An avalanche of federal court notes

In the rush to finish up at the office Wednesday in order to buy up all of the toilet paper at my local supermarket before the big storm hit, I neglected to review the latest filings in U.S. District Court. Sure enough, there were some goings-on in cases The Daily Record has been following.

To wit:

— In November, we told you about a $40 million class-action lawsuit filed against Voice of Choice Inc., a Rockville nonprofit, for posting photos and contact information of anti-abortion protestors online. A response to the lawsuit was never filed, so plaintiffs’ lawyer Stephen L. Tiedemann filed and received a motion to dismiss without prejudice. (Lawyers from Brown Goldstein Levy LLP entered their appearance for Voice of Choice late last month, according to court records.)

U.S. District Court Greenbelt

U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, on a much, much warmer day. (File photo)

— — We wrote two years ago about more than two dozen “patent troll” cases that had been consolidated and sent to Maryland. Not much has happened since, except for the filing of status reports. And so it continues: Judge Catherine C. Blake requested a status update by June 18.

— We’ve written extensively about James “Troy” Durham, the former Somerset County sheriff’s deputy who alleges he was fired for speaking out against the department. Durham’s most recent lawsuit, alleging he was forced to get re-certified and denied back wages despite being reinstated, has been referred to a magistrate judge for settlement.

Durham was previously awarded $1.1 million by a federal jury for his firing, which he alleged was because complained about being forced to doctor arrest reports.

— Speaking of magistrate judges, the federal court has a Baltimore vacancy it is seeking to fill. A brief job description:

The duties of the position will include both CRIMINAL and CIVIL cases. The duties are demanding and wide-ranging: (1) conduct of most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct of various pretrial matters in civil cases, including ADR and discovery disputes, on delegation from a district judge; and (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants.
The starting salary is more than $183,000 and the term lasts eight years. What better way to spend your snow day than filling out a job application, right?

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