Conduit Street Podcast: Call If You Can, Text If You Must. Sunshine Laws, Attorney’s Fees, #LIFT4MD, & Beer Wars

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the announcement of a statewide Text to 9-1-1 system, examine Maryland’s Public Information Act (and why it needs an update), break down the “Access to Public Courts Act,” preview #LIFT4MD day in Annapolis, and explain the beer battle in Maryland. MACo has … Continue reading Conduit Street Podcast: Call If You Can, Text If You Must. Sunshine Laws, Attorney’s Fees, #LIFT4MD, & Beer Wars

Attorney’s Fee Bill Back To Senate Floor

SB 705, legislation providing plaintiff attorneys fees on numerous constitutional claims against governments, has been passed again by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, and will be debated in the days ahead on the Senate floor. Local governments have opposed the bill, citing its effects far beyond the stated desire to provide “access to justice” for … Continue reading Attorney’s Fee Bill Back To Senate Floor

Attorney’s Fee Bill Sent Back to Committee

Following nearly two weeks of floor debate, involving multiple delays and subsequent amendments, SB 705 was re-referred back to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Local governments had opposed the bill, citing its potential to trigger a wave of costly lawsuits against governments, far beyond the proponents’ stated goals of affording access to justice for non-monetary … Continue reading Attorney’s Fee Bill Sent Back to Committee

Attorney’s Fee Bill Could Increase Litigation, Costs

On March 1, 2016, Les Knapp, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel, testified to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in opposition of SB 362, Award of Attorney’s Fees and Expenses – Violation of Maryland Constitutional Right. SB 362 would authorize a court to award a prevailing party attorney’s fees and expenses in a civil action to enforce … Continue reading Attorney’s Fee Bill Could Increase Litigation, Costs

Imbalanced Attorney’s Fee Bill Could Increase Litigation, Costs

On February 10, 2016, Robin Clark Eilenberg, MACo Research Director, and Natasha Mehu, MACo Policy Analyst, testified to the House Judiciary Committee in opposition of HB 393, Award of Attorney’s Fees and Expenses – Violation of Maryland Constitutional Right. They were joined by Patricia Via from the Montgomery County Office of Law, and Matthew Peter … Continue reading Imbalanced Attorney’s Fee Bill Could Increase Litigation, Costs

MACo Raises Concerns Over One-Sided Attorney Fee Legislation

MACo Associate Director, Natasha Mehu, testified in opposition to legislation (SB 705) that would likely impose an increase in litigation and costs for the State and local governments and create an unbalanced system that favors plaintiffs over defendants. The bill was sponsored by Senator Anthony Muse. The bill would authorize a court to award a prevailing … Continue reading MACo Raises Concerns Over One-Sided Attorney Fee Legislation

2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability and courts bills that MACo took a position on for the 2018 Regular Session. Attorney Fees for Constitutional Violations: HB 1270 / SB 1042 would authorize a court to award a prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses in a civil action against the State or … Continue reading 2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

Not-So-Deep Pockets: Lawsuits Are Bankrupting Counties

It’s not uncommon for lawsuits to bankrupt local governments, according to a recent article in Governing – and there is little a county can do to protect itself, aside from maintain healthy reserve funds. While only 54 local governments have filed for bankruptcy since 1980, legal judgments played a factor in nearly 30 percent of those. Governing reports … Continue reading Not-So-Deep Pockets: Lawsuits Are Bankrupting Counties

2016 End of Session Wrap Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability and courts bills that MACo took a position on for the 2016 Regular Session. LGTCA – Repeal of Notice Requirement: SB 356 repeals the 1 year notice requirement under the Local Government Tort Claims Act (LGTCA) and the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA). Under the MTCA, the … Continue reading 2016 End of Session Wrap Up: Government Liability & Courts

2015 End of Session Wrap Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability and courts bills that MACo took a position on for the 2015 Regular Session. Local Government Tort Claims Act – Increase in Notice and Liability Caps: As introduced, HB 113 increases the damage caps under the Local Government Tort Claims Act (LGTCA) from $200,000 to $500,000 per individual claim and … Continue reading 2015 End of Session Wrap Up: Government Liability & Courts