Judicial applicants and guilty pleas dominated the most-read legal affairs stories of the week. The names of those applying for seats on the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals were announced, while a former bank vice president and nonprofit official pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million combined. Here are the Top 5.
1. Eight apply for Court of Appeals vacancy – by Danny Jacobs
Eight people have applied for a seat on the Court of Appeals that will be left vacant when Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. retires later this year. The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission will interview all of the candidates and meet Nov. 1 to decide which applicants will be forwarded to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who will choose Murphy’s successor.
Murphy sits on the state’s highest court from the 2nd Appellate Circuit, which includes Baltimore and Harford counties.
2. Bank VP admits stealing from trust fund, annuity – by Andy Marso
A former vice president of Baltimore-based Harbor Financial Services Inc. admitted he stole more than $800,000 from the trust fund of a child with cerebral palsy and the annuity of an 85-year-old dementia sufferer.
Ralph Edward Thomas Jr., who was also employed by Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
3. Caption case costs Redskins $260K – by Steve Lash
The Washington Redskins and the owner-operator of FedEx Field must pay nearly $260,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to three deaf and hard-of-hearing fans who successfully sued the team and its home stadium for failing to make public address announcements accessible via captioning, a federal judge in Greenbelt has ruled.
The Redskins and FedEx Field, both owned by Daniel M. Snyder, had argued the award should be just a quarter of the final amount because they started providing captions six weeks after the lawsuit was filed.
4. United Way employee admits stealing $375K in donations – by Andy Marso
A former employee of the United Way of Central Maryland admitted to stealing more than $375,000 in donations over a period of six years.
Dorothy Shields Talbot, 48, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, just a few hundred feet from the United Way office at 100 S. Charles St. where she served as a senior administrative coordinator in the finance department.
5. Twenty seek seat on Court of Special Appeals – by Steve Lash
Sixteen attorneys and judges have applied for the Court of Special Appeals seat left vacant when Judge Ellen L. Hollander was confirmed to the U.S. District Court in Baltimore last December. They join four judges who are already in the nomination pool.