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Law digest – 7/16/14


Criminal Procedure, Waiver of right to counsel: Where trial court failed to determine and announce on the record that defendant “knowingly and voluntarily” waived his right to counsel, defendant’s discharge of counsel was not in accordance with the Maryland Rule of Criminal Procedure governing discharge of counsel, and defendant’s conviction was accordingly reversed. Westray v. State, No. 1836, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-0625-03, 26 pages.

Real Property, Mortgage foreclosure: The homeowner failed to show any irregularities in the process by which any interested party learned about the extent of the debt, the initiation of the foreclosure proceedings, or the notice of the foreclosure sale itself; and the trustees were entitled to reject an eleventh-hour offer, the legitimacy of which could properly have been questioned at the time. Johnson v. Nadel, No. 1863, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-0625-04, 18 pages.

Torts, Conversion: Defendant financial adviser was entitled to summary judgment on conversion claim by plaintiffs who alleged the defendant’s failure to forward them notices substantially reduced the value of a life insurance policy they purchased on their parents, with cash from their parents; although plaintiffs were theoretically the policy “owners,” the parents were actually in full control, defendant did not convert any specific funds and there was no unauthorized transfer of a tangible document. UBS Financial Services, Inc. v. Thompson, No. 0352, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0625-02, 38 pages.

Torts, Statute of limitations: Where there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether homeowner plaintiffs were on inquiry notice that loan program through which plaintiffs were financing their mortgage payments did not exist and that defendant banks, realtors and mortgage agencies were fraudulently representing that it did, circuit court erred in granting summary judgment on whether plaintiffs’ fraud claims were filed within the statute of limitations. LaRocca v. The Creig Northrop Team, P.C., No. 0766, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0625-01, 47 pages.