A proffer agreement, sometimes referred to as a “queen for a day” letter, is a written agreement between federal prosecutors and individuals under criminal investigation which permits these individuals to give the government information about crimes with some protection against prosecution.

Before concluding a cooperation agreement or bestowing immunity upon a criminal defendant, federal prosecutors typically necessitate that the individual “proffers” or presents the details that they will offer in return for more lenient treatment. According to Federal Rule of Evidence 410 and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(f), declarations made during plea negotiations with the government are, in most instances, not permissible as evidence.

Proffer agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of involved parties, including the prosecution’s right to utilize the defendant’s declarations or the defendant’s duty to maintain honesty. While these agreements can serve as safeguards for the defendant’s rights, they can also provide the prosecution with an upper hand they always have during plea negotiations.

This post was originally written in 2008.  So this post is a mismath of different information from 2008-2023

Let’s see where we are now with attorney salaries and, specifically, first-year starting salaries for new lawyers in the Baltimore area. Keep in mind so much of this is based on conjecture and rumor, so you have to take it all with a few ounces of salt.

May 2023 Statistics

A new lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 underscores the continued tension between those seeking greater regulation of firearms and those advocating for the protection of individual Second Amendment rights.  In 2023, as states like Maryland continue to grapple with issues such as permit requirements, background checks, and restrictions on certain types of firearms, legal challenges to these measures continue to wage.  Gun rights proponents see new daylight in an increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

Maryland defended the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 before a skeptical 4th Circuit.

We also have commentary below on the new opinion in a different Maryland Shall Issue lawsuit against Montgomery County from May 2023.

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 Appellate Court issued an unreported opinion in a gun conviction case.  The appeal is really a reach and the court quickly pushed back the appellant’s arguments.

Facts of Jackson v. State

Mr. Jackson, the appellant, was convicted in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on multiple counts related to illegal possession of a regulated firearm, wearing and transporting a handgun, illegal possession of ammunition, resisting arrest, and driving without a license. Jackson raised two questions for the court to review: whether the trial court erred when it allowed Sergeant Kostoplis to testify about the duties of his current job position, and if the trial court committed plain error when it allowed the prosecutor to discuss facts not in evidence during his rebuttal closing argument. The court found no error and affirmed the convictions.

You don’t see many Maryland slip-and-fall cases in U.S. District Court.  But Bardroff v. Sanexen Water is the rare slip and fall that found its way to federal court. Last week, Federal Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson had an opportunity to rule on a slip-and-fall motion in such a case.

Facts of Bardroff v. Sanexen Water

Sanexen Water began working on the water system on Matthews Drive in Harford County where the plaintiff lived. It was a big job.  Temporary water pipes were placed along the entire length of Matthews Drive, and door hangers were placed on residents’ doors, warning them to be careful around the temporary water network. Plaintiff Bardroff interpreted this warning as an instruction for residents to avoid damaging the temporary water network.

The Maryland Daily Record had an article yesterday about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  proposed rule to ban noncompete agreements. The rule would make noncompete agreements illegal for employers and void for employees.

Covenants not to compete, also known as non-compete agreements, are contracts between employers and employees in Maryland that prevent employees from competing with their employers for a specific period of time after termination of employment. These agreements are meant to protect the employer’s business interests, trade secrets, and confidential information.

Let’s look at Maryland covenant not to compete law and the key Maryland cases dealing with covenants not to compete.

In Maryland, certain circumstances can lead to a minor being tried as an adult.  The Maryland Appellate Court looked yesterday at a Hartford County case involving a minor between 14-18 and the analysis that goes into whether to try a minor as an adult.

Criminal proceedings involving minors require tough, sometimes impossible, decisions. The justice system aims to balance rehabilitation and punishment, but that is a tricky balance sometimes.  In this case, the minor sought to have the cases transferred to the juvenile court, arguing that it would be in the child’s and society’s best interest. However, the circuit court ultimately denied the motion, raising questions about the burden of proof and the decision to keep the cases in the adult court.

Facts of Rohrbaugh v. State

Maryland’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on Friday regarding the state’s digital advertising tax, which targets companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The tax applies to gross revenue from digital ads earned by companies with over $100 million in annual revenue.

The Act imposes a tax on companies with over $100 million in global annual gross revenue from digital ads earned in Maryland, ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Plaintiffs challenged the Act, alleging violations of the Commerce Clause, First Amendment, and preemption by the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Alison L. Asti’s ruled that the online tax contravenes the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act’s ban on discriminatory taxes on online services, given that Maryland does not impose a similar tax on non-digital advertising. The Circuit Court, in its ruling, stated that digital advertising is akin to traditional advertising and, as a result, Maryland’s DAT is discriminatory under the ITFA.  The Comptroller has appealed, arguing that this ruling ignores substantial and fundamental distinctions between the operations of digital advertising platforms and traditional advertising methods.

If you are overwhelmed by debt, filing bankruptcy is often the best possible solution. A successful bankruptcy can wipe out all of your unsecured debt and give you a fresh start financially. Unfortunately, the process of filing for bankruptcy is not free. Between attorney’s fees and court filing fees bankruptcy can be pretty expensive, which is a major concern for people who are already under financial stress.

In this post, we will look at how much it can cost to file for bankruptcy in Maryland. We will look at the going rate currently charged by Maryland bankruptcy attorneys and the filing fees for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Court Filing Fees for Bankruptcy