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Law digest – 8/7/14


Commercial Law, Finder’s Fee Act: An alleged violation of Maryland Finder’s Fee Act (“FFA”) was not an “other specialty” under Maryland statute providing for 12-year statute of limitations because, in an action for an alleged violation of the FFA, the duty sought to be enforced existed as a matter of common law, rather than having been created solely by the statute; therefore, the claim alleged was subject to the default three-year statute of limitations. NVR Mortgage Finance, Inc. v. Carlsen, Misc. No. 11, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0721-28.

Professional Responsibility, Disbarment: Disbarment was the appropriate sanction for a lawyer who represented her niece in an annulment/divorce matter in Virginia without having a license to practice there and despite a conflict of interest, and who, among other things, authorized co-counsel to sign settlement agreements without advising the niece, misrepresented niece’s ability to communicate in English, and concealed her role in niece’s representation from trial court, thereby violating multiple Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorney Grievance Commission v. Zhang, Misc. Docket AG No. 11, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0721-27.

Torts, Local Government Tort Claims Act: A used-car business which filed tort claims against police officers who seized vehicles from its lot did not substantially comply with the notice requirement of the Local Government Tort Claims Act by filing, more than two years earlier, an action for replevin seeking return of the vehicles and loss-of-use damages; the replevin action did not forewarn, either explicitly or implicitly, that a suit for unliquidated damages would follow. Dehn Motor Sales, LLC v. Schultz, No. 94, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0722-21.

Workers’ Compensation, Calculation of benefits: Because the Workers’ Compensation Act clearly defines “compensation” as money, an employer/insurer should be credited for the total dollars previously paid under an award when that award is modified on appeal, differing from the credit given in a reopening case, which is measured by weeks. W. R. Grace & Co. v. Swedo, No. 82, Sept. Term, 2013; Florida Rock Industries, Inc. v. Owens, No. 91, Sept. Term, 2013; and Coffee v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., No. 92. RecordFax No. 14-0722-20.

Workers’ Compensation, Covered employee: Given the level of control exercised by the construction company over the claimant’s schedule, training, clothing and the manner in which the work was to be performed, the Workers’ Compensation Commission misconstrued the law as applied to the facts when it concluded that the claimant, who was injured while installing windows and doors for the construction company, was an independent contractor and not a covered employee. Elms v. Renewal By Andersen, No. 89, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0721-22.