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Eileen Ambrose | August 21, 2013
Federal courts are warning against juror scams that claim people missed jury duty and they must pay a $400 fine or be thrown in jail. The schemes mostly have appeared in New Mexico and other western states, but scams tend to travel. Marylanders should be on the lookout. According to federal courts, callers claiming to be court employees accuse people of failing to show up for jury duty and demand payment of a fine. They ask for sensitive information, such as Social Security and credit card numbers.  The courts said they mostly communicate with people via U.S. mail, and they never ask for Social Security number or credit card numbers over the phone.
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NEWS
August 17, 2014
The most popular rifle in America is the AR-15, which looks like M-16 but does not operate like one. Maryland's legislature banned the look in spite of fact that the function never matched ( "Federal judge upholds assault rifle ban," Aug. 12). Science and records say assault rifles are seldom involved in crime. Research and common sense says good guys with guns save lives. While cops are usually good guys, their failure rate is high. Maryland put almost 60 bad cops in jail over the last two years.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2011
The federal appellate court that covers Maryland has for years been considered one of the more right-leaning in the nation, finding that women can be banned from a military institute, that the FDA can't regulate tobacco and that confessions count even when suspects haven't been read their rights, among other conservative opinions. But the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals now appears to have taken a left turn. Last week, the court sided with a criminal suspect over police for the fourth time since March on a Fourth Amendment case claiming that improper searches violated the defendant's rights.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2014
A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's overhaul of Baltimore's police and fire pension system, but left open avenues for the unions to keep fighting. "I'm certainly pleased with the court's ruling," Rawlings-Blake said of the decision. City officials say it cut about $400 million in pension costs by reducing benefits, raising the retirement age and requiring higher contributions from workers. "It was not something any of us wanted to do," the mayor said.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | March 21, 1994
It was melted ice cream that led Roy Clendinen to file a civil rights suit in 1992, demanding $1 million for the "cruel and unusual punishment" he suffered when a guard at Mohawk state prison near Syracuse refused to refrigerate the snack.Another New York inmate, Reginald Troy, who developed an ulcer while a prisoner at the Shawangunk state prison Wallkill, filed his civilrights suit in 1991, claiming it was unconstitutional not to provide him lamb, veal and oysters for his meals -- foods allowed by a doctor, but not required.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | January 1, 1992
WASHINGTON -- The federal courts are in danger of being overwhelmed if Congress persists in assigning U.S. judges the responsibility of handling new cases involving guns, drug murders and sexual assaults, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said yesterday in a year-end report.A former Phoenix attorney, Chief Justice Rehnquist compared the federal court system to a Western desert town facing overdevelopment amid a water shortage."In that situation, we must conserve water, not think of building new subdivisions," he said.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 5, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A panel of federal judges is proposing new limits on access to federal courts for Social Security beneficiaries, victims of job discrimination and consumers as part of a long-range plan to cope with huge increases in the caseload.The panel of nine judges, who have a combined total of more than 160 years on the bench, was created in 1990 by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making arm of the federal judiciary.If recent trends continue, the judges said, the federal courts will be inundated with civil and criminal cases.
NEWS
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Julie Hirschfeld Davis,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 24, 2003
WASHINGTON - The Senate is locked in a stalemate over one of President Bush's conservative judicial nominees, and the debate is taking on the tenor and intensity of a Supreme Court confirmation battle. That's no coincidence. The nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is shaping up as a test of both parties' wills as they prepare - perhaps this year - to debate a potential vacancy on the Supreme Court. What began as a low-profile debate over Estrada, a 41-year- old Honduran immigrant and darling of conservatives, has escalated into a battle over the future of the federal courts.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will not examine Maryland's handgun permit law, leaving to stand a lower court ruling that the state's restrictive rules for carry permits do not unconstitutionally infringe upon gun-owners' rights. The justices did not explain their reasoning, but the decision intensified a simmering dispute over the limits of firearms restrictions. Other challenges are pending in federal courts — including two in Maryland attacking the state's new ban on military-style assault rifles and its requirements for fingerprinting and training of buyers before they can purchase handguns.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 13, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The policy making arm of the federal courts, in a sharp break with precedent, asked Congress yesterday to provide a financial remedy for potentially millions of workers harmed or killed by breathing asbestos particles.The request, by the 27-judge U.S. Judicial Conference, was based on a committee's report that the federal courts are overwhelmed by tens of thousands of highly complex lawsuits over who is to pay for the slow-developing cancers and other diseases afflicting individuals who have worked with or around asbestos.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2014
Lawyers for the state and gun rights advocates debated in federal court Tuesday about the government's power to hem in the Second Amendment to ward off mass shootings. Spectators crammed into a federal courtroom in downtown Baltimore to watch the hearing regarding bans on the sale or sharing of assault rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Those provisions, which took effect in October, were among a package of measures enacted to strengthen Maryland's gun laws after 26 people were killed in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | June 29, 2014
A federal appeals court ruling could add to the number of inmates with legal grounds to seek reduced sentences because of a shifting interpretation of sentencing guidelines and what constitutes a violent crime. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated last week a 31/2-year sentence for Jose Herbert Henriquez, an El Salvadoran who pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States. The lengthy sentence was based in part on a previous burglary conviction. "A Maryland conviction of first-degree burglary cannot constitute a crime of violence," Judge James A. Wynn Jr. wrote for the majority, remanding the case to a lower court for Henriquez to be resentenced.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
A Glen Burnie man accused of endangering his neighbors by building bombs in his home pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge Thursday. Todd Wheeler Jr. could receive up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced in September. After his federal conviction, Anne Arundel County prosecutors are expected to drop more than 20 state charges that Wheeler built and owned explosive devices. The federal firearms charge stemmed from a pistol, flare launcher, signal launcher and homemade devices that investigators found in Wheeler's home in the Harundale neighborhood.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2014
A settlement was filed in bankruptcy court Tuesday that could provide $100 million as early as next year to victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroid injections, lawyers said. New England Compounding Center, its owners, related companies and insurers reached the settlement with a steering committee representing patients across the country who received shots of medication found to be contaminated with fungus. The agreement, tentatively reached and announced in December, awaits approval in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts Eastern Division.
HEALTH
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 1, 2014
Lawyers have reached settlements in two pending class action cases alleging that former cardiologist Mark G. Midei performed unnecessary stent procedures at St. Joseph Medical Center, according to the hospital's former owner. Michael Romano, a spokesman for Catholic Health Initiatives, which used to own the Towson medical center, said the agreements will resolve the cases. "The parties executed the settlement to avoid the uncertainties and costs of continued litigation, and the settlement does not include any admission of liability," Romano said in a statement.
NEWS
March 27, 2014
The principle of separation of church and state has been a pillar of American democracy since the country's founding, and most people think they know what it means. Yet in practice, the proper balance between freedom of religious expression and what is appropriate when it comes to the business of government has always been a matter of contention. This is an issue over which reasonable people can disagree, but the Carroll County Board of Commissioners surely did itself no favor this week by trying to win the argument by simply shouting the other side down.
NEWS
By Siobhan Gorman and Siobhan Gorman,Sun reporter | August 17, 2007
WASHINGTON -- In winning the conviction of al-Qaida foot soldier Jose Padilla, the Bush administration might have paradoxically undercut a key tenet of the president's anti-terrorism strategy - that terrorists should be handled outside the regular court system. The administration's ability to successfully prosecute an alleged terrorist in federal court will provide ammunition to those challenging the military tribunal system established by the administration, legal analysts said. "What this demonstrates is that the administration's claim that the criminal justice system can't handle terrorists as criminals is a hoax," said Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who has criticized President Bush's terrorism policies.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
After a federal judge found that Maryland's historically black colleges face unfair and unconstitutional competition from the state's predominantly white universities, the parties headed into negotiations this month to work it out. But even with the far-reaching court decision, some worried the rights of black institutions wouldn't be protected and tried to put the judge's ruling on the books as state law. "I'm normally not a Doubting Thomas,"...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | January 15, 2014
A federal court judge signed an order Tuesday clearing the way for a stolen landscape painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir to be speedily returned to the Baltimore Museum of Art , 62 years after the painting was stolen. U.S. District Court Leonie M. Brinkema ordered the unsigned 1879 painting on a linen napkin, "Paysage Bords de Seine" to "be released into the custody" of the museum. Arrangements for handing over the artwork still are being firmed up, according to spokeswomen for both the FBI and the museum.
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