Helpful Case Law

Ragland v. State – Expert Testimony

White v. MTA – Disorderly Conduct

Lorincz v. Lorincz – Voluntary Impoverishment

State v. Blackwell - Expert Testimony for DUI Cases

Spry v. State – Failure to Obey Police Order

Evolution Of Cruelty And Vicious Conduct As Grounds For Divorce

Recent Maryland Decisions

What the court held

Case: Julia M. Taylor v. Giant of Maryland LLC, CA Nos. 9 and 10 Sept. Term 2010. Reported. Opinion by Battaglia, J. Argued Sept. 8, 2010. Filed Dec. 6, 2011.

Issue: Do male workers with debilitating medical conditions qualify as “similarly situated” to a female colleague with a gender-specific condition for purposes of showing disparate treatment in a sex discrimination case?

Holding: Yes: the men serve as valid “comparators” for determining if discrimination had occurred.

Counsel: Cynthia E. Young and Jo Ann P. Myles for petitioner; Connie N. Bertram for respondent.

Other Cases

Maryland Court Of Appeals

Administrative Law, Medical licensing: Where physician failed to disclose existence of a pending malpractice action against him on his license renewal application, physician violated ethics rules by falsely indicating that he was not involved in a medical malpractice action. Kim v. Maryland State Board of Physicians, No. 1, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 11-1129-09, 13 pages. Page

Criminal Law, Obstructing and hindering: Defendant’s conviction for obstructing and hindering was reversed because the evidence presented was insufficient to prove that defendant’s giving of a false name during a traffic stop actually hindered officer’s investigation. Titus v. State, No. 6, Sept. Term 2011. RecordFax No. 11-1129-22, 30 pages. Page

Criminal Procedure, Jury instructions: Trial court’s so-called “anti-CSI effect” jury instruction, in which the jury was instructed that there was no legal requirement that the State utilize any specific investigative technique or scientific test to prove its, was improper because it relieved the State of its burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, invaded the province of the jury, and violated defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial. Stabb v. State, No. 2, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 11-1122-22, 20 pages. Page

Evidence, Expert testimony: Expert testimony concerning a street gang was admissible as proof of motive where fact evidence established that the crime charged was gang-related and the probative value of the testimony was not substantially outweighed by any unfair prejudice to the defendant. Gutierrez v. State, No. 98, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-1129-29, 20 pages. Page

Evidence, State of mind: Where the issue at trial was whether the victim committed suicide or was murdered, the trial court erred in excluding defense evidence of the victim’s depressed state of mind. Smith v. State, No. 10, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 11-1129-23, 31 pages. Page

Court Of Special Appeals

Premises Liability, Sovereign immunity: Plaintiff’s slip-and-fall claim against metropolitan transit authority was barred by sovereign immunity under the discretionary function exception, because authority employees were performing discretionary acts in deciding at what time the train platforms were to be cleaned, as well as the manner and means used in so doing. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority v. Tinsley, No. 1089, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-1130-01, 27 pages. Page

Real Property, Standing: Circuit court erred in concluding on summary judgment that plaintiffs lacked standing to bring an action challenging defendant’s proposed construction and operation of a creamery in violation of an agricultural preservation easement held by a Maryland land preservation foundation, because plaintiffs, as adjacent neighbors to defendant, were prima facie aggrieved as a result of defendant’s alleged violation and defendant failed to satisfy its burden of denying such damage and of coming forward with evidence to establish that plaintiffs were not in fact aggrieved. Long Green Valley Association v. Bellevale Farms, Inc, No. 0228, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 11-1130-00, 54 pages.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court Of Appeals

Criminal Procedure, Search & seizure: Police officer acted diligently in placing call to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to verify validity of defendant’s identification during traffic stop for possible impairment of driver of vehicle in which defendant was a passenger, even though call extended duration of stop after officer learned there were no outstanding warrants for any names provided by those in vehicle, where defendant voluntarily handed identification to officer, call to ICE was similar to running a driver’s license and registration to check validity, time to call ICE was very brief, and officer was still investigating whether driver was impaired. United States v. Guijon-Ortiz, No. 10-4518. RecordFax No. 11-1110-61, 23 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Search & seizure: During a routine traffic stop by police officers, where defendant, a passenger, was entirely amicable and cooperative with police, the “caution data” obtained by officers regarding defendant’s prior arrest for armed robbery and defendant’s purportedly deliberate misrepresentation as to the status of his driver’s license were insufficient to establish reasonable suspicion on the part of police that defendant was armed and dangerous, and police officer’s subsequent patdown of defendant was therefore impermissible under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Powell, No. 08-4696. RecordFax No. 11-1114-60, 19 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Voir dire: District court’s for-cause striking of three Spanish-speaking prospective jurors during voir dire in drug trial, on ground that interpreters would be used during trial, that case had to decided on translation presented to everybody in courtroom, and that prospective jurors had perceived inability to accept interpreter as final arbiter of what was said or written, did not violate defendant’s Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights or his Sixth Amendment right to trial by an impartial jury. United States v. Cabrera-Beltran, No. 10-4084. RecordFax No. 11-1110-60, 21 pages.

Evidence, Hearsay exception for co-conspirator’s statements: Where record contained overwhelming evidence of former sheriff’s participation in and operation of an illegal gambling conspiracy, it was unnecessary for appellate court to determine whether U.S. District Court erred in admitting into evidence a recording of a meeting pursuant to an exception to the hearsay rule, because such evidence could not reasonably be said to have substantially swayed the jury’s judgment, and any error by district court in admitting the recording was therefore harmless error. United States v. Medford, No. 08-5030. RecordFax No. 11-1107-60, 16 pages.

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