Recent Maryland Decisions – 6/26


Criminal Procedure, Post-Conviction Procedure Act: Defense counsel’s failure to object to the advisory nature of the trial judge’s jury instructions at defendant’s trial did not amount to deficient representation, and the lack of objection to the same jury instructions did not constitute a waiver under CP §7-106(c)(2). Unger v. State, No. 111 September Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 12-0524-20


Commercial Law, Antitrust: Defendant was entitled to judgment on plaintiff’s antitrust claim because plaintiff failed to prove that defendant’s work rules unreasonably restrained competition. Krause Marine Towing Corp. v. Association of Maryland Pilots, No. 561, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0531-02

Criminal Law, Resisting arrest and escape: Defendant’s mere flight from police was insufficient to support hid conviction for resisting arrest, but the evidence did support defendant’s conviction for second-degree escape since he was in custody. Rich v. State, No. 2339, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 12-0531-00

Workers’ Compensation, Jones Act: Plaintiff who spent less than 30 percent of his time at sea did not, as a matter of law, qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act. Dize v. Association of Maryland Pilots, No. 26, Sept. Term, 2010 (filed May 31, 2012) (Judges GRAEFF, Hotten & Thieme (retired, specially assigned)). RecordFax No. 12-0531-01


Bankruptcy Law, Knowingly making a false entry: In defendant’s trial for knowingly making a false entry with intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the proper administration of any case filed under Bankruptcy Title 11, the trial court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury that the government was required to prove the false statement was material, because the statute did not mention materiality as an element of the crime. U.S. v. Powell, No. 11-4724. RecordFax No. 12-0516-65

Constitutional Law, Sign ordinances: A county sign ordinance did not violate the First Amendment because it was a content-neutral restriction on speech, which was enacted to serve the substantial government interests of promoting traffic safety and enhancing county’s aesthetics, was narrowly tailored to further those government interests, and left open ample alternative channels of communication. Wag More Dogs v. Cozart, No. 11-1226. RecordFax No. 12-0522-65

Criminal Law, Piracy: Defendants who attacked a Navy ship they confused for a merchant ship were properly convicted of piracy, even though they took no property, because the international definition of piracy includes violent acts directed against a ship in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State, regardless of whether any robbery occurred. United States v. Dire, No. 11-4310. RecordFax No. 12-0523-65

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