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Top 5: ‘The law is crystal clear…’

A group of blind people are suing a paintball park after they were denied entrance and a disbarred lawyer was sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison for tax evasion and other charges. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. Blind people sue paintball park – by Ben Mook

In what their lawyer believes is the first case of its kind in Maryland, a group of blind people are suing a paintball park for refusing to let them play.

Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, two of its instructors and one of its students filed the lawsuit against Route 40 Paintball Park in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Monday. They claim that Route 40 Paintball’s actions violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the Maryland White Cane Law, a state law that protects people from discrimination based on blindness.

2. Woman trucker wins case against Giant – by Steve Lash

Maryland’s top court has unanimously reinstated a $644,000 award in damages and another $545,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a female supermarket-truck driver who was fired after refusing to undergo a medical exam not required of “similarly situated” male drivers and filing a gender discrimination complaint.

The Court of Appeals’ reversed a ruling that Julia M. Taylor, who suffers from a debilitating menstrual condition, had failed as a matter of law to show that Giant Food LLC had acted out of bias.

3. Repeated e-discovery violations can by costly to a client – by Ben Mook

Few cases in Maryland in recent years have highlighted the importance of accounting for emails and other electronic documents during discovery — and the ramifications for not doing so — more than Victor Stanley Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc. et al.

The case, filed in 2006, was an otherwise straightforward trademark and copyright infringement dispute over municipal park fixture designs. Calvert County-based Victor Stanley Inc. prevailed this fall with a verdict for monetary and injunctive relief. Creative Pipe has filed an appeal.

4. Disbarred lawyer Stanley Needleman sentenced for tax evasion – by Daily Record Staff

Former lawyer Stanley Needleman was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in prison for tax evasion and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements.

Needleman, 69, also must serve three years of supervised release following his incarceration, pay $543,695 to the IRS and $117,319 to the state for tax losses, and forfeit nearly $500,000. All the money will come from $1.15 million in cash the Drug Enforcement Administration seized in April from two safes in Needleman’s basement.

5. CSA: State must honor witnesses’ rights – by Steve Lash

A Maryland appellate court has criticized Baltimore prosecutors and a judge for ignoring rules designed to protect reluctant witnesses who must be jailed to make sure they appear for trial.

The intermediate Court of Special Appeals said prosecutors and the judge failed to follow the rules before or after jailing Roslyn Broadway to ensure her appearance at a murder trial next month.