Argument Schedule -- September, 2019


September Term, 2019


Thursday, September 5, 2019:

Bar Admissions

AG No. 26 (2018 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Kenneth Steven Kaufman

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael W. Blow, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent: Kenneth Steven Kaufman

No. 1 State of Maryland v. Aaron Terrell Alexander

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does section 6-233(a) of the Criminal Procedure Article, which allows a trial court to terminate a probation, permit that court to dismiss a violation of probation (“VOP”) petition filed by the State simply because the violation alleged is technical and the probationer served the equivalent of the presumptive penalty in custody awaiting the hearing on the VOP petition? 2) In any event, where the record shows that the trial court was mistaken in concluding that Respondent’s probation had expired, did the trial court err in closing the probation?

Attorney for Petitioner: Cathleen C. Brockmeyer
Attorney for Respondent: Eva Shell

No. 3 Goshen Run Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Cumanda Cisneros

Issues – Commercial Law – 1) Does a confessed judgment clause in a promissory note/forbearance agreement involving homeowners association assessments that expressly preserves the right of the defendant to assert legal defenses, violate the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”)? 2) Assuming, arguendo, that homeowners association assessments are consumer debts within the meaning of the CPA, if the consideration given by a payee to a promisor in a promissory note is the forbearance of debt collection activity on the antecedent debt, does such a promissory note relate to a “consumer transaction” under the CPA? 3) Assuming, arguendo, that the answer to the first question is affirmative, was it appropriate for the district court to invoke a severability provision in the note, sever the confession clause, and proceed to a trial on the merits, because the CPA does not provide the remedy of voiding contracts? 4) Did the circuit court misapply Maryland law when it determined that after a confessed judgment is vacated, it is impermissible to permit a trial on the merits on an amended complaint, as that would constitute “another bite at the apple,” and that such complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 3-611(b)?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Torin K. Andrews and Timothy Guy Smith
Attorney for Respondent: Martin E. Wolf


Friday, September 6, 2019:

Misc. No. 1 In the Matter of the Application of G.L.F. for Admission to the Bar of Maryland 

No. 6 Joshua Sabisch v. Stephen T. Moyer et al. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services 

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner, while on probation before judgment and required as conditions of his probation to obey all laws, to have no contact with the victim, to have no unsupervised contact with children under age eighteen, to provide his current address to probation authorities, to register as a sex offender, and to report by telephone to his probation supervisor in Maryland every thirty days while residing in Michigan and to follow his supervisor’s lawful instructions, was not entitled to petition for the writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc, § 3-702, because he was not subject to “physical” restraint? 2) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner, while on probation before judgment, was not entitled to petition for the writ of habeas corpus pursuant to § 3-702, because he was not present in Maryland at the time of the filing of his petition and because the conditions of Petitioner’s probation did not create a sufficient “presence” in Maryland while Petitioner was residing in Michigan? 3) Did the trial court err in denying Petitioner’s petition for writ of habeas corpus on grounds that Petitioner accepted probation before judgment and waived his right to appeal pursuant to § 6-220?

Attorney for Petitioner: Jeffrey M. Ross
Attorney for Respondent: Daniel J. Jawor

No. 7 Daniel Joseph Greene v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In a case of first impression, did CSA err in holding that Maryland adopts the “confirmatory identification” line of out-of-state cases that exempt from pre-trial constitutional review of “non-selective” identifications? 2) Did CSA err in reversing the trial court’s suppression of the identification of Petitioner, where police procedures used to obtain the identification violate due process? 3) Did CSA err in alternatively holding that the trial court failed to examine the appropriate factors in ruling the identification was inadmissible?

Attorney for Petitioner: Lisa J. Sansone
Attorney for Respondent: Carrie J. Williams


Monday, September 9, 2019:

AG No. 21 (2018 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Jude Ambe

Attorney for Petitioner: Lydia E. Lawless
Attorney for Respondent: Herbert Alan Dubin

No. 8 Danny Trotman v. State of Maryland

Issue – Criminal Law – As an issue of first impression, may a judge who retired in 2014, over defense objection, excuse for cause multiple veniremen who claim to be unable to climb 25 stairs, while refusing to consider possible accommodations for dealing with the veniremen’s disabilities or health problems, in a circuit court that has 35 judges and comprises two large courthouses?

Attorney for Petitioner: Margaret Lanier
Attorney for Respondent: Brenda Gruss

No. 5 Andrews & Lawrence Professional Services, LLC and Galyn Manor Homeowners Association, Inc. v. David O. Mills, et ux.

Issue – Commercial Law – The Maryland Consumer Protection Act “does not apply to” the “professional services” of a lawyer. In view of this exemption, can an attorney’s client be deemed to have violated the Act, or otherwise be subject to a claim for damages, based solely on the conduct of its attorney that, absent the attorney’s exemption, would, arguendo, constitute a violation of the Act?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Timothy Guy Smith and Megan T. Mantzavinos
Attorney for Respondent: Ejaz H. Baluch, Jr.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019:

Misc. No. 30 (2018 T.) Randy Morquell Brown v. State of Maryland; Gianpaolo Bottini v. State of Maryland; Kitrell B. Wilson v. State of Maryland

Certified Question from the Court of Special Appeals

Questions - 1) Does the authority granted to the courts by Criminal Law Article § 5-609.1 to modify mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug-related offenses extend to cases in which the sentences were imposed as the result of binding plea agreements and the State does not consent to modification? 2) Does the authority granted to the Courts by § 5-609.1 to modify such sentences extend to cases in which the sentences were imposed as the result of binding plea agreements in which the defendant waived his or her right to seek a modification of sentence? 3) Does § 5-609.1 require the circuit court to hold a hearing before granting or denying a motion to modify a sentence filed pursuant to the statute? 4) When does the Court of Special Appeals have jurisdiction to consider an appeal from an order denying a § 5-609.1 motion to modify a sentence?

Attorney for Appellants: Brian M. Saccenti
Attorneys for Appellee: Cathleen C. Brockmeyer and Benjamin A. Harris

No. 2 Telos Corporation v. Seth W. Hamot, et al.

Issues – Torts – 1) Does Maryland law apply “more relaxed standards of proof with regard to the proof of the amount of damages,” in intentional interference cases, in order that the “wrongdoer shall bear the risk of the uncertainty which his own wrong has created”? 2) Did the trial court err in failing to apply those “relaxed standards of proof” when considering the evidence of Petitioner’s damages resulting from Respondents’ intentional interference with Petitioner’s contract with its auditor?

Attorney for Petitioner: E. Hutchinson Robbins, Jr.
Attorneys for Respondent: Leslie D. Hershfield and Harry Levy

No. 9 Dana T. Johnson, Jr. v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Section 5-612 of the Criminal Law Article, which prohibits possession of certain quantities of controlled dangerous substances, provides that “[a] person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and is subject to a fine not exceeding $100,000.” What is the maximum allowable period of incarceration for a violation of this law? 2) Did the circuit court impose an illegal sentence of fourteen years of incarceration for a violation of section 5-612 of the Criminal Law Article?

Attorney for Petitioner: Eva Shell
Attorneys for Respondent: Virginia S. Hovermill


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 September 10, 2019, the Court will recess until October 2, 2019.