Limits On The Constitutional Amendment’s Legalization Of Marijuana And The Impact On Public Policy

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg Roughly two-thirds of Maryland voters approved Question 4, which provides that after July 1, 2023, a person “who is at least 21 years old may use and possess” marijuana (legally referred to as “cannabis”), but Question 4 included a second section making legalization subject to the GeneralContinue reading “Limits On The Constitutional Amendment’s Legalization Of Marijuana And The Impact On Public Policy”

Maryland Court Of Appeals Becomes the Supreme Court

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg One of the constitutional amendments approved by the voters was to change the name of Maryland’s appellate courts. The approved changes are to both the Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals, neither of which will use their former names. Instead, the current higher courtContinue reading “Maryland Court Of Appeals Becomes the Supreme Court”

Section counsel membership set

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg Council members serve the Section primarily through their work on committees, including the Programs, Communications, Legislative, and Membership and Nominations Committees. Their work includes creating the annual State and Local Government Law Institute and other networking programs during the year, helping to maintain the section blog, andContinue reading “Section counsel membership set”

Spring Institute topics range from appellate to policing

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg The Section held its annual training in June and, given ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it was virtual. There was first a panel discussion on the Supreme Court’s 2022 term, including participation from Amanda Karras, who is the director of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, andContinue reading “Spring Institute topics range from appellate to policing”

Reach of Open Meetings Act expanded

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg House Bill 375 added a new Section 307 to the Open Meetings Act, making 17 more State-created boards, corporations, and authorities subject to its requirements. Boards identified include the Board of Directors for the Maryland 9-1-1 Board, the Maryland Clean Energy Center, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation,Continue reading “Reach of Open Meetings Act expanded”

Online dispute resolution in the courts increases access while saving resources

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg Conflict management principles can provide solutions for ongoing disputes, and even lead to the creation of dispute system designs to handle categories of disputes. The use of computers has led to the creation of online dispute resolution (“ODR”) processes as well. The growth of ODR has inContinue reading “Online dispute resolution in the courts increases access while saving resources”

Robert Levan, informal “dean” of municipal attorneys, passes away

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg Robert Levan — father of Section Council member Elissa Levan — passed away yesterday, April 28, 2022. I know all of us in the Section join in offering condolences to Elissa. Bob Levan was known as the informal “dean” of municipal attorneys, and served as a mentor (with incredibleContinue reading “Robert Levan, informal “dean” of municipal attorneys, passes away”

Courts have discretion to consider moot issues on appeal

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg The Court of Appeals, in In re S.F., ____ Md. ____, 2022 WL 324890 (February 3, 2022), recently confirmed that, even when an issue is moot, courts still have discretion to consider it. The decision involved a “no suspension from school” probation condition imposed on a minor, whoContinue reading “Courts have discretion to consider moot issues on appeal”

“Lunch and Learn” Discusses Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandates

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg At the Section’s latest “lunch and learn” session on February 25, Michael Foreman, Law Professor and Director of the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic at Pennsylvania State University School of Law, spoke about religious exemptions from vaccine mandates. He pointed out that, while vaccinations can be required, an employerContinue reading ““Lunch and Learn” Discusses Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandates”

Virtual Law Institute to Address Police Reform, PIA

By Frank JohnsonDeputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg The Section will be holding the annual Law Institute in late May. The Section Council has decided this event will be virtual, and topics are expected to include a summary of the General Assembly police reform efforts from last year, as well as Public Information Act changes, asContinue reading “Virtual Law Institute to Address Police Reform, PIA”