Court Report


Hospital not liable for not admitting

Maryland’s law on involuntarily admitting mentally disturbed persons to inpatient care was explored last week by the Court of Appeals, finally resolving the appeals in a case called Gineene Williams v…

Long time identifying evidence

DNA evidence has become a powerful tool to determine whether persons convicted of crimes may have been wrongfully convicted. One problem with looking for such evidence is that the State may not have r…

Trying to get internal affairs records

Internal affairs divisions of law enforcement agencies are well known as important checks on police conduct. They are, however, subject to an officer’s  privacy rights not only by State Law but b…

Time to change judicial elections

The Montgomery County ballot in last week’s election illustrated just two of the  different ways in which Maryland judges are selected and retained on the Bench. It is time to consider a change i…

Gaining access to mental health records

In criminal cases the courts are at times called upon to balance the rights of the victim accusing the defendant of a crime, with the constitutional rights of the accused to a fair trial. …

Suing for witholding evidence

There have been a number of cases since the advent of DNA testing  where, often times many years later, a person who has been wrongfully convicted has had his conviction overturned when evidence …

Sometimes it is a very dirty word

Despite what you may see on television or in the movies, lie detector or polygraph tests have long been held by the courts in criminal cases to be unreliable and therefore not admissible in evidence.…

Statements regarding child abuse

Proving child sexual abuse cases are a particular challenge for the prosecution, primarily because the State has to often rely on the testimony of alleged child victims who may be testifying to events…

Three times is definitely no charm

 
It is rare that even serious criminal cases end up being tried three times. However, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion last month in  Gary Smith v. State shows that errors in c…