Argument Schedule -- April, 2016


September Term, 2015


Thursday, March 31, 2016:

Bar Admissions

No. 64 Terrance J. Brown v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Pursuant to the “supplemental rule of interpretation,” where a motions court makes a legal determination without making factual findings, must an appellate court fill in the fact-finding gaps by giving little or no weight to the losing party’s evidence, discrediting the losing party’s witnesses, and resolving any ambiguities and drawing all inferences in favor of the prevailing party? 2) In reversing a suppression ruling, may an appellate court rely on a fact on which conflicting evidence was presented below or must the court accept the version of facts most favorable to the prevailing party? 3) What effect does a motions judge’s failure to make factual findings to support its legal conclusion have on the parameters of the appellate court’s review where conflicting versions of events necessitating factual findings were not presented at the motions hearing? 4) Did CSA err in reversing the motions court’s grant of Petitioner’s suppression motion?

Attorney for Petitioner: Katherine P. Rasin
Attorney for Respondent: Gary E. O'Connor

No. 69 Donald B. Spangler, et al. v. Peggy McQuitty, et vir.

Issues – Torts – 1) Whether Maryland follows the majority of jurisdictions which hold that a prior personal injury judgment obtained by the decedent completely precludes any subsequent wrongful death action based on the same negligent conduct? 2) Whether the decedent’s release, wherein he covenanted that “wrongful death beneficiaries… will not maintain any action for wrongful death,” precluded Respondents from filing a wrongful death action against Petitioners?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michelle R. Mitchell
Attorneys for Respondent: Henry E. Dugan, Jr. and George S. Tolley, III

No. 74  State of Maryland v. Kenneth Hart

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the trial court violated MD Rule 4-231 by discussing a jury note with the foreperson in Respondent’s absence where defense counsel waived Respondent’s presence in order to view the note, and also suggested that the trial court question the foreperson about the note in Respondent’s absence? 2) Where a mistrial as to one count was manifestly necessary due to jury deadlock did Respondent, who was unavailable, not have a right to be present for the trial court’s declaration of a mistrial as to that count, and if Respondent did have a right to be present, was the error in declaring a mistrial in his absence harmless? 3) Assuming that the trial court committed reversible error in declaring a mistrial as to a deadlocked count in Respondent’s absence, did CSA err in holding that dismissal of the deadlocked count, rather than retrial, was the appropriate remedy?

Attorney for Petitioner: Sarah Paige Pritzlaff
Attorneys for Respondent: Matthew M. Bryant and Thomas C. Mooney

Misc. No. 19 Edward J. and Vicki Fangman, et al. v. Genuine Title, LLC, et al.

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

Question - Does Md. Code. Ann., Real Prop., § 14-127 imply a private right of action?

Attorney for Appellant: Timothy Maloney
Attorney for Appellee: George Krueger


Friday, April 1, 2016:

No. 72  Kevin Morton, Jr., et al. v. Cindy L. Schlotzhauer

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Did CSA fail to credit and respect the discretion of the trial court and announce new mandates for a court in ruling on a Motion to Alter or Amend under MD Rule 2-534? 2) Did CSA misapply the law of relation back when it vacated the decision of the trial court and allowed plaintiff to pursue her original complaint which she had filed when not the real party in interest?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Jonathan D. Nelson and Robert L. Ferguson, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent: Thomas N. Yeager

No. 73 Cynthia Keller-Bee v. State of Maryland

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Did CSA properly find that clerical employees of the district courts are entitled to absolute judicial immunity for negligent torts which result in injury to a citizen? 2) Did CSA fail to adequately and properly follow this Court’s decision in Parker v. State, 337 Md. 271 (1995) which held that a judge was entitled to absolute judicial immunity but left open the question of whether clerical employees of the district courts were also entitled to such immunity?

Attorney for Petitioner: Frederick P. Charleston, Sr.
Attorney for Respondent: Michelle J. McDonald

No. 76 Stephen Sieglein v. Laura Schmidt

Issues – Family Law – 1) Whether the plain meaning of MD Code Ann. Estates & Trusts § 1-206(b) can be interpreted to include a case of “in vitro” fertilization from a donated egg and donated sperm, as a result of which Petitioner has been declared a parent of the child and thereby liable for child support, even though the child has no genetic connection to either of the parties? 2) Whether the plain meaning of MD Code Ann. Family Law § 1-203(a)(2) can be interpreted to sustain a permanent injunction against Petitioner on the basis of “harassment”? 3) Whether the long settled meaning of “voluntary impoverishment” has been ignored by the decisions of the courts below?

Attorney for Petitioner: John H. Doud, III
Attorney for Respondent: Courtney J. Hagermann


Monday, April 4, 2016:

No. 71 Steven B. Jackson v. State of Maryland

DNA Appeal.

Attorney for Appellant: Tamara D. Sanders
Attorney for Appellee: Robert Taylor, Jr.

No. 80 CashCall, Inc., and J. Paul Reddam v. Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation

Issues – Commercial Law – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the Maryland Credit Services Businesses Act (“MCSBA”) does not require “’a direct payment’ from the consumer,” despite this Court’s contrary ruling in Gomez v. Jackson Hewitt, 427 Md. 128 (2012), that MCSBA requires that “any payment … must come directly from the consumer”?  2) Can a borrower’s repayments of principal and interest be treated as a fee paid “directly” “in return” for a loan marketer’s assistance in obtaining the loan, simply because the principal previously included an origination fee whose benefits inured entirely to the original third-party lender?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Cliff Sloan and Joseph Barloon
Attorney for Respondent: Christopher B. Lord

No. 75 Efrain Taylor v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Under Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, may a law enforcement officer search a vehicle when he knows nothing more than the fact that the driver has been arrested for DUI and that, in his experience, evidence of DUI may be found inside the vehicle? 2) Must a vehicular search be supported by some quantum of particularized suspicion based on articulable facts? 3) Does the Fourth Amendment countenance a per se rule permitting a vehicular search in any case where the crime of arrest is one that may generate physical evidence? 4) Under the circumstances of this case, was the search of Petitioner’s vehicle unconstitutional?

Attorney for Petitioner: Daniel M. Kobrin
Attorney for Respondent: Benjamin A. Harris


Tuesday, April 5, 2016:

No. 82  Motor Vehicle Administration v. Sundar Seenath

Issues - Transportation Law – Does the standard Advice of Rights form (DR-15) provide the necessary information to a driver who holds a commercial driver’s license of the consequences of submitting to a test of blood alcohol content if the driver’s results are 0.08 or more?

Attorney for Petitioner: Neil I. Jacobs
Attorney for Respondent: David A. Martella

No. 78  Robert Anthony McGhie v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When a trial court, ruling on the merits of a petition for writ of actual innocence, considers whether newly discovered evidence that an expert lied about his credentials and education created a substantial or significant possibility that the verdict may have been different, should the court simply “excise the false testimony” and determine whether the outcome may have been different if the jury had heard no testimony whatsoever about the expert’s credentials and education, or should the trial court consider whether the result may have been different if it was revealed to the jury during trial that the expert had lied about his credentials? 2) Did the trial court abuse its discretion when it denied Petitioner’s petition for writ of actual innocence on its merits and ruled that newly discovered evidence that an expert had lied about his credentials and education did not create a substantial or significant possibility that the result of the trial may have been different?

Attorney for Petitioner: Allison P. Brasseaux
Attorney for Respondent: Robert K. Taylor, Jr.

No. 79 Michelle L. Conover v. Brittany D. Conover

Issues – Estates & Trusts – 1) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner is a “third party,” where Petitioner is a legal parent under E.T. § 1-208(b)(4)? 2) Should Janice M. v. Margaret K., 404 Md. 661 (2008), be reconsidered?

Attorney for Petitioner: Jer Welter
Attorney for Respondent: R. Martin Palmer, Jr.


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 5, 2016, the Court will recess until May 4, 2016.