Argument Schedule -- May, 2016


September Term, 2015


Wednesday, May 4, 2016:

Bar Admissions

Misc. No. 33 In the Matter of the Application of Dierdre Paulette Brown for Admission to the Bar of Maryland

Arguing for Applicant: Dierdre Paulette Brown

No. 92  Troy Robert Allen v. State of Maryland

Issue – Criminal Law – Did the trial court err when it ordered Petitioner to have no unsupervised contact with his biological, infant son as a condition of probation, thereby infringing on his fundamental right to parent, when Petitioner was convicted of sexually abusing a pre-teen girl who was not related to him and when the State failed to demonstrate that Petitioner was a threat to his son?

Attorney for Petitioner: Allison P. Brasseaux
Attorney for Respondent: Gary E. O'Connor

No. 86 Kenwood Gardens Condominium, Inc., et al. v. Whalen Properties, LLC

Issues – Zoning & Planning – 1) Does the County Board of Appeals have the authority and responsibility to review whether an “appearance of impropriety” taints and invalidates a County Council Resolution approving the initiation of a favorable Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) Zoning process consistent with its responsibility to review all procedural and constitutional issues per Prince George’s County v. Ray’s Used Cars, 398 Md. 632 (2007)? 2) Is there a serious and extraordinary problem of “appearance of impropriety” when there is an undisputed e-mail record linking the PUD Developer’s illegal campaign contributions to the County Council member with the Council member’s sponsoring of the PUD resolution? 3) Pursuant to the Baltimore County Charter Section, 1009 and MD case law is the County Council’s adoption of a PUD Resolution as to this specific property substantially an administrative action, even though not the final action in the process, and so clearly reviewable for a serious “appearance of impropriety”? 4) Consistent with County Council for Montgomery County v. District Land Corp., 274 Md. 691 (1975), even if County Council Resolution #108 is legislative in character, is it still subject to review where there is undisputed evidence of an “impropriety” which the reviewing administrative agencies and CSA all criticized and said should not be condoned? 5) Is the “appearance of impropriety” compounded where a County Council member mentioned in the State Prosecutor’s Statement of Facts was raising dollars for an election campaign and then followed up the PUD Resolution by sponsoring and facilitating the approval of legislation (Bill 38-12) which relaxed the long-standing relevant compatibility standard applicable particularly to this PUD, and favoring it in a way which had no rational relationship to compatibility?

Attorney for Petitioner: J. Carroll Holzer
Attorney for Respondent: G. Scott Barhight


Thursday, May 5, 2016:

No. 85 Ira Chase v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does reasonable suspicion that an individual is engaged in drug activity, by itself, constitute reasonable suspicion that the individual is armed and dangerous? 2) Under this Court’s case law recognizing that a display of force by the police, such as placing a suspect in handcuffs, constitutes an arrest requiring probable cause absent reasonable suspicion that the suspect is armed and dangerous, was Petitioner under arrest when he was removed from his vehicle and placed in handcuffs? 3) If the police had reasonable suspicion to believe that Petitioner was armed and dangerous when he was removed from his vehicle and handcuffed, was that reasonable suspicion dispelled when the officers patted him down and found no weapons, thereby rendering his continued detention an arrest that was not supported by probable cause?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Claire Caplan and Mark Colvin
Attorney for Respondent: Christopher M. Mason

No. 88  Dominic Givens v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the trial court err in refusing to strike the verdict for felony murder? 2) Is a motion to strike an inconsistent verdict waived if not made before the discharge of the jury?

Attorney for Petitioner: George Harper
Attorney for Respondent: Gary E. O'Connor

No. 89 Adam Santo v. Grace Santo

Issue – Family Law – Do the “Taylor factors” (Taylor v. Taylor, 306 Md. 290, 304-11 (1986)), constitute binding legal parameters, circumscribing the discretion of a custody court faced with a “joint” versus “sole” legal custody decision?

Attorneys for Petitioner: James S. Maxwell and Brian M. Barke
Attorney for Respondent: Susan W. Scofield


Monday, May 9, 2016:

No. 77 R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Douglas A. Stidham, etc., et al.

Issues – Torts – 1) After dismissing the appeal as moot, did CSA improperly issue an advisory opinion and inappropriately substitute its discretion for that of the trial court regarding the consideration of procedural safeguards to prevent prejudice to the Cigarette Defendants caused by permissive joinder with existing claims on the Asbestos Docket? 2) In rendering its advisory opinion, did CSA misapply the “important public concern” exception to the mootness doctrine in order to review a procedural issue presented only in a limited number of cases pending in a single court which can be reviewed in the future at Plaintiffs’ option? 3) Did CSA err in concluding that there was a final, appealable judgment despite the fact that the trial court plainly expressed its intention not to put Plaintiffs out of court and granted the right to refile? 4) After a case has been resolved as to all defendants by settlement, dismissal or summary judgment, are Plaintiffs thereafter precluded on the ground of mootness from obtaining judicial relief in the form of reinstatement back into the case of Defendants who were, over Plaintiffs’ objection, dismissed on the basis they were improperly joined?

Attorney for Petitioner: R. Dal Burton
Attorneys for Respondent: James S. Zavakos and Theodore Flerlage, Jr.

No. 87 Henry Immanuel v. Comptroller of Maryland

Issues – Commercial Law – 1) Does the prohibition against providing financial information in response to Public Information Act (“PIA”) requests prohibit disclosure of information concerning comparative values when interpreted in light of the legislative scheme and purpose of the Abandoned Property Act? 2) Was it proper for CSA to affirm the modification of Petitioner’s PIA request, as to number and age of accounts, and thus interfere with Petitioner’s ability to profit from his work? 3) Was it proper for CSA to affirm the trial court’s vacating its earlier sealing of the case to protect Petitioner’s trade secret?

Attorney for Petitioner: Deborah A.M. Ullman
Attorney for Respondent: Donald K. Krohn

No. 84 Donzel Sellman v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in finding the police had reasonable suspicion to believe Petitioner was armed and dangerous, simply because he was stopped for generally suspicious conduct in a high crime area where thefts from cars had been reported at some unspecified time in the past? 2) Did CSA err in finding that the crime of theft from cars implies the use of a deadly weapon?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Anne K. Olesen and Wyatt Feeler
Attorney for Respondent: Todd W. Hesel


Tuesday, May 10, 2016:

Misc No. 32 In the Matter of the Application of Otion Gjini for Admission to the Bar of Maryland

Attorney for Applicant: Mark E. Sobel

No. 90  Patrick Long v. Injured Workers' Insurance Fund, et al.

Issue – Labor & Employment – Whether the Average Weekly Wage of a sole proprietor who elects covered employment status under MD’s Workers’ Compensation Act should be calculated based upon gross profits/earnings and not net profits?

Attorney for Petitioner: Bruce M. Bender
Attorney for Respondent: James R. Forrester

No. 91 Austria Kponve v. Allstate Insurance Company

Issue – Insurance Law – Is Allstate Ins. Co. v. Miller, 315 Md. 182 (1989) still good law?

Attorney for Petitioner: Andrew P. McGuire
Attorney for Respondent: Ronald W. Cox, 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 May 10, 2016, the Court will recess until June 1, 2016.