Maryland Decisions – 4/13

MARYLAND COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS 

Evidence, Confrontation Clause: The trial court did not violate defendant’s right of confrontation by admitting into evidence assistant medical examiner’s autopsy report through the testimony of the supervising medical examiner because, even though the person who performed the autopsy was not available for cross-examination, the supervising medical examiner was present during the autopsy and was involved in the post-mortem process. Malaska v. Maryland, No. 2407, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 14-0228-03, 28 pages.

U.S. 4TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS 

Criminal Law, Restitution: The district court did not err in ordering that defendant, who was convicted of bankruptcy fraud and related charges, pay the victim company’s attorneys’ fees incurred in the bankruptcy proceeding as part of the restitution. United States v. Abdelbary, No. 13-4083. RecordFax No. 14-0311-60, 25 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Sentence enhancement under ACCA: In sentencing defendant as an armed career criminal, the district court could rely on an uncertified criminal record check from the National Crime Information Center database, which, in addition to corroboration provided by the government, established the defendant’s 1971 conviction for a violent felony in New York by a preponderance of the evidence. United States v. McDowell, No. 13-4370. RecordFax No. 14-0311-61, 20 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Supervised release: Convicted person’s term of supervised release begins at the end of his imprisonment, and “release from imprisonment” occurs only when a person is freed from confinement, including civil detention. United States v. Neuhauser, No. 13-6186. RecordFax No. 14-0311-62, 15 pages.

Real property, Mineral leases: In a diversity action to be decided under West Virginia law, the 4th Circuit certified the question of whether the proponent, who admittedly did not acquire a property interest in the mineral lease by will or deed, can prove and enforce a working interest in the lease by demonstrating a fractional interest in a “partnership in mining.” Valentine v. Sugar Rock, Inc., No. 12-2273. RecordFax No. 14-0312-60, 16 pages.

Workers’ Compensation, LHWCA fee-shifting provisions: Even if the employer had earlier filed a notice of controversion, its voluntary payment of one week’s compensation as disability benefits for binaural hearing loss, within 30 days of receiving notice of the claim, precluded its liability for attorneys’ fees under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act’s fee-shifting scheme. Lincoln v. Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, No. 13-1594. RecordFax No. 14-0311-63, 13 pages.