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In Ceron v. Kamara, the Appellate Court of Maryland addressed an appeal following a motor vehicle accident in Montgomery County.  The big issue on appeal is the trial court’s decision to permit the defendant’s counsel to introduce reasoning for expert consultation during closing arguments, which was not previously in evidence, questioning the fairness of this action. The appellate court – to my surprise, anyway – affirmed the trial court’s judgment, despite assuming potential error.

I get it, the court is trying to find balance between the wide latitude given to attorneys in closing arguments and the requirement that these arguments be based solely on evidence presented during the trial.  But I think the court comes out on the wrong side.


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, and 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 go 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.

The Maryland Appellate Court recently decided a Maryland dram shop case after the tragic death of a man in a single-car crash that had allegedly been overserved at a Charles County bar.  The plaintiffs had the good fortune of drawing as the author of the opinion the  Maryland Supreme Court judge the wrote the dissenting opinion in Maryland’s last big dram shop case.

Plaintiffs still lost.

Facts of Willett v. Ape Hangers

In Zadnik v. Ambinder, a Maryland Appellate Court decision issued yesterday, addresses interesting issues of common law marriage and who can bring a wrongful death claim in Maryland.

Facts of Zadnik v. Ambinder

Thomas Zadnik, the appellant, lodged a wrongful death lawsuit against an oncologist and Johns Hopkins Medicine in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Mr. Zadnik alleged that the late Margaret Conway, the decedent, was his common-law wife under Pennsylvania law and that the defendants’ negligence caused her death.

Sexual abuse and assault victims can seek justice and financial compensation through civil lawsuits against their abusers and other third parties, such as schools, churches, or organizations that may have negligently allowed or failed to prevent the abuse.
Historically, victims of sexual assault and abuse have had limited access to the civil justice system because of laws limiting their ability to file sex abuse lawsuits.  But we are entering a new era on the path to justice for sexual assault victims.  Recent legislation in Maryland has made it easier for childhood sexual abuse victims to bring civil lawsuits, even if the abuse happened decades ago.

In this article, we delve deeper into the process of filing a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse in Maryland, discussing relevant laws and examining the average settlement value of these cases.

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.

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

Little Ash Wednesday controversy in Iowa that is a very big deal to some: After lunch, while prosecuting an attempted murder case, the prosecutor went to Ash Wednesday mass and returned with ash on his forehead.

For mainstream Catholics, this is one of the few ways we have to publicly celebrate our faith. Many faiths of the world have ways you can, for lack of a better phrase, wear your religion on your sleeve at trial. Jewish lawyers have yarmulkes, female Muslim lawyers have headscarves, some Sikh attorneys have turbans, etc. Would a judge ever ask any of these people to remove their religious garb? Of course not. Yet, in this case, the judge asked the prosecutor to remove his ashes. The prosecutor removed the ashes, and the trial continued.

Do I think this was unfair? Yes. But the judge was in a no-win situation. It would also be unfair for the state of Iowa to piggyback off of the prosecutor’s show of piety because religious faith influences jurors. (If you have any doubt about this, read the section on religion in David Ball and Don Keenan’s book Damages.) So, on balance, I think the judge did the right thing and picked the integrity of a serious criminal trial over the prosecutor’s expression of faith. Still, I don’t like it.