In speaking with many attorneys, particularly younger attorneys, I was surprised at how few were aware of an invaluable free resource made available by the State Reporter’s Office – Amicus Curiarum, which is described on the Judiciary’s website as follows:
The Amicus Curiarum is the monthly newsletter of the State Reporter’s Office, containing abstracted highlights of selected appellate opinions. New issues appear on the website at the beginning of each month. They are available in PDF format.
In other words, don’t have the time to check the reported opinions database on the Judiciary’s website and take a detailed dive into each one? Amicus Curiarum is your answer. Each month you can review “abstracted highlights” of appellate opinions and determine if any of these opinions strike your curiosity for further review.
Let’s dive inside the September 2017 issue of Amicus Curiarum. The table of contents breaks cases out by Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals and further breaks out these cases by practice area. The table of contents points also to areas of the publication highlighting attorney discipline, judicial appointments, and unreported opinions.
Let’s jump to page 27, the abstract of the recent groundbreaking family law opinion in Burak v. Burak. You’ll find a breakdown of the case similar to what you likely prepared for a law school class. There are a few paragraphs providing an overview of the facts and procedural history, followed by a few paragraphs summarizing the holding of the case.
If you’d reviewed the case heading at the top of page 27, you would have noticed that a dissenting opinion was filed. The dissenting opinion is not summarized within the abstract provided by Amicus Curarium. But if you’re interested in learning about the dissent, it’s as simple as clicking the hyperlink at the top of the case summary which takes you to the full published opinion on the Judiciary’s website. From there you can scroll down to review the dissenting opinion.
Add Amicus Curiarum to your Internet bookmarks and use it among your tools to stay up-to-date with developing Maryland law. And, of course, read The Daily Record! (I know where my bread is buttered.)