Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

SCOTUS Opinion: Passive Retention of a Debtor’s Property Does Not Violate Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

After Chicago impounded their vehicles for unpaid fines, the owners filed petitions for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code automatically creates an estate comprising of all of the debtor’s property interests, requires those in possession of such property to deliver it to the trustee, and creates a stay prohibiting “any act to obtain possession of the property of the estate or of ... Read More

Client Alert: Key Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA 2021") was passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 and signed into law by the President on December 27, 2020.  A few highlights of the new law include the following: Small businesses with fewer than 300 employees which can establish a 25% or more drop in gross receipts during the 1st, ... Read More

Client Alert: Congressional Ban on Anonymous Shell Companies in the U.S. Has Huge Implications for Businesses and Financial Institutions

While businesses across the country have been eagerly planning, preparing, and waiting for Congress to pass the latest coronavirus relief package, less attention was paid to the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which sailed through the House and Senate in early December.  The CTA was part of the National Defense Authorization Act which the President recently vetoed; however, the House voted ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Defers Action On Census Case

In July, President Trump ordered that the 2020 census tabulate unlawful immigrants separately from other residents so that he would have the discretion to exclude unlawful immigrants from being counted for the basis of determining the apportionment of House seats for each state. Several states challenged that order, and a three-judge district court panel enjoined operation of the order due ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Religious School Denied Relief From Governor’s Closure Order

On November 18, the Governor of Kentucky issued an order closing all K-12 schools through the start of the holiday break, December 18, with schools reopening on January 4, due to the ongoing pandemic. In Danville Christian Academy, Inc. v. Beshear, a religious school sued and sought a preliminary injunction against that order as applied to religious schools. The district ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: New Mexico Receives Credit For Evaporated Water Under River Contract With Texas

In 1949, Texas and New Mexico entered into the Pecos River Compact under which the states would share in the water flowing through the Pecos River – essentially, New Mexico agreed to “deliver” a certain amount of water to Texas by that river. In 2014, a tropical storm hit the area, and to avoid flooding Texas asked New Mexico to ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Reinforces High Standard For Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel

The case of Shinn v. Keyer featured another death row inmate seeking to overturn his conviction through a federal habeas challenge under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Keyer alleged that his counsel was ineffective because he failed to present enough evidence of mitigation at sentencing, although Keyer himself had obstructed efforts of his counsel to develop ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Unanimously Rejects Texas’ Last Gasp Attempt To Undo Election

After various efforts by the Trump campaign to reverse the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin through state court lawsuits had failed, Texas filed a motion seeking leave to file its own lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that the same deficiencies alleged by the Trump campaign in the failed suits caused Texas to suffer injury in ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Upholds Arkansas Pharmacy Law Against ERISA Challenge

In 2015, Arkansas passed a law requiring pharmacy benefit managers, as intermediaries between pharmacies and prescription-drug plans, to reimburse pharmacies for drugs at a price equal to or higher than the pharmacy’s wholesale price, allowed pharmacies an administrative appeal procedure on those prices, and other items meant to keep drug prices low. Some of the managers sued, arguing that the ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Preserves Rape Convictions Against Military Servicemembers

Originally, the Uniform Code of Military Justice mandated that a rape conviction could be punishable by death. Under that Code, penalties punishable by death could be brought at any time, while all other offenses had to be brought within five years. In United States v. Briggs, three servicemembers were convicted of rape, but after their convictions the Court ruled in ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Political Independent Lacks Standing To Challenge Delaware Political Balance Law

  Delaware’s Constitution requires that no more than a bare majority of judges in any of its courts be from the same political party (the “bare majority requirement”). It also states that the remaining members of three of those courts must be from “the other major political party” (the “major party requirement”). In Carney v. Adams, a registered political independent sued, ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Religious Freedom Act Permits Claimants To Seek Monetary Damages Against Federal Agents Personally

  The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 permits people to seek “appropriate relief” when their religious exercise has been unlawfully burdened by the federal government. In Tanzin v. Tanvir, three practicing Muslims sued certain FBI agents who placed them on the No Fly List after they refused to act as informants against their religious communities, seeking monetary damages under the ... Read More

Client Alert: PennyMac Holdings, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Company

Recognizing that Maryland appellate courts have not previously issued a published opinion as to either whether a closing protection letter constitutes a policy of title insurance or when claims against a closing protection letter accrues for statute of limitations purposes, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued a decision clarifying these, and other, areas of the law. In PennyMac ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Enjoins New York Restrictions on Religious Gatherings

  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order limiting public gatherings in color-coded zones. In a red zone, religious services were limited to ten people, while in orange zones the gatherings could total 25 attendees. In Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, certain religious institutions challenged that order as violating ... Read More

National Survey of COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Immunity Legislation (As of November 18, 2020)

National Survey of COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Immunity Legislation (as of November 18, 2020) [1] The below survey of federal and state legislation, guidance, and executive action provides information regarding enacted and proposed legislation and executive orders issued to provide immunity protections for liability, in certain respects, to health care professionals, facilities, and volunteers in the course of their treatment of ... Read More

U.S. Law Week Quotes Arthur D. Burger Regarding Withdrawl of Counsel for Steve Bannon

Arthur D. Burger, Chair of Jackson & Campbell P.C.’s Professional Responsibility Practice Group, was quoted in U.S. Law Week regarding the withdrawal of counsel for former White House staffer Steve Bannon following offensive public statements Bannon had made.  Mr. Burger commented on the legal ethics issues associated with the withdrawal. Mr. Burger is a recognized expert on legal ... Read More

Client Alert: Batstone v. Chicago Title Ins. Co.

Earlier this week, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a decision interpreting Covered Risk 5 (“someone else has a right to limit Your use of the Land”). Given the relative rarity of written decisions interpreting title policies, it is worth a review of this decision. In Batstone v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., Louise and Griffith Batstone ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Scope Of Duty By BLM Protest Organizer To Be Determined By State Courts

During a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Louisiana protesting a recent police shooting, one of the officers was struck in the face by a chunk of rock causing serious injuries. No one could identify who threw the rock, so in Mckesson v. Doe, the officer sued the organizer of the protest on the theory that the demonstration was negligently staged ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Begins Scaling Back Qualified Immunity

In Taylor v. Riojas, an inmate sued the correctional officers who confined him in a pair of “shockingly unsanitary cells,” one of which the inmate was forced to sleep in without a bunk or clothing in frigid conditions. The Fifth Circuit had held that the conditions violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, but since the law ... Read More

Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony in Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia

In light of the Maryland Court of Appeals recent decision in Rochkind v. Stevenson, this article assesses the current state of law with regard to the admissibility of expert testimony in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. See 2020 WL 5085877 (Md. Aug. 28, 2020), reconsideration denied (Sept. 25, 2020). Effective immediately, Rochkind affirmatively adopted the nonexclusive list of Daubert reliability factors ... Read More

Client Alert: SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors

The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an unpublished decision interpreting a reservation of easements prior to a recorded dedication. While unpublished, the decision provides valuable insight into the mindset of the Supreme Court. In SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors, two adjoining property owners in Prince William County obtained special use permits to construct a car wash ... Read More

National Survey of COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Immunity Legislation (As of September 23, 2020)

The below survey of federal and state legislation, guidance, and executive action provides information regarding enacted and proposed legislation and executive orders issued to provide immunity protections for liability, in certain respects, to health care professionals, facilities, and volunteers in the course of their treatment of individuals during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and the declared national and state ... Read More

Client Alert: Easement Decisions in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued two new easement decisions of importance to real estate practitioners. Both decisions provide rare detailed analysis from the Court of Special Appeals into easements and are worth review. In Hejazi v. Sears, Hejazi’s predecessor-in-title conveyed an easement “over, upon and across” the subject property to Sears granting “exclusive rights to the use ... Read More

Client Alert: Dennis Hamilton v. Murray Rottenberg

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently resolved a matter of first impression as to whether a judgment lien attaches on property during that brief period after a contract for sale has been executed but prior to legal title passing at closing. As this was the first level of appeal, it is likely that the losing party will seek ... Read More

Client Alert: Employers Liable for Deferred Payroll Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance for employers who, in response to the President’s Executive Memorandum dated August 8, 2020, choose to defer payroll taxes for employees from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. In Notice 2020-65, issued August 28, 2020, the IRS specified that the deferred payroll taxes are due to the IRS prior to ... Read More

Client Alert: Payment Protection Program Grants May Result in Unexpected Taxable Income

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) enacted through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) is the government relief program that provided loans to small businesses to cover payroll, rent or mortgage payments and utilities. The loan may be forgiven under certain prescribed circumstances. The issue for recipients now is how to account for the funds. There ... Read More

Virginia Supreme Court Suspends All Evictions For Rent Nonpayment Until September 7, 2020

A narrowly divided Court, in an order signed by Justice Mims, suspended all writs of eviction pursuant to unlawful detainer actions in Virginia, effective August 10, 2020, and continuing through September 7, 2020. The four-justice majority noted that the ongoing public health emergency limited the ability of tenants to avail themselves of the court system, and the Governor’s request for ... Read More

National Survey of COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Immunity Legislation

(as of July 17, 2020) [1] The below survey of federal and state legislation, guidance, and executive action provides information regarding enacted and proposed legislation and executive orders issued to provide immunity protections for liability, in certain respects, to health care professionals, facilities, and volunteers in the course of their treatment of individuals during the course of the COVID-19 ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Narrow Majority Finds Indian Reservation Over Much of Oklahoma

In McGirt v. Oklahoma, a member of the Seminole Nation was prosecuted in Oklahoma state court of serious sexual offenses and sentenced to 1,000 years plus life in prison. He argued that the state court lacked jurisdiction because under the Major Crimes Act, only federal courts had jurisdiction over crimes committed by an Indian on “Indian country,” and he argued ... Read More