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Law digest: 3/5/13

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS 

Insurance, Uninsured/PIP coverage offset by workers’ compensation benefits:

An insured’s benefits payable under uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection coverage “shall be reduced” to the extent that the insured recovered benefits under workers’ compensation and the workers’ compensation provider has not been reimbursed. Travco Insurance Company v. Williams, No. 7, September Term, 2012 RecordFax No. 13-0225-21

Professional Responsibility, Reciprocal discipline: Where attorney’s misconduct in the District of Columbia involved multiple acts of misconduct, across multiple client representations, an indefinite suspension was the proper reciprocal discipline in Maryland. Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Mance, No. 27, Sept. Term 2012. RecordFax No. 13-0225-22

Workers’ Compensation, Dual pension and workers’ compensation benefits: The amendments to LE §9-503(e), which allow the surviving dependents of a firefighter who died from an occupational disease to collect both pension and workers’ compensation benefits after the firefighter’s death, do not apply retroactively to all claims pending at the time. Johnson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, No. 45, Sept. Term 2012. RecordFax No. 13-0225-20

4TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS 

Constitutional Law, Professional speech doctrine: County ordinances, which required any person doing business as a “fortune teller” to obtain a business license and imposed fines for failure to do so, did not violate plaintiff’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech, because plaintiff’s spiritual counseling activities, which involved personalized psychic readings for paying clients, were “professional speech,” which state may regulate through applicable licensing provisions. Moore-King v. County of Chesterfield, No. 11-2183. RecordFax No. 13-0226-60

Contracts, Arbitration clause: Arbitration provision in contract between home buyers and real estate development company, which required only the buyer, but not the seller, to submit disputes to arbitration, lacked mutuality of consideration under Maryland law and was therefore unenforceable. Noohi v. Toll Bros. Inc., No. 12-1261. RecordFax No. 13-0226-61

Environmental law, Biological opinion: Under the Administrative Procedure Act, a “biological opinion” (BiOp) issued by national fisheries service to Environmental Protection Agency on three pesticides was arbitrary and capricious because fisheries service failed to explain or support assumptions critical to its opinion. Dow Agrosciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Service, No. 11-2337. RecordFax No. 13-0221-60