Category Archives: Court Case

California Appellate Court: “Other Insurance” Dispute Resolved by Reference to Plain Meaning of Policy Terms

In an unreported decision issued on September 8, 2022, the California Court of Appeal resolved a priority of coverage dispute for an underlying settlement when it found that one excess carrier’s reference to the primary policy in its definition of Underlying Limits entitled another excess carrier with no such reference to equitable subrogation. Read about this case here: ... Read More

Massachusetts High Court Rules that a Business Owners Liability Policy Does Not Cover Attorney’s Fees Awarded under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute

On July 6, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts determined that an award for attorney’s fees under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute, M.G.L. c. 93A (“Chapter 93A” or “the statute”), was not covered under a business owners liability policy because attorney’s fees awarded under the statute do not constitute damages “because of” bodily ... Read More

Summary judgment granted in premises case. Res ipsa loquitur inapplicable where mode of claimed injury required expert support.

Edward Sedlacek & Crystal Deese obtained summary judgment for their hospital client against a Plaintiff suing for premises liability and res ipsa loquitur.  Plaintiff claimed to have received an electrical shock forceful enough to fracture two different bones.  None of the medical experts agreed that electricity caused these twisting type fractures. The court rejected Plaintiff’s argument that a lay jury ... Read More

DC Council Extends Foreclosure Moratorium, Shortens TOPA Tolling Period

In October 2021, D.C. Council provided Mayor Bowser, under Act 24-178 1 , the power to extend the foreclosure moratorium from November 5, 2021, to February 4, 2022. 2 The purpose of this extension was to allow the Housing Assistance Funds (‘HAF”) Program to be implemented. The goal of the HAF program is to prevent mortgage ... Read More

Texas High Court: Extrinsic Evidence Permissible in Limited Exception to Eight-Corners Rule

In a decision issued on February 11, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court, responding to a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, held that extrinsic evidence can be considered in determining an insurer’s duty to defend in limited circumstances. In Monroe Guar. Ins. Co. v. BITCO Gen. Ins. Corp., the United States Court of Appeals ... Read More

The COVID-19 Vaccination – Testing Mandate Is Not Completely Dead

  On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court prohibited OSHA’s enforcement of its nationwide emergency vaccination and testing standard declaring the scope of the regulation beyond OSHA’s statutory authority. On January 25, OSHA conceded the point and withdrew the standard. But even as OSHA withdrew the standard, OSHA made clear that employers are not relieved of their obligation to protect employees from the risks of ... Read More

Charitable Conservation Easements Found A Friend In The 11th Circuit

Many Tax Court cases have been decided based upon an obscure Treasury Regulation, upholding the IRS’ 100% disallowance of charitable conservation easement deductions.  The 11th Circuit struck down the Regulation, holding that it is “arbitrary and capricious”.  A rare win for taxpayers. The Bloomberg article attached below was written by our own attorney, Nancy O. Kuhn. A Rare Victory For Taxpayers ... Read More

Blount v. Padgett’s Impact on Property Held as Tenants by the Entireties

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has clarified a 45-year-old decision regarding the effects of a divorce on liens against property held as tenants by the entireties. In Blount v. Padgett, the Court of Appeals refined its 1976 holding in Travis v. Benson that an entry of a final divorce decree converts property to a tenancy in common allowing ... Read More

Virginia Supreme Court Authorizes Removal Of General Robert E. Lee Statue In Richmond

A large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has stood for over 100 years on Monument Avenue in Richmond, along with statues of other Confederate notables. Times changed, and calls to remove the statues intensified. Governor Ralph Northam authorized the removal of the statues, but two lawsuits were filed by private individuals to protect Lee’s monument. In both cases, ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Bare Majority Of Court Allows Texas Abortion Law To Go Into Effect

The Texas Heartbeat Act created a private right of action to sue anyone who performed or assisted in performing an abortion after a heartbeat had been detected in a fetus—generally after about six weeks from conception, but well before the viability benchmark established in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Abortion providers sued a state court judge, a state ... Read More

Court Opinion: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge To House Resolution Allowing Proxy Voting During Pandemic

In May of 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 965, which allowed House members to cast votes and mark their presence by proxy during the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The Republican minority filed suit challenging the Resolution, arguing that it was unconstitutional because the Constitution required that members be physically present on the House floor ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys secure dismissal of a conversion case styled as patent infringement

Attorneys Crystal Deese and Sarah Godfrey recently secured dismissal a conversion case styled as patent infringement in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff, a biomedical research tech, sued the head of his former research laboratory for allegedly “stealing” his intellectual property. Plaintiff claimed the theft occurred when the lab director permitted one of plaintiff’s colleagues to ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case

The Health Law Practice Group obtained summary judgment in a premises liability case. Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on liquid an employee allegedly deposited and left on a hospital floor. She claimed a permanent wrist injury following a surgical procedure negatively impacted nearly all activities of daily living. Judge Shana Frost Matini in the Superior Court of the District ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Win Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages

Attorneys Crystal Deese and Pam Diedrich recently won a Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages. Plaintiffs sought to recover the entire amounts of their medical bills rather than the far lower figure the hospital received in payment. Judge José M. López in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia ruled that Plaintiffs can only claim the amounts actually paid ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Successfully Asserts Claim-Splitting Doctrine

This month, Edward Sedlacek and Crystal Deese secured dismissal of an individual physician from a malpractice suit despite Plaintiff's two-pronged attempt to add her into the litigation. Plaintiff sued a hospital in 2019 claiming permanent injuries due to inappropriate postoperative management. In 2021, Plaintiff filed a separate suit making the same allegations against his surgeon. We moved to dismiss the ... Read More

Client Alert: Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management, LLC

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has affirmed a trial court’s denial of an adverse possession claim in which the plaintiff submitted evidence as to each of the traditional necessary elements but failed to establish the location of the actual property at issue.  In Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management LLC, the Court was presented with an all too familiar ... 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

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

D.C. Court of Appeals Issues Decision On Condominium Lien Foreclosures And When An Appeal May Be Taken in a Consolidated Action

On March 25, 2021, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued its decision in RFB Properties II, LLC v. Deutsche Bank Company Americas (Nos. 19-CV-0529 and 19-CV-069). This decision has important ramifications on two fronts: (1) whether a party can appeal from a “final order” issued in only one of two consolidated cases; and (2) in the context of a D.C ... Read More

Client Alert: Yacko v. Mitchell

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued an opinion adverse to lenders decrying the “high volume of foreclosure cases” in which lenders “often treat these matters as routine and expect our courts to rubber-stamp the foreclosure with methodical expediency.”  In Yacko v. Mitchell, the Court noted that the Maryland Rules mandate that trial courts slow the foreclosure action ... Read More

Client Alert: Chicago Title Insurance Co. v. Allynnore M. Jen

Last Thursday, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion on an insurance coverage matter that only eight (8) jurisdictions have issued a published decision on since 1951. Fortunately for the title insurer, the Court of Special Appeals sided with the majority and joined seven (7) of those jurisdictions. While the case raises other issues such as 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

Update from our Health Law Practice Group:

In a medical malpractice case, a Plaintiff alleged that while she was being treated in the Emergency Room, a catheter tip broke off and became lodged in her arm. Crystal S. Deese of Jackson & Campbell represented a surgeon who advised against removing the broken tip. At trial, Plaintiff offered an emergency room physician to testify on the standard ... 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

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

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

Client Alert: District Court of the District of Columbia Denies Traditional Legal Defenses Raised by Title Companies

On May 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an important decision denying an early motion to dismiss against a title company for its actions preceding a troubled transaction. The decision is significant in that the District Court denied each of the traditional legal defenses typically raised by title companies at such an early ... Read More