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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 court…

Welcome to a new year with our section!

By Amanda ConnGeneral counsel, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Happy new year to all of the members of the State and Local Government Law Section. Ihope each of you had a safe and relaxing holiday season. The Section Council hopes to continue to provide you with useful and timely programs in the new year that will help…

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, and…

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, and…

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,…

Welcome to a new year with the Section

By Amanda ConnGeneral counsel, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission With summer ended, our Section Council will be meeting to plan for the upcoming year, and I congratulate our two new Section Council members — Kirstin Lustila, an assistant attorney general in the State Treasurer’s Office, and Neil Murphy, deputy county attorney for St. Mary’s County. As a…

“Mudlarking” and “plogging” may threaten archeological sites

By Elizabeth AdamsPrince George’s County Office of Law “Mudlarking” is a hobby that finds its origins in “street urchins” that searched the banks of the Thames for coins or other valuables taken by the river and later returned to the land through the ebb and flow of the tides. “Plogging” is a more modern construct;…

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 in…

Court of Special Appeals holds county immune in well contamination case

By Stephanie Pankiewicz, associate county attorneyandPatricia Kane, chief, Division of Insurance Defense LitigationOffice of the County Attorney, Montgomery County The Court of Special Appeals has affirmed dismissal of a negligence claim arising out of saltwater contamination of a private well. In Creighton v. Montgomery Cty., the plaintiff claimed her well water was contaminated by the…

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