The Traffic Checkpoint

It is well known that for many years the police have at times utilized traffic checkpoints, for example to look for intoxicated drivers. What exactly constitutes a traffic checkpoint for purposes of a…

Enforcing oyster harvesting laws

The bounty of the Chesapeake Bay is one of the treasures of the State of Maryland, including its seafood such as crabs and oysters. In the 19th century, the bay was most famous for its oysters, and th…

Witness under duress

In this age of gangs and other criminal conspiracies, the prosecution more than ever faces the problem of trying to get witnesses to testify against some criminal defendants. When a witness is granted…

Vouching for a Witness

Trial attorneys have to decide whether to object to arguments presented by the opposing attorney in closing arguments to a jury, or balance whether they think an argument is legally improper with high…

Afterthought Robbery

One of the crimes that may be charged as a result of participating in crimes such as robbery leading to the death of a victim is “felony murder,” involving the death of a person while the robbery is b…

Here comes the Sun

It is not often that an appellate opinion starts off quoting The Beatles. But, this week Maryland’s Court of Appeals began its opinion in Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennia…

The widow with unclean hands

Under the law in Maryland (and most other states), a surviving spouse in lieu of any assets left to them in the decedent’s will may elect to take a “statutory share” of their late spouse’s estate, whi…

Expert not needed on credibility

There have been a number of television series and movies that focus on the trial process and the use of experts.  Whether an expert can be called to testify as to how witnesses remember and perceive e…