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Top 5: ‘Now I’m just numb’

The family of an inmate who was killed aboard a prison bus was awarded $18.5 million and a Baltimore police detective is being sued by the family of a man he shot in 2009. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. O’Malley gets nominees for Court of Special Appeals – by Steve Lash

The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission on Wednesday sent Gov. Martin O’Malley the names of five candidates for the Court of Special Appeals vacancy created in January, when Judge Ellen L. Hollander joined the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The nominees are:

* Andrew H. Baida, a partner at Rosenberg|Martin|Greenberg LLP in Baltimore. Baida teaches appellate advocacy at the state’s two law schools and writes a column, “The Art of Appellate Advocacy,” for The Daily Record.

2. Provision immunizing landlords from lead-paint liability unconstitutional – by Steve Lash

In a victory for lead-poisoning victims, Maryland’s top court Monday unanimously struck down as unconstitutional a statutory provision that immunized landlords from liability if they registered their property with the state environmental agency and offered payments of $17,000 to children at risk of lead poisoning.

The Court of Appeals, in its 7-0 decision, called the immunity provision and $17,000 offer “totally inadequate and unreasonable” to remedy the harm done to children permanently brain damaged due to their ingestion of lead-based paint in a rental property.

3. Jury awards $18.5M in prison bus slaying suit – by Andy Marso

A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury found the state and four of five corrections officials were negligent in the death of Philip E. Parker Jr., who was killed by fellow inmate Kevin Johns during a 2005 prison bus ride from Hagerstown to the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore.

After about 3½ hours of deliberations, the jury returned an $18.5 million verdict against the defendants on Monday — $10 million for Parker’s estate, $7.5 million for his mother, Melissa Rodriguez, and $1 million for his father, Philip E. Parker Sr.

4. Lawyer sanctioned for unauthorized practice of law while suspended – by Andy Marso

The Maryland Court of Appeals on Wednesday disciplined an already-suspended Baltimore lawyer for providing legal services to an immigrant during his application and interviewing process for permanent residency in the United States.

The sanction came two days after Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced a crackdown on immigration consulting fraud. In a case brought by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission, the court found that Brenda C. Brisbon engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by accepting money for immigration consulting in 2008, even though her license to practice law had been suspended three years earlier.

5. Shooting victim’s family sues undercover cop – by Andy Marso

A Baltimore police detective who shot three people in a two-year span is being sued by the family of his most recent shooting victim.

Jemell L. Rayam, who drew Internal Affairs charges for a separate incident, is now facing a nine-count lawsuit, seeking $10 million to $20 million per count, for fatally shooting 30-year-old Shawn C. Cannady in 2009.