SCHEDULE OF ORAL ARGUMENTS
September Term, 2018
Thursday, January 31, 2019:
AG No. 42 (2017 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Stuart Richard Blatt
Attorney for Petitioner: Jennifer L. Thompson
Attorney for Respondent: William A. Hahn, Jr.
No. 46 LVNV Funding LLC v. Larry Finch, et al.
Issues – Business Regulations – 1) Is a judgment obtained in favor of an unlicensed collection agency by a court that has fundamental jurisdiction over the cause of action void ab initio rather than voidable? 2) Can those sued by an unlicensed collection agency, and who suffered no other injury as a result, premise private claims under the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act (“MCDCA”) and on common law on nothing more than a violation of Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”), a statute that provides no private right of action? 3) Is an entity that owns consumer debt, and that retains a licensed collection agency to collect on that debt, nonetheless a “Collection Agency” under MCALA? 4) Did Petitioner assert a particularized objection to a jury instruction to preserve appellate review? 5) Did CSA abuse its discretion by disregarding the holding of Philip Morris USA v. Christensen, 394 Md. 224, 264-65 (2006) which adopted the doctrine of class action tolling in Md? 6) Does a party’s cause of action accrue before he or she has actual damages? 7) Did Petitioner present any admissible evidence to the trial court to support its affirmative defense that any subclass members’ claims were barred by the of statute of limitations?
Attorney for Petitioner: Thomas J. Moloney
Attorney for Respondent: Scott C. Borison
No. 52 State of Maryland v. Hassan Emmanuel Jones
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Should the accomplice corroboration rule that “a conviction may not rest on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice,” be revisited and either replaced or revised to allow the jury to measure the weight of the evidence and judge the credibility of witnesses, with appropriate instruction from the trial court to guide it in the consideration of accomplice testimony? 2) Was the testimony of Respondent’s co-conspirators sufficiently corroborated, and, therefore, the evidence sufficient to convict Respondent of conspiracy to commit armed carjacking?
Attorney for Petitioner: Jessica V. Carter
Attorney for Respondent: Michael R. Braudes
Friday, February 1, 2019:
No. 41 In re: S.K.
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the juvenile court err in finding 16-year old S.K. involved in distributing child pornography as proscribed by Md. Crim. Law Art. §11-207(a), where she was both the sender and the only depicted minor, and where the act depicted was not in itself criminal? 2) Did the juvenile court properly find S.K. involved in the offense of displaying an obscene item to a minor despite the fact that, as the Court of Special Appeals held, the statute does not specifically state that it applies to “an electronically-transmitted digital video file”?
Attorney for Petitioner: Claudia Cortese
Attorney for Respondent: Sarah Page Pritzlaff
No. 54 Gordon Collins v. State of Maryland
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In Pearson v. State, 437 Md. 350 (2014), this Court held that on request a trial court is required to ask whether any member of the venire has strong feelings about the crimes with which the defendant is charged. Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked the venire whether anyone in the venire or their immediate family had been the victim of a crime? 2) Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked the seated jury properly phrased “strong feelings” questions after the jury had been sworn and had heard opening statements? 3) Did CSA err when it held that the trial court’s failure to ask the venire properly phrased “strong feelings” questions was not reversible error in light of the fact that the trial court asked a number of other generic questions?
Attorney for Petitioner: Allison Pierce Brasseaux
Attorneys for Respondent: Virginia S. Hovermill
Tuesday, February 5, 2019:
No. 51 Tamere Thornton v. State of Maryland
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the trial court properly deny the motion to suppress on the grounds that Petitioner’s attempted flight from a pat-down, which the motions judge believed was based on “very questionabl[e] reasonable suspicion,” attenuated the link between any unlawful police conduct and the discovery of a firearm on Petitioner’s person? 2) Where it was never suggested in the trial court or on appeal to CSA that Petitioner’s attempted flight constituted a new crime, did CSA err in concluding that the flight established probable cause to arrest Petitioner for fleeing and eluding under the Transportation Article? 3) If Petitioner’s attempted flight did not provide probable cause to arrest him for the offense of fleeing and eluding, to what extent may flight in and of itself constitute an intervening circumstance for purposes of the attenuation doctrine? 4) Assuming, arguendo, that Petitioner’s attempted flight did establish probable cause to arrest him for fleeing and eluding, does the commission of any new crime attenuate the taint from an unlawful search or seizure, or only the commission of certain crimes? 5) Did CSA misapply the third factor of the attenuation doctrine (i.e., the purpose and flagrancy of the police misconduct)?
Attorney for Petitioner: Michael T. Torres
Attorney for Respondent: Benjamin Harris
No. 50 Baltimore County, Maryland v. Michael Quinlan
Issues – Workers’ Compensation – 1) Did the trial court err in denying Petitioner’s motion for summary judgment, given the lack of a clearly defined occupational disease as the basis for the claim and evidence that the conditions were shown to be prevalent in all occupations involving heavy physical labor not uniquely related to the work of a paramedic or EMT as an inherent and inseparable risk? 2) Did CSA err in finding that Respondent met the statutory requirements set forth in LE §9-502(d)(1) and that he had sufficiently established at trial that his condition resulted from an inherent hazard of his employment as a paramedic or EMT? 3) Should this Court review the decision below under the statutory requirements and existing case law, particularly Black and Decker Corporation v. Humbert, 189 Md.App. 171 (2009), which similarly ignores the legislative requirement that a disease is only occupational if it is “due to the nature of an employment in which the hazards of the occupational disease exist” (LE §9-502(d)(1)(i)), to provide clarification and guidance on the requirement for establishing a legally sufficient claim for occupational disease?
Attorneys for Petitioner: Suzanne Berger and Suja Varghese
Attorney for Respondent: P. Matthew Darby
No. 53 State of Maryland v. Willie B. Stewart
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) What is the proper analysis for determining when jury verdicts are legally inconsistent? 2) Where a verbal threat was the basis for the robbery and assault charges, but the jury was instructed that second-degree “intent to frighten” assault required a finding that Respondent committed an act with the intent to place [the] victim in fear of immediate physical harm,” did CSA err in holding that the verdicts of guilty of threat-of-force robbery and not guilty of assault were legally inconsistent?
Attorney for Petitioner: Gary E. O'Connor
Attorney for Respondent: Krystal Quinlan
On the day of argument, counsel are instructed to register in the Clerk’s Office no later than 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise notified.
After February 5, 2019, the Court will recess until February 28, 2019.
SUZANNE C. JOHNSON