Argument Schedule -- May 2018


September Term, 2017


Wednesday, May 2, 2018:

Bar Admissions

No. 68 Brian Donlon v. Montgomery County Public Schools

Issues – State Personnel & Pensions – 1) What is the relationship of county school employees to the state in the context of Md. whistleblower protection laws? 2) What distinctions matter in Md.’s application of the doctrine of judicial estoppel?

Attorney for Petitioner: Adam Augustine Carter
Attorneys for Respondent: Eric C. Brousaides

No. 71 Carl Franklin Burnside v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Where Petitioner was on trial for a felony drug offense and the theory of the defense was clear and consistent throughout the trial, did the trial court abuse its discretion in refusing to rule upon the admissibility for impeachment purposes of Petitioner’s prior felony drug conviction prior to Petitioner’s election of whether or not to testify? 2) Did CSA misapply the harmless error standard, as recently reiterated by this Court in Porter v. State, 455 Md. 220 (2017), in finding that the trial court’s error in permitting the impeachment of a defense witness was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt? 3) Did CSA err in failing to find unpreserved Petitioner’s claim that the trial court erred in not ruling on the admissibility of his prior drug conviction before his election whether to testify?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael R. Braudes
Attorney for Respondent: Gary E. O'Connor

No. 75 WSC/2005 LLC, et al. v. Trio Ventures Associates, et al.

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Does a trial court have the power under the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act (“MUAA”) to vacate an arbitration award that is irrational or in manifest disregard of the law? 2) Is an arbitral award that excuses a non-breaching party from proving that a condition precedent would have been satisfied but for the breach a manifest disregard of Md. law or otherwise irrational because it (a) eliminates the requirement that plaintiffs must prove causation of their injury; (b) deprives the non-breaching party of the benefit of its bargain; and (c) penalizes the breaching party and forfeits valuable contract rights? 3) Does this Court’s decision in Blitz v. Beth Isaac Adas Israel Congregation, 352 Md. 31, 720 A.2d 912 (1998), entitle a party who is granted an arbitration award to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in court proceedings unsuccessfully pursued by the losing party, or does a trial court have the discretion to deny such an award as in any other case in which legal fees and costs are sought? 4) Is this case the appropriate vehicle for this Court to further explain a trial court’s review authority under the MUAA? 5) Should an arbitration award based on a legal interpretation of a contract be vacated by a legally different interpretation of the contract presented on appeal by the losing party?

Attorney for Petitioner: Brian L. Schwalb
Attorney for Respondent: Helen E. Marmoll


Monday, May 7, 2018:

No. 72 Nancy K. Kopp, et al. v. Dennis R. Schrader, et al.

Issues – State Government – 1) Does the Governor have the power under the Md. Constitution to withdraw the nomination of a recess appointee before a Senate vote and then reappoint that nominee during the interim, thereby circumventing Senate confirmation or rejection? 2) Does the General Assembly have the power under the Md. Constitution to enact a budget restriction prohibiting the expenditure of funds to pay the salaries of cabinet secretaries whose recess appointments circumvented the Senate’s confirmation power? 3) Does the Treasurer have an obligation to decline to disburse salary funds where the disbursement would conflict with a budget restriction and there is thus no appropriation for the expenditure? 4) Does the State have sovereign immunity from any claims for retrospective back pay from the State Treasury?

Attorney for Appellant: Julia Doyle Bernhardt
Attorney for Appellee: Timothy F. Malone

No. 31 Albert Gustav Givens v. State of Maryland

DNA appeal.

Attorney for Appellant: Nancy S. Forster
Attorney for Appellee: Robert K. Taylor, Jr.

No. 67 Bernadette Fowler Lamson v. Montgomery County, Maryland

Issue – State Government – Did CSA err in ruling that a supervisor may maintain off-line records concerning employees under her supervision to shield them from production under the MPIA?

Attorney for Petitioner: Timothy F. Maloney
Attorney for Respondent: Erek L. Barron

No. 81 Washington Gas Light Company v. Maryland Public Service Commission, et al.

Issues – Public Utilities – 1) Did CSA err when it held that the legislative-intent provision of a statute “acts as a substantive restriction” of the statute’s unambiguous substantive terms? 2) Did the Commission err when it added a new eligibility requirement for infrastructure replacement projects that is not found in the substantive provisions of the STRIDE statute, Public Utilities Article §4-210?

Attorney for Petitioner: J. Joseph Curran, III
Attorney for Respondent: Joseph English

Tuesday, May 8, 2018:

No. 82 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc. v. Ashley Partlow

Issue – Torts – Did the CSA, relying on Grimes v. Kennedy Krieger Institute, 366 Md. 29 (2001), err in imposing a duty on Kennedy Krieger to an individual who was not enrolled in the research study at issue?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michele Z. Blumenfeld
Attorneys for Respondent: Brian S. Brown and Leah K. Barron

No. 83 Violeta Marantan, et al. v. Saquanna Walker

Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err in finding that the trial court must expressly articulate its consideration of each of the Taliaferro factors in order to properly exercise its discretion in ordering discovery sanctions? 2) Did CSA misapply the abuse of discretion standard when it granted so little deference to the trial court’s decision regarding discovery sanctions?

Attorneys for Petitioner: William C. Parler, Jr. and Kelly A. Grafton
Attorneys for Respondent: Brian S. Brown and Leah K. Barron

No. 84 Clement Reynolds v. State of Maryland

Issue – Criminal Law – Was Petitioner denied due process when the trial court permitted the prosecutor to question him about “what he did not tell the police” about his alibi defense, even though the omissions were a result of Petitioner’s post-arrest, post-Miranda invocation of silence and were not inconsistencies with his trial testimony?

Attorney for Petitioner: Robert C. Bonsib
Attorney for Respondent: Sarah P. Pritzlaff


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 8, 2018, the Court will recess until May 31, 2018.