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Law digest – 1/7/15

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS 

Criminal Law, Trademark counterfeiting: Maryland counterfeiting statute which prohibits, among other things, the willful display of goods that have “retail value” and bear a counterfeit mark, is neither facially overbroad nor facially void-for-vagueness. McCree v. State, No. 20, Sept. Term, 2014. RecordFax No. 14-1218-23, 20 pages.

 

Professional Responsibility, Disbarment: Disbarment was the appropriate sanction for Maryland attorney who violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct through his misappropriation of his client’s funds, his deceit about those funds, and the work he did for that client. Attorney Grievance Commission v. Wills, Misc. Docket AG No. 99, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1218-21, 15 pages.

 

MARYLAND COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS

Civil Procedure, Law of the Case Doctrine: County was barred from challenging the circuit court’s arbitration award to a county police union because the issues challenged by the county on the present appeal had previously been decided by the appellate court and, under the law of the case doctrine, the county was barred from re-litigating these previously decided issues. Baltimore County, Maryland v. Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 4, No. 099, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1217-03, 78 pages.

 

Evidence, Out-of-court statements: Certain recordings of jail calls between defendant and his son were admissible in defendant’s trial for the murder of his wife: the discussion of wife’s cremation was relevant, as it tended to prove the identity of the remains and that defendant was aware of the impending cremation; the son’s statements were not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted; and defendant’s statements, if hearsay, were admissible as statements of a party-opponent. Jarrett v. State, No. 1298, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1217-00, 28 pages.

 

Evidence, Unfair prejudice: In a rape trial, circuit court abused its discretion in admitting impeachment evidence that, two weeks after the alleged rape, police searched defendant’s apartment in connection with an entirely different case and found a handgun which could not be linked to the alleged rape; this was extrinsic evidence concerning a collateral matter, with virtually no probative value and a far greater danger that it would unduly prejudice defendant and confuse and mislead jurors. Anderson v. State, No. 713, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1217-01, 24 pages.

 

Family Law, Visitation: Circuit court did not err in applying a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in finding that a non-custodial father had sexually abused his minor daughter and, on that basis, denying him all visitation with his daughter. Michael D. v. Roseann B., No. 0047, Sept. Term, 2014. RecordFax No. 14-1217-02, 21 pages.

 

Real Property, Foreclosure: Circuit court erred in denying plaintiff’s motions to dismiss a foreclosure action filed by trustees who relied on a Notice of Intent to Foreclose issued in an earlier foreclosure action, prior to changes in the notice law; once the first foreclosure action was dismissed, the trustees were obligated to send a new NOI containing the particularized information and documents prescribed by law before filing a second foreclosure action. Granados v. Nadel, No. 242, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1216-00, 28 pages.

 

Torts, Governmental immunity: In plaintiff’s action seeking money damages from police officers for firearms seized during officers’ execution of a warrant, circuit court properly granted police officers’ motion to dismiss on the basis of governmental immunity because plaintiff’s claims were tort actions, police officers were acting in the course of their government duties in seizing the weapons, and plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege that police officers acted with malice. Bord v. Baltimore County, No. 1154, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-1217-04, 40 pages.

 

Torts, Gross negligence: Despite a state law limiting damages for injuries to pets to $7,500, the trial court properly permitted the plaintiffs’ constitutional tort claims arising from sheriff deputies’ alleged gross negligence in the shooting of plaintiffs’ dog to go to the jury because, based on the evidence, the jury could readily infer that one deputy overreacted to the potential threat, responded with excessive force, and acted with reckless indifference. Brooks v. Jenkins, No. 1499, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-1216-01, 43 pages.