor & Employment, ERISA benefits: Employer’s obligation to provide health benefits to retirees did not end at expiration of collective bargaining agreement. Quesenberry v. Volvo Trucks North America Retiree Healthcare Benefit Plan, No. 10-1491. RecordFax No. 11-0711-60.