The Maryland Court of Special Appeals denied a motion for reconsideration in Exxon v. Ford. Plaintiffs’ argued that under §1-403(c), seven votes of the Court of Special Appeals thirteen authorized incumbent judges, were needed to reverse the circuit court.
Why the absent judges? Upon receipt of a Judicial Ethics Commission opinion on stock ownership questions, three CSA judges disqualified themselves. I’d really be curious as to how much stock they have. Exxon is the second largest company in the U.S. (go Apple!) so it is pretty hard not to own stock in Exxon on some level if you have any type of portfolio. These judges exercised a ton a caution which, while unnecessary in my opinion, is a good thing. (Note: if this is a conflict, isn’t flying on a fishing trip with one of the parties a bigger conflict?)
Anyway, the CSA shot down the idea that this invalidated their ruling, finding that there was a “majority of the incumbent judges of the entire court.”