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Top 5: ‘…justice delayed is justice denied’

Our Maryland Lawyer cover story on the Maryland Court of Appeals made the top 5 this week, as did a story about In-N-Out Burger suing Grab-N-Go. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. City set to pay $200K for alleged harassment – by Ben Mook

After a five-year legal battle waged against her employer, the city of Baltimore, a female electrician who claimed she had to work in an environment punctuated with dirty pictures and profanity is set to wrap up the case.

The Baltimore Board of Estimates will vote Wednesday to approve the $200,000 payout to settle the September 2006 lawsuit brought by Lynette Harris against the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. Harris, a 23-year employee of the city’s Department of Public Works, will get $65,000 of the settlement and the remaining $135,000 will go toward legal fees and expenses.

2. Justice delayed at Maryland Court of Appeals – by Steve Lash

Kevin C. Alston has been waiting longer than his five-year prison term for a decision from Maryland’s top court on whether his sentence for gun possession by a felon was illegal because it denied him the possibility of parole.

Pluto was still a planet and the public launch of Twitter was still two months away on May 3, 2006, when the Court of Appeals heard arguments in Alston’s case.

He is still waiting for the court’s decision.

3. Closius offers UB a financial plan – by Danny Jacobs

At the suggestion of his successor, former University of Baltimore School of Law Dean Phillip J. Closius has proposed a way to resolve the financial issues between the law school and university that led to his resignation last month.

Closius would like the law school, not the university, to make any recommendation about a tuition increase to the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, which has final authority over tuition rates for its member universities. Money from any tuition increase would then go directly into the school’s budget — over which it would have exclusive control.

4. In-N-Out Burger has a beef with Grab-N-Go – by Ben Mook

West Coast burger chain In-N-Out Burger has filed a federal lawsuit against an Aberdeen restaurant whose red, white and yellow logo and pared-down menu of hamburgers and hot dogs are allegedly too similar to its own.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company — whose closest location is in Texas — filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Grab-N-Go this week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore seeking a permanent injunction and unspecified damages. In-N-Out claims that customers visiting the Grab-N-Go, located in a strip mall in Aberdeen, could be confused or misled to believe it is related to or endorsed in some way by In-N-Out.

5. $2.5M awarded in medical malpractice case – by Danielle Ulman

A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury awarded $2.5 million to the children and wife of a man who died after his doctor failed to notice and treat the signs of hemorrhagic shock.

Lawrence Dixon, 59, fell on May 15, 2007, fracturing his pelvis. He died two days later in Montgomery General Hospital. The jury found that Dixon’s primary care physician, David Harding, failed to identify and treat internal bleeding from the pelvic fracture, which resulted in multiple organ failure and a lack of oxygen and nutrients necessary for cellular function.