Attorney Generals Seek Congressional Authority to Investigate Unconstitutional Policing

In the face of protests nationwide and troubling incidents of police brutality, a coalition of Attorney Generals is calling on Congress to grant them authority to investigate unconstitutional policing. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh was one of 18 state attorney generals who signed onto the letter to Congress. As announced in a press release: In a letter issued to Congressional leadership, the coalition is asking Congress to expand the law enforcement misconduct section of the…

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Maryland Courts to Reopen Under a Phased-in Plan

Maryland courts to reopen under a five-stage plan.  On June 5, the Maryland Judiciary will move into Phase II of a five-phased plan to reopen the courts. From the news release: During Phase II,  courts will continue to be closed to public except for those who are necessary to the matters being heard. Each phase will represent an increase in the level of activity within each courthouse and court office. Depending on the current state…

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Maryland Judiciary Case Search Now Includes Appellate Court Records

The public database of Maryland court records has been expanded to include case information from the Court of Appeals (COA) and the Court of Special Appeals (COSA).  The Maryland Judiciary Case Search, an online database of public court records, will now include appellate court case information. In announcing the additional records, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera noted it would help enhance transparency and access to information on cases that have been…

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Free Agricultural Mediation Webinar

Join the National Agricultural Law Center for a free webinar to learn about the benefits of agricultural mediation and how it could positively impact your business or community. The National Agricultural Law Center is hosting a free webinar entitled "Mediation as a Problem Solving Tool for Farmers and Agribusiness" on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00pm. The webinar will explore (1) The range of situations in which mediation has been proven to helpful…

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Anne Arundel, Howard Latest Counties to File Lawsuit Against E-Cig Maker Juul

Individual lawsuits filed by Anne Arundel and Howard Counties allege that e-cigarette maker Juul targeted children.  The lawsuits are the latest in a string of state and county cases from across the country against the vape manufacturer. Within the past year Montgomery, Frederick, and Garrett counties have all either filed lawsuits or joined a nationwide class action. All suits commonly point towards the actions and resources the company put towards enticing youth to use their…

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Supreme Court Rules Against States’ Copyrights of Annotated Codes

The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot copyright their annotated codes potentially upending copyrights held by 22 states.  The court's 5-4 decision in Georgia et al v. Public.Resource.org, inc. upholds an appellate court ruling against the state. The appellate court found that because George's laws are developed in the course of the legislature's duty they cannot be protected by copyright. Route Fifty reports on the specifics of the case: The state’s official code is available…

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High Court Upholds Local Zoning Authority in Harford Takings Case

Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that Harford County will not have to pay $45.4 million to a plaintiff who sought to develop a rubble landfill thirty years ago near Havre de Grace. The Maryland Court of Appeals last week upheld the lower court’s reversal of the award to landowner Maryland Reclamation Associates (MRA) handed down by Harford County Circuit Court in 2018. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals last year ruled for Harford County in…

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Supreme Court Rules on Unanimous Jury Requirement, Potentially Upends Thousands of Split Convictions

Supreme Court determines that the Sixth Amendment unanimous jury requirement applies to states.  In Ramos v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled defendants charged with a serious offense cannot be convicted based on split jury verdicts. The jury must unanimously convict the criminal according to the Sixth Amendment's unanimous jury requirement which has long been held to apply to federal cases. As reported in Bloomberg Law: At issue in the case—which state officials warned could ultimately…

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Chief Judge Issues COVID-19 Related Order to Protect Juvenile Defendants

A judicial order issued by Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Ellen Barbera set new, more stringent standards for judges to follow before detaining juvenile defendants amid the coronavirus crisis.   In an effort to limit youth detention and to protect those youth already in juvenile detention facilities, Chief Judge Barbera has issued an order that sets factors judges should take into consideration before detaining a juvenile defendant including whether they have shown symptoms or have…

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Federal Judge Okays Ocean City Topless Ban

The U.S. District Court issued a ruling Tuesday upholding an Ocean City law enacted in 2017 that prohibits female toplessness in public spaces such as the beaches and the Boardwalk. A central issue addressed in the case was whether the local elected government was best positioned to gauge the resident's sensibilities. In 2016 an Ocean City resident and later plaintiff in the case asked the Town of Ocean City whether women were permitted to go…

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