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By Andrea F. Siegel | April 2, 2010
Maryland's highest court will hear arguments today on whether a state cap on jury awards for pain and suffering is constitutional. In considering the law that slashed the $4 million that a jury awarded to a Davidsonville couple in the 2006 drowning of their 5-year-old son, the Court of Appeals could overturn the 25-year-old practice of restricting the size of what are known as noneconomic damages in traffic accidents, product liability and other...
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NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Two Nordstrom subsidiaries must pay more than $2 million in old Maryland income taxes that state regulators say the company dodged more than a decade ago, Maryland's highest court ruled this week. The state Court of Appeals ruled against the Seattle-based retailer's appeal on behalf of one of the subsidiaries, which had mistakenly reported its income on its 2002 and 2003 tax returns, and argued that the error should absolve it from paying the taxes. Nordstrom — which operated four department stores, two discount stores and a distribution center in Maryland at the time — created the subsidiaries solely to move its trademark license outside the reach of Maryland taxation, Judge Robert McDonald wrote.
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BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2010
Maryland's highest court paved the way Tuesday for development work to resume on Baltimore's "superblock" by dismissing a challenge from a local group that wanted the court to force the city to seek new proposals. Maryland's Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public development agency, acted properly in selecting Lexington Square Partnership to build a mixed-use project within an area bounded roughly by Lexington, Howard and Fayette streets and Park Avenue, an area assembled by the city.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2014
Two of Maryland's top officials suggested Wednesday that they don't see a decision by the state's highest court guaranteeing poor people the right to state-appointed counsel at all bail hearings as being the final word on the matter. Appearing on the Marc Steiner radio show before the opening of the General Assembly session, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller emphasized that the Court of Appeals decision requiring the state to provide public defenders to prisoners when they appear before court commissioners remains before the courts and could be appealed again.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | September 15, 2001
Howard County's plans for a 300-acre park in the heart of Columbia went back on hold yesterday as a group opposed to the project decided to appeal a court ruling that had cleared the way for developing the Blandair estate. The Blandair Foundation filed a petition with the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn a July Court of Special Appeals ruling. That court threw out a lawsuit that has blocked development of the property for more than three years. "Some cynics have said to me that the courts will never give our case a fair hearing.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 2, 2004
Maryland's highest court will hear a challenge today to a section of the state election law that allows only registered Democrats and Republicans to vote in the primary for circuit judge, an office considered nonpartisan. A ruling against the state could transform Maryland's way of electing circuit judges and let independents, who make up 14 percent of voters statewide, vote in judicial primaries. The suit was filed in February by an independent voter in St. Mary's County who said he was being wrongfully disenfranchised.
NEWS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF | December 16, 1997
Gov. Parris N. Glendening named longtime state Judge Dale R. Cathell of Worcester County to Maryland's highest court yesterday, replacing Judge Robert L. Karwacki, who retired in August.With his elevation to the Court of Appeals, Cathell, 60, will have served on all four levels of the state's judiciary. Since 1989, he has been a judge on the Court of Special Appeals. Before that, he spent almost 10 years on the district and circuit benches."He has served with distinction at every level of our legal and judicial system, and he will be a welcome addition to the Court of Appeals," Glendening said.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | November 20, 1998
The state's highest court decided this week that it will hear the sensitive case of whether Gov. Parris N. Glendening's telephone records should be made public, pulling the case from a lower appellate court.At issue is to what extent the governor's communications with people outside his office are confidential. The Washington Post, which has been seeking the records from six months in 1996, argues that the documents should be disclosed under the state Public Information Act. Glendening has said he believes executive privilege and the need for confidentiality exempt the records from public scrutiny.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter | April 11, 2008
Maryland's highest court overturned yesterday a Howard County man's conviction on identity theft charges, ruling that the state law is ambiguous and can't be used to prosecute someone who takes the identity of a fictitious person. The law prohibits someone from assuming the "identity of another" -- which is what police charged Kazeem Adeshina Ishola with doing in 2003 when they said he tried to open bank accounts under two fictitious names. But a majority of judges on the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the law hadn't properly defined what "another" meant, and that state legislators hadn't explicitly banned the use of fake names in the statute.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | February 15, 1999
Retired Judge Harry A. Cole, the first black to serve on Maryland's highest court and the first elected to the state Senate, died yesterday at Church Hospital in Baltimore of complications from pneumonia. He was 78.Judge Cole made history in 1954 when he became the first black to win a state Senate seat and again in 1977 when he was the first black named to the Court of Appeals, where he served until his retirement in 1991.Among his most notable accomplishments during his 14-year tenure on the court were writing the unanimous opinion that upheld the right of the state to fund abortions for poor women and his lone dissent in a decision upholding Maryland's method of local funding of public schools.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2013
State officials have announced the addition of the first new judgeships since 1977 for the Court of Special Appeals, the state's second-highest court. Lawyers and judges can begin to apply for the two newly created seats. Appointments by Gov. Martin O'Malley will bring the number of special appeals judges to 15. Applications are due in by Aug. 7 and the panel that advises O'Malley will begin screening candidates after that. In the past 35 years, the court's workload has grown by nearly 40 percent and individual judges' caseloads by nearly 42 percent, according to the Department of Legislative Services.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2013
Maryland achieved several milestones Tuesday as Gov. Martin O'Malley named the first woman to lead what will be the first female majority on the state's top court. The appointments, announced Wednesday in Annapolis, mark a shift in a male-dominated profession and put Maryland among a minority of states with their highest courts led by women. "In every generation we make progress toward the sort of country we want our kids to grow up in," O'Malley said. O'Malley elevated Court of Appeals Judge Mary Ellen Barbera to be chief - the highest-ranking judge in Maryland - and he appointed Court of Special Appeals Judge Shirley M. Watts to take the seat of retiring Chief Judge Robert M. Bell.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2013
Four judges and one lawyer have applied for the Court of Appeals seat that will become vacant July 6 when Chief Judge Robert M. Bell reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. The applicants for the judgeship on the state's highest court are Judges Stuart Ross Berger, Albert Joseph Matricciani Jr. and Shirley Marie Watts, all sitting on the Court of Special Appeals; Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge W. Michel Pierson; and Baltimore attorney Mary...
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2013
The state is appealing a circuit court judge's January ruling that voided contracts essential to the planned redevelopment of the State Center complex in midtown Baltimore, according to court records filed Friday. The Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation, joined by the project's developers, are petitioning the state's highest court to bypass the intermediate appellate court and hear the appeal quickly. The ruling by Baltimore City Circuit Judge Althea M. Handy creates confusion about the state's business practices and therefore needs to be dealt with swiftly, according to filings by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office and lawyers for the State Center development team.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2012
Maryland's highest court upheld Gov. Martin O'Malley's new legislative redistricting map on Friday morning. The Court of Appeals issued an order, but no opinion, denying the claims in three challenges. The order comes only two days after the challenges were argued in court. The order said the judges found the plan, which will take effect with the 2014 elections, passed constitutional muster. The new map shifts the districts of Baltimore County Democratic Sens. James Brochin – whose new district is majority Republican – and Delores Kelley, both of whom objected to the plan.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2012
The collapse of a soccer goal on a Howard County practice field has led the state's highest court to reconsider more than 150 years of personal injury law, in a case that could significantly improve injured plaintiffs' chances of winning payouts. The case - which began when a crossbar crashed into then-20-year-old Kyle Coleman's face, crushing the bones around his eye - has drawn national attention, as Maryland's unusual legal standard meets its first judicial test in decades. Maryland is one of only four states, plus the District of Columbia, that bar injured people from winning lawsuits if they had any role in an accident - even if a jury finds the defendant in their suit deserved a much greater share of the blame.
NEWS
By KELLY BREWINGTON and KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTER | July 28, 2006
The contentious debate over same-sex marriage was reignited in Maryland yesterday when the state's highest court agreed to hear a case that seeks to overturn a state law that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. The lawsuit is among a handful of similar legal challenges being battled out in high courts around the country as politicians and activists on both sides keep close watch on the outcomes. In Maryland, attorneys will file briefs this fall, and the Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments in the case in late November or early December.
NEWS
By Norris P. West and Norris P. West,Staff Writer | August 4, 1992
FREDERICK -- It's after 11 o'clock on one of those warm summer nights when the humidity sticks like a layer of clammy skin.Teen-agers strut, stand and drive along Market Street with no discernible fear of being stopped by the police officer on the other side of this small city's main strip.Pockets of teen-agers converge in several areas on each side of the outskirts of the gentrified downtown, which bubbles with activity from the bars and restaurants.One year ago, the teens might not have seemed so carefree at this time of night.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2012
Behind the scenes - and several forests' worth of pulp - work is underway to transform Maryland's courts into a system that is nearly paperless. Plans call for the first courts in the state to go electronic in fall of 2013. The guinea pigs are the circuit and district courts in Anne Arundel County. Statewide appeals courts will follow. By the end of 2016, all Maryland courts are to be e-courts. The cost: $45 million, said Ben C. Clyburn, chief judge of the District Court and who heads the project.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | July 6, 2012
Poor Mitt Romney. Even when he is handed the football with a clear path to the goal line, he seems almost unable not to fumble it along the way. In his majority opinion ruling the Affordable Care Act consitututional, Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts Jr. surprisingly said the law's mandate was a tax and therefore within Congress' revenue-raising power. In doing so, he presented Mr. Romney a prime argument for accusing President Barack Obama of heaping more billions of dollars in taxes on the middle class.
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