Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Separation and divorce signal the end of a marriage. Maryland law gives these terms very different meaning. These terms mean different things in every state but particularly in Maryland.  If you are considering a divorce, you want to understand the legal differences between the two.  Separation and divorce are two distinct legal processes, each with its own requirements and consequences. This article examines the differences between separation and divorce in Maryland and provide important information for those considering ending their marriage and why this distinction is important to you.

What is Separation in Maryland? (Limited Divorce)

While Maryland does not allow for legal separation, it does offer limited divorces.  So a limited divorce is what people call a separation.  If someone says, “I’m legally separated from my spouse,” they have a limited divorce.  You can also call it a “legal separation.”

A bill in the Maryland General Assembly, sponsored by state Del. Joe Vogel, D-Montgomery, aims to require hospitals to conduct a fentanyl test on patients suspected of a drug overdose, in response to the alarming number of overdose deaths caused by fentanyl in the state.

According to data from the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center, fentanyl accounted for over twice as many overdose deaths as the substance with the second-highest number of deaths. Hospitals are the first line of defense, and testing for fentanyl would help inform opioid prevention strategies.

Fentanyl Problem in Maryland

The Maryland legislature seems poised to change the statute of limitations for sex abuse.  Our lawyers lay it out the Child Victims Act of 2023 that seeks to provide child sexual abuse victims with expanded opportunities to hold wrongdoers accountable.

Where We Are Now

This week, the Maryland Senate approved legislation on March 16 that would eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits. The bill establishes a “lookback window,” allowing survivors to take legal action regardless of when the abuse took place.

Driving or riding in a golf cart is fun. Golf carts bring all the fun of driving a car without any of the rules of the road. While this combination usually makes for a carefree day on the links or a quick cruise through a retirement community, golf cart accidents can actually lead to serious injury. Golf carts were meant for just that: golf. However, their expanded use has led to an increase in injuries across the United States.

What Makes Golf Carts Unsafe?

A golf cart is essentially a tiny car with all of the safety features removed. Think about it: golf carts lack doors, sides, bumpers, airbags, seatbelts, and usually have a plastic body. Considering that they are commonly driven at high speeds across rough terrain, it is surprising that there is absolutely no license requirement for driving one. Plus, that does not even take into account the normal maintenance required to ensure that all components like brakes or even the seats are functioning. It does not help that alcohol and golf often goes hand in hand, meaning many drivers might be under the influence of alcohol. At the end of the day, there is very little in the way of regulation when it comes to golf carts, which makes it easy for the negligence of others to cause injury.

Timberlake v. State is a case involving the delays in trial for criminal defendants due to COVID.   The appeal is based on his normally unacceptable trial delays primarily due to court closures mandated by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, who was then serving as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland (now known as the Supreme Court of Maryland), as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also some interesting Hicks analysis that will be interesting to any Maryland criminal defense lawyer.  The bottom line is that Judge Barbara’s order on COVID is binding and will not give criminal defendants an out.

Facts of Timberlake v. State

If someone has wrongfully and intentionally caused you great emotional harm in Maryland, you may have a claim for the intentional inflection of emotional distress.

Maryland law, however, does not make it easy to bring an intention infliction of emotional distress claim.  To bring this tort, the plaintiff must demonstrate a “truly devastating effect” from the defendant’s behavior.  The emotional response must be so awful that “no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.”

What Are the Elements of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress in Maryland?

The elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress in Maryland are: (1) the conduct is intentional or reckless; (2) the conduct is extreme and outrageous; (3) there is a causal connection between the wrongful conduct and the emotional distress; and (4) the emotional distress is severe. In order for distress to be sufficiently severe to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, "the plaintiff must show that he suffered a severely disabling emotional response to the defendant's conduct, and that the distress was so severe that "no reasonable man could be expected to endure it.

Does Maryland Law Allow for Negligent Inflection of Emotional Distress Claims?

Maryland law does not recognize the independent tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress. But emotional distress is part of the plaintiff's damages in any case where there is an underlying tort, such as negligence.

The statewide shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the economy and left thousands of Marylanders jobless. In the early stages of the pandemic shutdown, stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits enable many unemployed homeowners in Maryland to stay afloat financially. But as the economic sheltering continues more and more Marylanders are starting to run out of money and wondering how they are going to make their house payments.

Fortunately, both the federal government and the State of Maryland have enacted new laws and regulations to help struggling homeowners. This page will summarize all the current rules and programs that you need to know about it you are unable to make your house payments anymore.

Mortgage Relief and Foreclosure Protection for Federally Backed Loans

After almost six years, the Maryland Court of Appeals shuts down a public interest group’s attempt to block the creation of a dairy farm creamery. The court found that the third party group did not have standing because the easement they sought to enforce did not include them. A long fight for someone who, as it turned out, had no skin in the game.

Here is what happened. Defendants own an organic dairy farm that is located on 199 acres in the Long Green Valley area of Baltimore County. The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) is a statutorily created organization that buys easements on farm owner’s lands, making them promise that they will only use it for farming purposes. Competition to get into the program is fierce, but in 1997, Bellevale sold a MALPF easement to MALPF for $796,500.

In 2007, the defendant proposed to build a 10,000 square foot creamery operation on the land and received approval from the MALPF because it created and stored milk, cheese, and other dairy products. The terms were compliant with MALPF’s statutory and organizational goals. However, another land preservation organization, the Long Green Valley Association (LGVA), took issue with the creamery and filed several complaints and emergency hearings with the Deputy Zoning Commissioner for Baltimore County. All the bureaucratic avenues ultimately declared that the creamery counted as a “farm” and was being created for “farming purposes.” Finally, the LGVA filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Baltimore County.


Judge William D. Quarles Jr. denied a motion for summary judgment filed by an accounting firm in a declaratory judgment action seeking coverage for a malpractice claim. A claim against Trice, Geary & Myers alleged that the firm recommended that its clients participate in a defined benefit pension plan which caused them to unnecessarily be audited and forced to incur attorneys’ fees and tax debt. The insurance company, CAMICO Mutual, denied coverage because, well, that is what insurance companies do. CAMICO Mutual says it had no duty to defend the accounting firm because of the underlying allegations related to the insureds’ work as insurance agents and that the policy excluded claims “in connection with or arising out of any act, error or omission by any Insured in his/her capacity as an (insurance) agent or broker.” (Actually, they might have a point here, I hate to say.) I remember having a case in from of Judge Quarles when I was a defense lawyer that I thought was ripe for summary judgment. His response then was essentially, “You probably do but let discovery play itself out a bit first.” Similarly, here the court found discovery appropriate to flush out the arguments. That’s not a bad idea, but I bet that discovery will shed little light on the interpretation of what appears to be an ambiguous contract. One good piece of advice comes out of this case. Get enough coverage to cover any claims that might get filed against you. This is a $180,000 claim with only 100k in coverage even if they can get CAMICO on the hook. You can find the full opinion in Trice, Geary & Myers, LLC v. CAMICO Mutual here.  

Accounting Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements