Argument Schedule -- January, 2019


September Term, 2018


Thursday, January 3, 2019:

Bar Admissions

No. 37 Anne George et al. v. Baltimore County, Maryland et al.

Issue – Local Government – Can a government entity eliminate the right of taxpayers “to bring a lawsuit in this State to prevent waste or unlawful use of public property and funds”, State Ctr., LLC v. Lexington Charles Ltd. P’ship, 438 Md. 451 (2014), by not increasing property tax rates for some period of time?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Kevin B. Collins and Michael N. Kennedy
Attorney for Respondent: James S. Ruckle, Jr.

No. 36 State of Maryland v. Nicholas Heath

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does the introduction of evidence that opens the door to the admission of “other act” evidence operate to give the other act evidence “special relevance,” thereby relieving a party seeking to introduce the other act evidence of the burden to establish “special relevance” under Md. Rule 5-404 and State v. Faulkner, 314 Md. 630 (1989)? 2) What is the correct standard of review? 3) Applying the appropriate standard of review, did CSA err first, by holding that counsel cannot open the door based upon comments made in an opening statement and second, by substituting its judgment for the trial court’s determination and making a factual finding about the intent and effect of  Respondent’s counsel’s comment in opening statement and whether it opened the door to otherwise inadmissible “other act” evidence? 4) Did CSA err in concluding that admission of a comment in Respondent’s recorded statement was not harmless, where Petitioner made no further mention of the statement at trial?

Attorney for Petitioner: Virginia S. Hovermill
Attorney for Respondent: Samuel Feder

No. 45 Lawrence R. Carver v. RBS Citizens, N.A., et al.

Issue – Civil Procedure – Did CSA err by dismissing Petitioner’s appeal as premature?

Attorney for Appellant: David A. Beste
Attorney for Appellee: Dwight E. Thomey


Friday, January 4, 2019:

No. 31 State of Maryland v. Purnell Shortall

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did CSA misapply the Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), standard when it reversed the post-conviction court’s determination that counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to a continuing violation jury instruction? 2) Assuming CSA correctly determined that trial counsel was ineffective, did CSA err by ordering the vacating of Respondent’s convictions instead of remanding for a new trial?

Attorney for Petitioner: D'Arcy B. Talley
Attorney for Respondent: Anthony Gorski

No. 38  D.L. v. Sheppard Pratt Health System, Inc., et al.

Issues – Health General – 1) Did CSA err in concluding that Petitioner’s challenge to her involuntary admission was moot and, alternatively, that no exception to the mootness doctrine applied? 2) Did CSA err in concluding that the applicability of the “capable of repetition yet evading review” exception to the mootness doctrine was not preserved for appellate review?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael T. Torres
Attorneys for Respondent: Susan Sugar Nathan and Morgan Clipp


Monday, January 7, 2019:

No. 42 Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc., et al. v. DRV Greentec, LLC

Issues – Contract Law – 1) Is a third-party beneficiary without rights to enforce a contract unless he is a “primary party in interest” to the contract, or does Maryland follow the modern interpretation allowing a third party to enforce a contract right if it is appropriate to effectuate the intention of the parties? 2) When a successor landlord expressly assumes a lease, and expressly represents that he is assuming “all” obligations of that lease, and has actual notice and knowledge of the lease provisions benefitting intended third parties beneficiaries, is he also assuming obligations of the original landlord to the intended third-party beneficiaries?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Barton D. Moorstein and Paul G. Gaston
Attorney for Respondent: Caroline Petro Gately

No. 43 Travis Howell v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is duress a defense to constructive criminal contempt? 2) Did CSA err in finding that Petitioner failed to meet the “some evidence” requirement to generate the defense of duress?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Thomas M. Donnelly and Kristin C. Tracy
Attorney for Respondent: Zoe Gillen White

No. 39 Patricia Moore v. Fernwood Mobile Home Park, Inc.

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Should the appeal of a District Court judgment in a tenant holding over case have been on the record? 2) Is a judgment in favor of an entity that does not exist valid or a nullity? 3) Did the circuit court on de novo appeal make other significant errors of law?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Marita Grant and Gregory Countess
Attorney for Respondent: Richard Basile


Tuesday, January 8, 2019:

No. 40 State of Maryland v. Harry Malik Robertson

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) What is the appropriate standard of review of a trial court’s ruling that a party has “opened the door” to otherwise inadmissible evidence? 2) Applying the appropriate standard of review, did CSA err by substituting its judgment for the trial court’s determination that the Respondent had opened the door to otherwise inadmissible evidence?

Attorney for Petitioner: Virginia S. Hovermill
Attorney for Respondent: Renee M. Hutchins

No. 44  Michele Gallagher v. Mercy Medical Center, Inc.

Issues – Torts – 1) Does the One Satisfaction Rule bar recovery in a lawsuit against a subsequent tortfeasor when no judgment was entered in a prior lawsuit and the prior lawsuit was resolved by settlement and a release that did not release claims against the subsequent tortfeasor? 2) Did the trial court err in granting summary judgment and did CSA err in affirming the summary judgment because both courts failed to follow Maryland precedent regarding the One Satisfaction Rule and retarding the effect of release and settlement of claims?

Attorney for Petitioner: Kathleen Howard Meredith
Attorney for Respondent: Mairi Pat Maguire



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 January 8, 2019, the Court will recess until January 31, 2019.