Maryland Courts

SCHEDULE OF ORAL ARGUMENTS

September Term, 2016

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016:

Bar Admissions

No. 37 Jermaul Rondell Robinson v. State of Maryland
Counsel for Appellant: Allison Pierce Brasseaux
Counsel for Appellee: Carrie J. Williams, Todd W. Hesel

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer detects an “overwhelming smell” of “fresh marijuana” coming from a car, does the officer have probable cause to search the car in light of the fact that possession of less than ten grams of marijuana is now a “civil offense” punishable only by a fine? 2) Did the trial court err when it denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress?

No. 39 Dexter Williams v. State of Maryland
Counsel for Appellant: Allison Pierce Brasseaux
Counsel for Appellee: Carrie J. Williams, Todd W. Hesel

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer smells the odor of marijuana from the interior of a car and when the driver and sole occupant admits that he has an unspecified amount of marijuana in the car, does the officer have probable cause to search the car in light of the fact that possession of less than ten grams of marijuana is now a “civil offense” punishable only by a fine? 2) Did the trial court err when it denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress?

No. 46 Vernon Harvey Spriggs, III v. State of Maryland
Counsel for Appellant: Ethan D. Frenchman
Counsel for Appellee: Carrie J. Williams, Todd W. Hesel

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer detects the odor of marijuana coming from a car, does that officer have probable cause to search the car in light of the fact that possession of less than ten grams of marijuana is now a “civil offense” punishable only by a fine? 2) Did the trial court err when it denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress?

Friday, December 2, 2016:

No. 31 URS Corporation, et al. v. Fort Myer Construction Corporation
Counsel for Appellant: Bruce L. Marcus, John T. Bergin
Counsel for Appellee: Gerard J. Emig

Issues – Courts and Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA err in deciding Respondent’s appeal when there is no final judgment in the case? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the trial judge’s finding that Respondent had maintained its case without substantial justification was clearly erroneous? 3) Did CSA err in holding that the trial judge’s denial of Respondent’s amended motion for reconsideration was an abuse of discretion?

No. 38  Michael M. Johnson v. State of Maryland
Counsel for Appellant: Michael R. Braudes
Counsel for Appellee: Daniel J. Jawor

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did the trial court’s grant of Petitioner’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (“MJOA”) on the express basis of legally insufficient evidence preclude further proceedings under the Md. common law of double jeopardy and/or the Federal Constitutional prohibition upon double jeopardy? 2) Was the trial court’s grant of the MJOA procedurally proper because the trial court has the authority to reconsider and retract the grant of a mistrial? 3) Was the trial court’s grant of the MJOA legally proper because the court retained fundamental jurisdiction to render the ruling? 4) Even assuming arguendo that the grant of the MJOA was procedurally flawed, under the Md. common law of double jeopardy was an acquittal upon the express basis of legally insufficient evidence nevertheless final and binding?

No. 40 State of Maryland v. Jeffrey D. Ebb, Sr.
Counsel for Appellant: Robert K. Taylor, Jr.
Counsel for Appellee: Samuel Feder

Issue – Criminal Law – Did the trial court properly deny a Petition for Writ of Actual Innocence in which the Petitioner neither (a) claimed innocence, or (b) presented any meaningful “new” evidence?

 

Monday, December 5, 2016:

No. 34 Jenny J. Copsey, Individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lance D. Copsey, Deceased et al. v. John S. Park, et al.
Counsel for Appellant: William E. Artz, Thomas M. Wochok
Counsel for Appellee: James L. Shea, Mitchell Y. Mirviss

Issues – Torts – 1) Did the trial court err in admitting evidence of the negligence of non-party, subsequent treating physicians, including evidence that they were once defendants in the instant suit? 2) Did the trial court err in instructing the jury on superseding cause when the negligence of all the treating physicians amounted to one indivisible injury, that being death?

No. 36 Rahul Gupta v. State of Maryland
Counsel for Appellant: Larry A. Nathans, Booth M. Ripke
Counsel for Appellee: Robert K. Taylor, Jr.

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) When a judge violates Md. Rule 4-326(d) by communicating an ex parte answer to a juror’s question that “pertains to the action”, without disclosing it to the defendant or any lawyer, can the presumption of prejudice be overcome by adding a new standard of review claiming the judge’s ex parte answer was not “substantive” enough? 2) Did the trial court err by not granting pre-trial suppression of Petitioner’s custodial interrogation statement after finding he communicated repeated demands for a lawyer to police officers while he was locked up in a cell just before being interrogated?

No. 41 Maryland Insurance Administration v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Compnay et al.
Counsel for Appellant: John Van Lear Dorsey
Counsel for Appellee: Michael J. Budow

Issues – Insurance Law – 1) Does the exception in § 19-505(c)(1)(ii) of the Insurance Article permit an insurance company to exclude coverage under a motor vehicle policy that includes personal injury protection for an accident involving a taxicab owned by the insured and for which the owner was unable to obtain personal injury protection coverage? 2) Did the Md. Insurance Commissioner correctly determine that the insured was entitled to the benefit of his motor vehicle policy’s personal injury protection coverage for injuries sustained while driving his taxicab, for which he carried the insurance coverage required under the Transportation Article?

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016:

No. 43 The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City v. Steven Kougl et al.
Counsel for Appellant: Michael J. Salem
Counsel for Appellee: Peter A. Prevas

Issue – Alcoholic Beverages – Did the Liquor Board correctly interpret its rules to impose upon licensees strict liability for sexual display, performance, or illegal activity conducted on licensed premises, where the pertinent portions of the rules contain no language limiting a licensee’s responsibility to situations where the licensee has actual or constructive knowledge of the offending conduct?

No. 35 Daniel S. Yuan v. Johns Hopkins University
Counsel for Appellant: Lynne Bernabei
Counsel for Appellee: James L. Shea, Maria E. Rodriguez

Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Did CSA err in precluding Md. employees from bringing wrongful termination claims based on retaliation for reporting research misconduct, by refusing to recognize the federal law prohibiting research misconduct as a public policy basis, contrary to this Court’s recognition of wrongful termination claims? 2) Did CSA err in precluding Md. employees from bringing conversion claims based on the employer’s conversion of the employee’s personal research materials, by improperly drawing inferences in favor of Respondent when it interpreted Respondent’s research materials policy?

No. 30  Bainbridge St. Elmo Bethesda Apartments, LLC v. White Flint Express Realty Group Limited Partnership, LLLP
Counsel for Appellant: Jerrold J. Ganzfried
Counsel for Appellee: Brian L. Schwalb, Mitchell Y. Mirviss

Issue – Contract Law – Did CSA undermine Nova Research v. Penske Truck Leasing Co., 405 Md. 435 (2008), concerning the limited circumstances under which a contractual indemnity provision can be read as a first-party fee shifting provision overriding the American Rule that each party bears its own attorneys’ fees?

 

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 December 6, 2016, the Court will recess until January 5, 2017.

 

BESSIE M. DECKER

CLERK