Maryland Courts

SCHEDULE OF ORAL ARGUMENTS

September Term, 2014

 

Thursday, February 5, 2015:

Bar Admissions

AG No. 64 (2013 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Jeffrey S. Marcalus

Attorney for Petitioner: Dolores O. Ridgell
Attorney for Respondent: Jeffrey S. Marcalus

Misc. No. 5 Roger Schlossberg, Chapter 7 Trustee v. Bell Builders Remodeling, Inc., et al.

Certified question of law from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland.


Would meeting the factors set forth in DeWitt Truck Brokers v. W. Ray Flemming Fruit Co., 540 F.2d 681-87 (4th Cir. 1976), be sufficient to establish a paramount equity, in the absence of common law fraud, to warrant piercing the corporate veil?

Attorney for Appellant: Bradshaw Rost
Attorney for Appellee: Charles R. Claxton

No. 51 Maryland Casualty Company, et al. v. Blackstone International LTD, et al.

Issues – Insurance – 1) Did CSA err in holding that product packaging was “advertisement,” and that the “use of another’s advertising idea” need not be “wrongful use,” when it substituted its own definitions of those terms for the clear and unambiguous definitions contained in the Policy? 2) Did CSA err in applying this Court’s precedent requiring an insured to establish all three elements of coverage for “advertising injury” to trigger the duty to defend by concluding that the “causal relationship” element was not necessary in this case? 3) Did CSA err in finding that Petitioners waived policy exclusions as bases for denial of coverage and creating liability beyond the bounds of the Policy when, as a matter of public policy, coverage may not be expanded by waiver? 4) Did CSA err in finding that Petitioners waived policy exclusions as bases for denial of coverage when policy exclusion defenses were raised, argued and preserved in the trial court and on appeal?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Charles L. Simmons, Jr. and Sonia S. Cho
Attorneys for Respondent: Mark H. Kolman and John A. Gibbons

No. 48  State of Maryland v. Christopher David Manion

Issue – Criminal Law – Where, consistent with State v. Coleman, 423 Md. 666 (2011), the trier of fact inferred an intent to deprive from acts subsequent to the defendant’s deception, did CSA err when it drew different inferences from the same conduct and reversed the conviction?

Attorney for Petitioner: Jason J. George
Attorney for Respondent: Stephen J. Fuzesi

 

Friday, February 6, 2015:

No. 42  Albert Sublet IV v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the lower courts err in excluding crucial Facebook evidence on authentication grounds where the suspected author of the Facebook posts testified at trial, admitted discussing the fight on Facebook, and recognized this specific Facebook conversation, and where the posts contained numerous distinctive characteristics demonstrating authenticity? 2) In excluding Facebook evidence on authenticity grounds, did the lower courts err by applying an incorrect legal standard? 3) In assessing the Facebook evidence, did the lower courts err by not applying a correct and complete authentication analysis?

Attorney for Petitioner: Matthew Joseph
Attorney for Respondent: Edward J. Kelley

No. 59  Tavares D. Harris v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Are one-to-one communications sent through a social networking website governed by the authentication standard, announced in Griffin v. State, 419 Md. 343 (2011), or are they excepted from the standard, as announced in footnote 13 of Griffin because they are like emails, texts and instant messages? 2) Should there remain a difference in assessing the authentication of evidence derived from social networking websites on the one hand and emails/texts/ instant messages on the other, given the identical identity-separation concerns attendant to all those forms of communication? 3) If the standard in Griffin applies, did the trial court abuse its discretion in admitting Twitter messages purportedly written by petitioner when no extrinsic evidence connected petitioner to the account or the authorship of the messages?

Attorney for Appellant: Daniel Kobrin
Attorney for Appellee: Brenda Gruss

No. 60  Carlos Alberto Monge-Martinez v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Are one-to-one communications sent through a social networking website governed by the authentication standard, announced in Griffin v. State, 419 Md. 343 (2011), or are they excepted from the standard, as announced in footnote 13 of Griffin because they are like emails, texts and instant messages? 2) Should there remain a difference in assessing the authentication of evidence derived from social networking websites on the one hand and emails/texts/ instant messages on the other, given the identical identity-separation concerns attendant to all those forms of communication? 3) If the standard in Griffin applies, did the trial court abuse its discretion in admitting Twitter messages purportedly written by petitioner when no extrinsic evidence connected petitioner to the account or the authorship of the messages? 4) Did CSA err in deeming any error in this regard by the trial court harmless?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael T. Torres
Attorney for Respondent: Todd W. Hesel

 

Monday, February 9, 2015:

No. 45  Linda Connors, Individually etc. v. Government Employees Insurance Company

Issue – Insurance – Do the underinsured motorist provisions of GEICO’s insurance contract provide Petitioner a limit of underinsured coverage of $300,000 for each injured person, subject to an aggregate payment to all Petitioner’s claims by GEICO not to exceed $300,000?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Stephen A. Markey, III and Amy. M. Orsi
Attorney for Respondent: Frank F. Daily

No. 49  In Re: Tyrell A.

Issues – Criminal Law (Juvenile) – 1) Does the term “victim,” defined in Md. Code (2001, 2008 Repl. Vol) Criminal Procedure Art., §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a), as “a person who suffers death, personal injury, or property damage or loss as a direct result of a crime or delinquent act,” include an individual who sustains personal injury while voluntarily participating in the crime or delinquent act? 2) Is an individual who sustains personal injury while voluntarily participating in the common law offense of affray a “victim” within the meaning of §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a)? 3) Should the definition of “victim” in §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a) be given a different interpretation in juvenile delinquency cases than in criminal cases? 4) Did the trial court lack authority to order Petitioner to make restitution in this case?

Attorney for Petitioner: Mark Colvin
Attorney for Respondent: Benjamin A. Harris

No. 50  State Department of Assessments and Taxation v. Kevin Andrecs

Issue – Taxation – Did the MD Tax Court correctly calculate the “taxable assessment” for homestead tax credit purposes under § 9-105 of the Tax-Property Article where the statute requires the taxable assessment to include the value of substantially completed improvements that a homeowner makes to his dwelling?

Attorney for Petitioner: William K. Hammond
Attorney for Respondent: Daniel P. Shanahan

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015:

No. 44 Baltimore County, Maryland, et al. v. Carroll Theirgartner

Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Is the County entitled to a complete offset of workers’ compensation benefits due to Respondent’s election and receipt of a lump sum retirement benefit payment under the County’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) until such time as that DROP payment is fully accounted for by operation of Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 9-503? 2) What methodology is correct for calculation of the County’s offset of workers’ compensation benefits to effectuate the legislative purpose of § 9-503 where Respondent has elected and received a lump sum payment of retirement benefits under DROP?

Attorney for Petitioner: Robert W. Burton
Attorney for Respondent: P. Matthew Darby

No. 58 Jeffrey Walters v. Baltimore County, Maryland

Issues – Workers’ Compensation – 1) Is the County entitled to a complete offset of workers’ compensation benefits due to appellant’s election and receipt of a lump sum retirement benefit payment under the County’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) until such time as that DROP payment is fully accounted for by operation of Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl., § 9-503? 2) What methodology is correct for calculation of the County’s offset of workers’ compensation benefits to effectuate the legislative purpose of § 9-503 where appellant has elected and received a lump sum payment of retirement benefits under DROP?

Attorney for Appellant: P. Matthew Darby
Attorney for Appellee: Robert W. Burton

No. 41 Terance Garner v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Are separate consecutive sentences for use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence prohibited when a single handgun is used in committing two crimes against a single victim in one transaction? 2) Where CSA correctly determined that the trial court imposed an illegal sentence, but failed to correct that illegal sentence, should this Court correct the illegal nature of the sentence?

Attorney for Petitioner: Celia Anderson Davis
Attorney for Respondent: Ryan R. Dietrich

 

On the day of argument, counsel are instructed to register in the Clerk’s Office no later than 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise notified.

After February 10, 2015 the Court will recess until March 6, 2015.

 

BESSIE M. DECKER

CLERK