Argument Schedule -- November 2012


September Term, 2012


Thursday, November 1, 2012:

Bar Admissions

AG No. 44 (2011 Term)  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Gerald Frederick Chapman

Attorney for Petitioner: Dolores O. Ridgell
Attorney for Respondent: Gerald Frederick Chapman

No. 29 Employees' Retirement System of the City of Baltimore v. Sylvester Dorsey

Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Can the requirement that an employee's impairment must be "independent of any preexisting physical or medical condition, whether job-related or otherwise," be satisfied when the impairment is caused in part by a preexisting medical condition? 2) Did CSA err in deciding that appellee was qualified for line-of-duty disability retirement, when his impairment was the result of an asymptomatic, preexisting medical condition made symptomatic by a work-related injury?

Attorneys for Petitioner: William R. Phelan, Jr. and Herbert Burgunder, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent: Michael M. Gordon

No. 27 Michael Lee Phillips, et al. v. Board of Trustees of Montgomery College

Issue - Taxation - Whether taxpayers invoking the longstanding common law right of MD taxpayers to challenge illegal or ultra vires acts of MD public officials that are likely to cause pecuniary injury also must possess a separate "private right of action" in order to be entitled to declaratory or injunctive relief?

Attorney for Petitioner: Paul J. Orfanedes
Attorney for Respondent: Michael D. Hayes


Friday, November 2, 2012:

No. 26 Edward Bruce Lowery, Jr. v. State of Maryland

Issues - Environmental Law - 1) Whether MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has complied with its statutory duty to publish specific delineations of submerged aquatic vegetation protection zones when the public notice provided contact information within DNR but contained no actual delineations? 2) Whether MD DNR has complied with its statutory duty to give public notice of delineations of submerged aquatic vegetation protection zones when the legal notice given was published broadly on the Eastern Shore and Southern MD but only once elsewhere in the state?

Attorney for Petitioner: Russell C. Dashiell, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent: Joseph L. Heckwolf

No. 30 Pines Plaza Limited Partnership v. Berkley Trace, LLC The Hampton Company, Inc. and James P. Joyce

Issues – Real Property – 1) Does MD law presume that an assignee of a real estate contract assumes the assignor's contractual obligations, unless the assignment expressly provides otherwise? 2) Is a person defending against an assigned claim entitled to setoff based on its claim against the assignor, even if it could not otherwise sue the assignee on that obligation? 3) Does MD adhere to the rule that a real estate contract clause, providing for automatic forfeiture of a deposit if closing does not occur by a specified date, is a "time is of the essence" clause?

Attorney for Petitioner: Steven M. Klepper
Attorney for Respondent: Bruce F. Bright


Monday, November 5, 2012:

No. 15 Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Thomas M. Albright, et al.

Issues- Torts - 1) Whether, in an action for fraud, evidence of the Defendant's false, sworn testimony to the government, made with the intent of influencing government action, & relied upon by it to the Plaintiff's detriment, satisfies the requirement that Plaintiffs prove reliance? 2) Whether property owners whose sole source of potable water has been contaminated with a genotoxic substance for which there is no safe level of exposure, are entitled to damages for fear of cancer or for medical monitoring. 3) Whether, in an action for property damage, evidence that the Defendant released contaminants into the aquifer that serves as the Plaintiff's sole source of potable water is sufficient to establish Defendant's liability for an invasion of the Plaintiff's land?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Charles P. Scheeler and Ava E. Lias-Booker
Attorney for Respondent: Paul D. Raschke

No. 16 Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Paul D. Ford, et al.

Issues - Torts - 1) Does MD permit awards for emotional distress due to fear of developing cancer &, if so, must claimant prove that his or her wrongful exposure to a carcinogen makes it more likely than not that he or she will develop cancer? 2) May a jury's verdict that all of Plaintiffs' properties were worthless be upheld where (a) the properties were all still habitable & many had no contamination; (b) all experts testified that the properties retained substantial value; & (c) those properties which were sold all sold for a substantial price? 3) Did CSA err in holding that counsel for Petitioner did not waive his client's right to challenge the compensatory damage awards, despite implicit acquiescence in the jury verdict? 4) Should Plaintiff's property damage expert's opinions have been admitted where he failed to use any generally accepted method of valuation & he failed to consider actual sales or forecast accurately those arms length valuations? 5) Should emotional distress verdicts be overturned where the uniform awards ignored the substantial differences among Plaintiffs, evidence satisfying the Vance standards for recovery of such damages was not presented, & the jury instruction permitted recovery for fear of cancer without any evidence of exposure to the alleged carcinogen or that the exposure made it "reasonably probable" that a Plaintiff would contract cancer? 6) Did CSA err in holding that the "fear of cancer" jury instruction was erroneous & prejudicial 7) Does MD law permit damages for medical monitoring & if so, may such damages be awarded where a) no Plaintiff claimed to have any current disease caused by exposure to contaminant, b) there was no proof that any Plaintiff had a significantly increased risk of developing any disease, & c) as to many Plaintiffs, there was no proof of exposure? 8) Is a new damages trial required when a jury's award of compensatory damages is not based on the Plaintiff's alleged injuries? 9) Did CSA violate CJP § 1-403(c) when it issued its in banc decisions without a "concurrence of a majority of the incumbent judges of the entire Court"? 10) Did CSA reach a majority vote of the sitting judges on the issue of medical monitoring and, if they did, was there error in holding that the evidence was insufficient to support an award for medical monitoring?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Charles P. Scheeler and Ava E. Lias-Booker
Attorney for Respondent: Stephen L. Snyder


Wednesday, November 7, 2012:

Misc. 2 Christopher Eric Bouchat v. State of Maryland

Redistricting petition.

Attorney for Appellant: Christopher Eric Bouchat
Attorney for Appellee: Dan Friedman

Misc. 3 Petition of Delores Kelley and James Brochin

Redistricting petition.

Attorney for Appellant: Jonathan S. Shurberg
Attorney for Appellee: Dan Friedman

Misc. 5 Petition of Cynthia Houser et al. v. Martin O'Malley

Redistricting petition.

Attorney for Appellant: C. Paul Smith
Attorney for Appellee: Dan Friedman


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 November 7, 2012 the Court will recess until November 29, 2012.