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Law digest – 12/17/12


Civil Procedure, Final judgment rule: Plaintiffs who obtained final judgments against various defendants in asbestos litigation and were paid in full were not entitled to recover against trust that was in bankruptcy at that time, because judgments were based on actual litigation of measure of loss, and final judgment rule therefore barred them from bringing enforceable claim against any other obligor who was responsible for the same loss. Brannan v. Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 2287, Sept. Term, 2008. RecordFax No. 12-1126-00, 16 pages.

Civil Procedure, Jury trial: A counterclaim should not be considered in determining whether the amount in controversy entitles a party to trial by jury and because plaintiff alleged less than the required amount in controversy in damages in its complaint, neither party could properly make a demand for a jury trial. McKlveen v. Condominium, 1926, No. 1926, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1128-07, 16 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Restitution: Juvenile court had authority to order juvenile defendant to pay restitution to robbery victim for full $900 of which victim was deprived even though petition for restitution alleged loss of only $10, because loss of $900 was attributable to the adjudicated offense, State proffered evidence to sustain that finding, and juvenile defendant had sufficient notice of claim. In re Earl F., No. 2434, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1127-00, 11 pages.

Civil Procedure, Waiver of appeal: Defendant waived his challenge to the admission of his statements because he raised the argument for the first time at the appellate level. Joyner v. State, No. 1173, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1129-00, 39 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Stored Communications Act: Defendant’s name and address were not protected by Fourth Amendment right of privacy after he provided that information to cellular phone service provider, and evidence discovered as result of this information was therefore not subject to exclusionary rule. Upshur v. State, No. 1461, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1128-00, 19 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Warrantless arrest: Police officers’ entry into defendant’s home late at night in order to effect warrantless arrest of defendant was lawful under community caretaking exception to rule against warrantless search and seizure, because defendant undermined his right to privacy in his home by projecting loud noises into the neighborhood despite repeated requests to reduce noise levels, thereby significantly disrupting his neighbors’ peace. Olson v. State, No. 3032, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 12-1128-01, 58 pages.

Family Law, Sibling visitation: In order to preserve parents’ fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of their children, courts must apply strict scrutiny test when considering an adult’s petition seeking visitation with her minor siblings, requiring threshold showing by petitioner of either parental unfitness or exceptional circumstances indicating that lack of requested visitation has significant deleterious effect upon children who are subject of petition; failing that, adult’s petition for visitation with minor siblings must be denied. In re Victoria C., No. 174, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 12-1126-03, 20 pages.

Real Property, Reverter: A fee simple property owner’s conveyance of a life estate to herself and remainder to herself and her four children was valid; and, when she and two of the children conveyed their future interests to a third party, they severed the joint tenancy created by the first conveyance and eliminated the survivorship contingency with respect to their future interests. Roland v. Messersmith, No. 854, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1129-02, 15 pages.

Torts, Misrepresentation: Wife had valid claim against husband for misrepresentation, where husband falsely represented to wife that he was divorced, and wife was thus fraudulently caused to change her position in reliance on husband’s intentional misrepresentation of his marital status. Bradley v. Bradley, No. 560, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1127-03, 21 pages.


Administrative Law, National Trail Systems Act: Transportation board properly denied transit administration’s application to enter into agreement with sponsors to convert railroad right-of-way owned by transit administration to recreational trail pursuant to federal act, because the indemnity clause in the contract was narrower than the federal act required. Maryland Transit Administration v. Surface Transportation Board, No. 11-1412. RecordFax No. 12-1121-60, 12 pages.

Contracts, Arbitration agreements: Federal Arbitration Act applied to arbitration clause in credit agreement between citizen of one state and financing company in another, and financing company’s delay in invoking the act did not preclude it from doing so because it only minimally utilized litigation machinery, the length of delay was short, and the consumer failed to show prejudice resulting from delay. Antonia Rota-McLarty v. Santander Consumer USA, Incorporated, No. 11-1597. RecordFax No. 12-1128-60, 20 pages.