Argument Schedule -- April 2013


September Term, 2012


Thursday, April 4, 2013:

Bar Admissions

No. 76  Benjamin Morgan Hawkes v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – Whether the statutory right to conditional release under Crim. Proc. Art. § 3-114(c) requires a showing that the committed individual would not pose a risk of danger to self or the person or property of others without regard to the conditions designed to address such risk?

Attorney for Petitioner: Clayton G. Northouse
Attorney for Respondent: Ryan Dietrich

No. 71  David Scull, et al. v. Groover, Christie & Merritt, P.C.

Issues – Health – (1) Whether CSA erred in holding that the scope of the Consumer Protection Act's "professional services" exemption includes a physician's billing practices? (2) Whether CSA erred in holding that § 19-710(p) of the Health Gen. Art. does not include an implied private right of action against a health care provider?

Attorney for Petitioner: Steven A. Skalet
Attorney for Respondent: Brian S. Goodman

No. 72  State of Maryland v. Sean Fennell

Issues – Criminal Law – (1) Is a trial court required to accept a partial verdict at the request of one party over the objection of the other? (2) Where the jury sends to the court a verdict sheet and the court sends the jury back for further deliberations, is it a proper exercise of the court's discretion to later declare a mistrial as to all charges when, upon further inquiry with the jury, the court concludes that the jurors were unable to reach a verdict?

Attorney for Petitioner: Cathleen C. Brockmeyer
Attorney for Respondent: Scott L. Rolle

No. 73  Motor Vehicle Administration v. James Robert Spies, III

Issues – Transportation Law – (1) Does a police officer have reasonable grounds to request a blood alcohol test under Transportation Art. § 16-205.1(a)(2) of a driver based solely on a moderate odor of alcohol on their breath? (2) Under Transportation Art. § 16-205.1(a)(2), may an officer draw a negative inference from a driver's refusal to take roadside sobriety tests? (3) Does the observation of an alleged moving violation and/or the refusal to undergo field sobriety tests in conjunction with a moderate odor of alcohol constitute reasonable grounds to request that a person submit to a blood alcohol test under Transportation Art. § 16-205.1(b)(2)?

Attorney for Petitioner: Neil I. Jacobs


Friday, April 5, 2013:

AG No. 24  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Richard Valentine Patton, III

Attorney for Petitioner: Lydia E. Lawless
Attorney for Respondent: Harvey J. Myerberg

No. 74  Karl Marshall Walker, Jr. v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – (1) Whether sexual abuse of a minor is committed by the exchange of non-sexually explicit letters and drawings? (2) Did CSA err in ruling that Petitioner did not enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy in his work desk for purposes of a Fourth Amendment challenge to a warrantless search of the desk

Attorney for Petitioner: Katherine P. Rasin
Attorney for Respondent: Brenda Gruss

No. 68  The Town of La Plata, et al. v. Faison-Rosewick, LLC, et al.

Issues – Election Law – (1) Did the trial court correctly determine that the Town's signature validation procedures, published two days before the signature pages were filed, were untimely, ultra vires, facially-invalid, improperly "abandoned" by the Town, & that the referendum process was tainted by those errors? (2) Because under Art. 23A, §19(g) the referendum petition, & under §19(j) the ballot, cannot include the three Non-Referable Resolutions, did the Town err in permitting verification of signatures to proceed on the legally insufficient pages & including the Non-Referable Resolutions on the proposed ballot, while failing to make the mandatory finding that the pages complied with Art. 23A, §19? (3) Given the lack of detail in Art. 23A, §19(g) regarding verification of signatures on municipal referenda, and in light of Cumberland and Tyler, should State-based common law be applied to protect the integrity of this municipal referendum process? (4) Can the Town of LaPlata challenge its own Resolutions on this appeal under the principles set forth in Burning Tree? (5) Did the trial court properly have subject matter jurisdiction to hear Petitioner's challenge? (6) What is the appropriate standard of appellate review? (7) Did the trial court correctly conclude that the LaPlata town manager acted beyond his authority when he, rather than the Town Council, published the criteria he applied to verify and validate petition signatures and he did so two days before deadline for the submission of those signatures? (8) Even if the town manager acted beyond his authority, does that ultra vires act thereby warrant invalidating the petition, precluding the referendum election, & thereby punishing the citizens of LaPlata who were blameless in the matter? (9) Whether the referendum petition & ballot are invalid because, in addition to seeking a referendum on the Town Council's annexation resolution, they also mention three other resolutions, all inextricably related to the annexation resolution? (10) Whether, despite the clear inapplicability of the MD Election Code to the municipal referendum at issue, the court should have invalidated the referendum because LaPlata's petition verification procedures did not meet the requirements set forth in the Election Code? (11) Since Art. 23A § 19(g) imposed on the Town manager the mandatory duty to verity signatures on an annexation petition without any guidance as to how to perform that duty, does the Town manager have implied authority to use any reasonable means to fulfill that duty, including the promulgation of written procedures, without the need for authorizing legislation by the Town Council? (12) Since those written procedures were intended to assist the Town manager in the verification of annexation referenda petitions, did the promulgation of those procedures two days before the petition for referendum was submitted violate any due process rights of Plaintiffs or the public at large? (13) Should this Court apply MD common law relating to referendum petitions, developed under the Election Law Art., to municipal annexation referenda when the Election Law Art. expressly excludes from its scope elections conducted and petitions filed under Art. 23A §19?

Attorneys for Appellant: Frederick C. Sussman and Maury S. Epner
Attorneys for Appellee: Michael D. Berman and Sue A. Greer

No. 65  Long Green Valley Association, et al. v. Bellevale Farms, Inc., et al.

Issue – Environmental Law – Whether the grant of a conservation easement to the State creates a charitable trust such that interested third parties have standing to file an action seeking to enforce that easement when the State has failed to do so?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael R. McCann
Attorneys for Respondent: Steven M. Sullivan and John B. Gontrum


Monday, April 8, 2013:

AG No. 14  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Tiffany T. Alston

Attorney for Petitioner: Raymond Hein
Attorney for Respondent: Raouf Abdullah

No. 66  Catherine Lynn Turner v. Direse Helen Hastings

Issues – Torts – (1) Did CSA err in vacating an award of damages where the portion of the verdict concerning damages had not been announced in open court? (2) Did the trial court have the power to correct what it saw as an inconsistent verdict?

Attorney for Petitioner: Anders Randrup
Attorneys for Respondent: Ernest I. Cornbrooks, III and Roscoe R. Leslie

No. 58  Antonio L. Brown v. State of Maryland

DNA Appeal.

Attorney for Appellant: Deborah Richardson
Attorney for Appellee: Robert Taylor, Jr.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013:

AG No. 82 (2011 Term)  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Jonathan Daniel Sperling

Attorney for Petitioner: James N. Gaither
Attorney for Respondent: Robert W. Hesselbacher, Jr.

No. 59  Robert Oku v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – (1) Whether Petitioner's right to a de novo appeal of his District Court conviction under MD Code § 12-401 of the Courts & Jud. Proc. Art. was violated when defendant's testimony from that trial was admitted into evidence in his circuit court trial? (2) Whether Petitioner's due process rights, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Art. 24 of the MD Declaration of Rights, were violated when petitioner's testimony from the District Court trial was admitted into evidence in his circuit court trial, thus denying him the full benefit of the process that must be afforded him under the de novo system?

Attorney for Petitioner: Binny Miller
Attorney for Respondent: Daniel J. Jawor

No 4 (2013 Term)  In Re: Ashley S. and Caitlyn S.

Issues - Family Law - 1) Where the Appellate Court held the removal of children from their mother's care to have been an abuse of judicial discretion, may the juvenile court in a subsequent hearing consider those months that the children spent in foster care as being an "out-of-home placement" for the purposes of determining the permanency plan for the children, pursuant to Md. Code Ann., CJP § 3-823? 2) Did the juvenile court err in ordering a plan of adoption for the children, where they were aged 13 years and 4 ½ years and had a bond with their mother?

Attorney for Appellant: Nenutzka C. Villamar
Attorneys for Appellee: Leslie Ridgway and Lindsay Brecher


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 April 9, 2013 the Court will recess until May 1, 2013.