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Law digest: 10/3/11


Constitutional Law, Confrontation Clause: The statements made during a 911 call were non-testimonial and therefore admissible under the Confrontation Clause because they were made during an ongoing emergency. Langley v. State, No. 51, Sept. Term, 2008. RecordFax No. 11-0919-20.


Civil Procedure, Attorney’s fees: Using the lodestar approach to calculating attorney’s fees for claims brought under fee-shifting statutes, plaintiff’s recovery was apportioned based on her degree of success, and, therefore, plaintiff’s lodestar amount for both trial court and appellate attorney fees was reduced by 85 percent. Friolo v. Frankel, No. 825, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0907-03.

Civil Procedure, Venue: Maryland’s law of the case doctrine did not preclude transferee circuit court from considering a motion to retransfer venue. Nace v. Miller, No. 0692, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0907-02.

Criminal Procedure, Double jeopardy: Defendant’s convictions for attempting to flee or elude an official police vehicle by willfully failing to stop his vehicle and for attempting to elude a uniformed police officer by fleeing on foot were based upon the same conduct, and the Double Jeopardy Clause and the Maryland common law of double jeopardy therefore precluded imposing sentences for both convictions. Washington v. State, No. 428, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0906-03.

Criminal Law, Burglary: Where goods stolen in a burglary were found in defendant’s possession seven days following the burglary and defendant failed to offer any explanation for his possession of the stolen goods, the goods qualified as “recently stolen.” Molter v. State, No. 1079, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 11-0907-05.

Juvenile Law, Reverse waiver: The circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying 17-year-old defendant’s motion for reverse waiver because the court properly considered and balanced the statutory factors considered in a reverse waiver proceeding. Gaines v. State, No. 1332, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-0907-00.


Labor & Employment Law, Religious organization exception: Religion-based medical center was exempt from former nursing assistant’s claims for religious harassment and retaliation under the religious organization exemption to Title VII liability. Kennedy v. St. Joseph’s Ministries, Inc., No. 10-1792 (filed Sept. 14, 2011) (Judges SHEDD & Wynn) (Judge King dissenting). RecordFax No. 11-0914-60.


Insurance Law, Disability benefits: Where insurer denied disability benefits for depression based on opinion of insured’s psychiatric consultant and neglected to consider records and statements from insured’s treating physicians and social workers, remand to insurance plan administrator for a full and fair review was appropriate. Zhou v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 09-CV-01516. RecordFax No. 11-0902-40.

Real Property, Constructive trust: Summary judgment on plaintiffs’ constructive trust claim was proper because plaintiffs’ investment funds that were used to purchase a parcel of land were procured by fraud, deceit, and other improper conduct. Kim v. Nyce, Civil Action No. 8:09-CV-01572-AW. RecordFax No. 11-0902-41.