Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

SCOTUS Opinion: Reckless Action Does Not Qualify As “Violent Felony” Under Armed Career Criminal Act

The Armed Career Criminal Act permits a longer jail sentence for those found guilty three or more times of a prior “violent felony,” which is defined as a crime that involves “the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another.” The Court had previously decided that crimes of negligence lacked the necessary mens rea ... Read More

On a Holiday: Juneteenth and Workplace Diversity & Inclusion

Every year the summer months bring the promise of warm weather, vacations, and the annual commemoration of America’s most important and nationally recognized holiday, Independence Day, July 4. While July 4 is always met with much media interest and news coverage, last year its equally important sister holiday, June 19 or Juneteenth, garnered widespread national attention. Set against the backdrop ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Temporary Protected Status Does Not Make Undocumented Immigrant Eligible For Green Card

After an immigrant from El Salvador illegally entered the United States in 1997, he was given Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the government, which allowed him to remain the country while his home country was considered too dangerous to return to, and “shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant.” Over a decade later, the ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Narrows Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 imposes criminal liability on anyone who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access.” 18 U.S.C. sec. 1030(a)(2). The Act defines “exceeds authorized access” as meaning that a person accesses a computer with authorization, but uses that access to obtain or alter information that the person was not authorized to ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Tribal Officers Have Authority Over Non-Indians On Public Roads Crossing Reservation Land

A police officer for the Crow Tribe approached a driver who had stopped on a portion of a public highway within the Crow Reservation. The officer observed the driver appeared not to be native and had watery, bloodshot eyes, and guns on the front seat. Without asking for identification that would resolve the driver’s status as a native, the officer ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Immigrant’s Testimony Not Entitled To Presumption Of Credibility In Removal Case

The case of Garland v. Ming Dai involved two consolidated appeals where in each an immigrant noncitizen was requesting that he not be removed to his respective country of origin. In each case, the immigrant gave testimony in support of their cause to stay in the United States, and in each case the immigration judge and the Bureau of Immigration ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: District Courts Have No Discretion To Reduce Appellate Costs

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39 allows the taxation of certain appellate “costs” to the prevailing party, including “premiums paid for a bond or other security to preserve rights pending appeal.” In City of San Antonio v. Hotels.com, L.P., San Antonio obtained a judgment in the district court of roughly $55 million after a jury trial. Hotels.com opted to appeal ... Read More

Client Alert: CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service – A Rare Victory for the Taxpayer

  On May 17, 2021, a unanimous Supreme Court issued its opinion in the long-awaited case interpreting the Anti-Injunction Act as applied to the Internal Revenue Service. CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service was a rare loss for the government. The Supreme Court held that CIC Services has jurisdiction to question the IRS’ ability to demand burdensome record-keeping information from ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Limitations on CERCLA Contribution Claims Only for CERCLA-Specific Liabilities

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) established the framework for who should pay for environmental issues. In particular, CERCLA allows “a person who has resolved its liability to the United States or a State” in a settlement to raise a contribution claim from another responsible individual. In 2004, the Territory of Guam settled litigation initiated ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Undocumented Immigrants face Higher Hurdle To Challenge Prior to Deportation

In 1988, a Mexican-national was convicted in California for felony DUI and then deported because at the time such a crime was an “aggravated felony” permitting removal. That same person illegally re-entered the United States and was indicted for unlawful reentry. The immigrant sought a collateral challenge of his prior removal order on the basis that the Court had since ... Read More

National Survey of COVID-19 Medical Malpractice Immunity Legislation (As of May 24, 2021)

  (as of May 24, 2021) [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: “Community Caretaking Exception” To The Fourth Amendment Blocked From The Home

In Caniglia v. Strom, after Edward Caniglia agreed to submit to a psychiatric evaluation and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, officers searched his home and seized his firearms without a search warrant. Caniglia sued, but the district court and the First Circuit rejected his suit under the “community caretaking exception” to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Anti-Injunction Act Does Not Limit Challenge To IRS Reporting Requirement

The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person.” 26 U.S.C. sec. 7421(a). In IRS Notice 2016-66, the IRS required taxpayers to report information about certain insurance agreements, with civil tax penalties and criminal prosecution available in case of noncompliance. CIC ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Expands Appellate Review For Remand Orders

Normally, after a case is removed to federal court, a decision of the district court to remand the case back to the state court is not reviewable on appeal. However, under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1447(d), appellate review is available where the case for removal is based on the involvement of a federal officer (sec. 1442) or concerns civil rights (sec ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Closes Retroactivity Loophole For Criminal Procedure Decisions

Normally, new rules of criminal procedure do not apply retroactively. However, in Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989), the Court made an exception for “watershed” rule changes. Since then, however, the Court had never found a rule change that passed muster. In Edwards v. Vannoy, Thedrick Edwards was found guilty of certain felonies by non-unanimous juries in state court, ... Read More

Client Alert: Maryland Real Estate Commission Activity

Various bulletins and notices from the Maryland Real Estate Commission serve as important reminders: Real Estate Agents Not to be Paid by Title Company or Others – Must be Paid Through the Brokerage. Payment of real estate commissions to agents or associate brokers may not be from the settlement company's account.  Instead, payments of commissions need to be paid through the real ... Read More

Client Alert: Wheeling v. Selene Finance, LP

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has held that a protected resident need not be deprived of actual possession as a condition to suit against a loan servicer under the 2013 residential eviction amendments set forth in Maryland Code Real Property Article § 7-113. In Wheeling v. Selene Finance, LP, the Court weighed-in on claims from two families regarding the ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Rejects Effectiveness Of Multipart Notices To Appear

Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Congress required the government to serve a notice to appear on any non-citizen it wishes to remove from the country. Under the Act, such a notice must be in writing and contain certain information, including any charges against the non-citizen, and the time and place of the removal proceedings ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Rejects Sex Offender’s Habeas Corpus Claim On Predicate State Conviction

  After Sean Wright was convicted for sexual abuse in Alaska’s state courts, he failed to register his sex offender status in Tennessee when he moved there after his Alaskan prison sentence ended, in violation of federal law. During the federal proceedings, Wright filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Alaska, arguing that his Sixth Amendment rights were ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Federal Trade Commission Act Does Not Permit Awards Of Monetary Relief

In AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC, the Federal Trade Commission sued Scott Tucker and his companies for deceptive payday lending practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The district court granted an injunction to stop further such practices, and also invoked Section 13(b) of the Act to order Tucker to pay $1.27 billion in restitution and disgorgement ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Social Security Administration Administrative Law Judges Subject To Appointments Clause Challenges

In Carr v. Saul, individuals who were denied Social Security benefits after determinations by the SSA’s administrative law judges (ALJs) sought to challenge those results by arguing that the ALJs were not properly appointed under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution as analyzed under Lucia v. SEC, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), which held that SEC ALJs appointed similarly to the ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Juvenile Murderers Face Life In Prison Without Parole Even If Not Deemed Permanently Incorrigible

  Brett Jones was 15 when he murdered his grandfather. Under Mississippi law at the time, he received a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Then, in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S 460 (2012), the Supreme Court held that a juvenile can only be sentenced to life without parole if there was discretion to impose a lesser punishment. Upon reconsideration, the ... Read More

Employer-Mandated COVID-19 Vaccines: Tips, Pitfalls, and Other Considerations

President Joe Biden recently announced that all adult Americans will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19. That day has arrived, and all 50 states now allow all adults age 16 and older to register for the vaccine. As the pace of vaccinations continues to accelerate, and case numbers appear to be stable in most regions of the ... Read More

Client Alert: Canova Land and Investment Company v. Carolyn Lynn

This morning, the Supreme Court of Virginia interpreted a restriction contained within a 146-year-old deed as not being an unreasonable restraint on alienation. In Canova Land and Investment Company v. Carolyn Lynn, the Supreme Court analyzed whether ancient deed restrictions, undiscovered by a subsequent lender, vitiate the security for its loan. In 1875, Edna and Levi Lynn granted a deed to ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Lifts Restrictions On In-Home Religious Gatherings

As part of its effort to combat COVID-19, California enacted a policy limiting in-home religious gatherings to no more than three households. Several California pastors filed suit and asked that the courts enter an injunction preventing the application of the policy as a violation of their First Amendment religious rights. The district court and the Ninth Circuit rejected the application, ... Read More

Client Alert: Wilson v. Eagle National Bank

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has allowed a complaint alleging Sherman Act violations by a lender in purported conspiracy with its internal title company and competitor title company to proceed. In Wilson v. Eagle National Bank, the Court held that allegations of horizontal price-fixing in title and settlement services, if proven true, constitute per se ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Google Allowed Fair Use Of Oracle’s Java Code

After Google acquired Android, it copied about 11,500 lines of Oracle’s Java SE code without Oracle’s permission so that programmers could use it to develop apps for Android phones. Oracle filed suit arguing that Google violated its copyrights over that code. The Federal Circuit held that the copied lines were copyrightable under the Copyright Act, and reversed a jury’s determination ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Facebook’s Security Feature Not A Prohibited Autodialer

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits telemarketers from using autodialers, which “store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator,” and then dial those numbers. Meanwhile, Facebook has a security feature that automatically texts a phone number associated with an account if that account is accessed from a new device or browser ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Re-Institutes Federal Communications Commission’s Repeal Of Media Ownership Rules

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to review its rules restricting entities from owning multiple media outlets every four years to ensure that competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity were promoted. In 2017, the FCC determined that three of its rules were no longer necessary to promote those values, and that repealing the rules would likely not harm minority ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Georgia Prevails In Dispute Over Water Rights

The interstate rivers that make up the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin flow from Georgia into Florida. Florida claimed that its upstream neighbor was consuming too much of the Basin waters, resulting in downstream harm to Florida’s oyster fisheries and wildlife. The Special Master appointed to the case originally recommended dismissal of Florida’s claim for lack of redressability, but the Court requested ... Read More