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THE ADVOCATE Newsletter of The Baltimore County Bar Association VOLUME XXVIII, NO. 3

September 2018

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Rebecca A. Fleming Each year the BCBA president selects a charity for his or her bar year, and that charity is the beneficiary of several annual fundraisers. For many years there was one fundraiser, and that was the Young Lawyer’s Committee Bull and Oyster Roast. The charity was then presented with the funds raised by the Bull and Oyster Roast at our annual Law Day Noon Ceremony. Over the last several years the Past Presidents have started to add to the efforts to raise funds for the designated charity, and significantly expanded the efforts beyond the Young Lawyers Committee. Past President Tirabassi held the first Wines Around the World event in place of the Bull Roast, Past President Thompson added an option to our flyers to donate five dollars to his charity, and Past President BallouWatts held a Wines Around the World event AND a Bull Roast. Since the efforts to raise funds has extended to the entire bar year,

and not only the Annual Bull and Oyster Roast in the Spring, the charity is now presented with a check at the last Stated Meeting of the bar year. In continuing the tradition of developing new and interesting ways to raise funds for our charity, this year the BCBA will have a team that will participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of Darkness Walk in Baltimore City. The walk will take place on Saturday, November 3, 2018. It begins at 9:30 a.m. at Rash Field and ends at noon. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and there is plenty to see and do prior to the walk. Although the walk is two miles, you do not need to complete the walk and no one will be timed. Our Executive Director, Rachel Ruocco, has already created a team.

Inside This Edition Blast from the Past Pg Calendar of Events Pg Committee News Pg Court Contact List Pg Court Notices Pg Criminal Law Update Pg District Ct Assignments Pg Health & Wellness Pg In Chambers With… Pg Judge Truffer Reception Pg Judge Wyman Pg Member Ads Pg Members News Pg Portrait Committee Pg Save the Date flyer Pg

20 3 26 30 4 14 4 15 8 16 18 38 24 28 22

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Hawk Mortgage Group THE ADVOCATE

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September 2018

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Rebecca A. Fleming Anyone who would like to participate can do so in one of the following ways:

The Bar Association will be providing ‘Team BCBA’ T-shirts to all of our team members.

1. Click on the following link https://goo.gl/ EGQAzS (or copy/type it into your browser) . That will bring you to a page where you click on ‘Join Our Team’.

While we are getting ready for our walk, please remember to join us for our Bar Year Kick-Off Party at Charles Village Pub on September 5, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. We will have appetizers, soft drinks, and two drink tickets for everyone. There is no need to register, so that is one less thing to worry about. If you realize at the last minute that you are able to attend, please do.

2. Email Rachel Ruocco at rruocco@bcba.org to join the team, 3. Visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/BaltCoBar/



4. Visit www.bcba.org to join. I am signed up and I have already sent emails to my friends and family asking them to donate to our team. It is simple to set up a page and communicate with potential donors. If you have seen my phone, then you know that if I can do this, you can, too! Since I am such a tech dinosaur, I kept notes on what I did as I went through the signup process, so if you have any trouble at all, please call me and I can help to walk you through it. When you set up your own page you will be asked to set a goal for yourself. Do not worry about what that goal is, because you can always increase it as you raise money. You can invite people to donate via email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The BCBA has 1900 members. I would like to see us assemble the largest team and out fundraise all other teams. If you would like to participate and you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Rachel Ruocco or myself. I understand that many people will be busy on a Saturday morning and my not be able to walk. You can still participate because you have the option of signing up as a Virtual Walker. If you cannot or do not want to walk (virtually or otherwise), you can still donate to our team. You can use the same link that appears above. When you go to that page, just click on Donations, which will be on the banner that runs along the top of the screen. If you do that, please include your name and publicly encourage our team! THE ADVOCATE

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September 2018


2018-19 Officers President Pres-Elect Secretary Treasurer

Rebecca A. Fleming Michael W. Siri Jay D. Miller Stanford G. Gann, Jr.

Executive Council John G. Turnbull III Lisa Y. Settles Sondra M. Douglas Richard Grason VI Robert K. Erdman, Jr. Tyler J. Nowicki

3. 4. 5.

Immediate Past President Craig R. Borchers, Young Lawyers Chair


The Advocate Ari J. Kodeck Committee Chair Adam E. Konstas Committee Vice -Chair

20. 20. 23. 30.

Contributing Writers Michael Barranco Thomas H. Bostwick Debra Cruz Mariela C. D’Alessio Bruce E. Friedman Kristine Howanski Laura C. Jenifer William R. Levasseur, Jr. Margaret M. McKee Cecilia B. Paizs Kate Rosenblatt Kimberly K. P. Rothwell Scott D. Shellenberger Alaina L. Storie Craig Ward Laurie M. Wasserman Matt Wyman

Courts and Bar Office Closed for Labor Day Pro Bono Committee Meeting, 5 pm, Women’s Law Center, 305 W. Chesapeake Ave, Suite 201, Towson Bar Year Kick-Off Party, 5-7 pm, CVP, 19 W. Pennsylvania Ave, Towson Lawyer in the Lobby Clinic, 4:30 pm -6:30 pm Estates & Trusts Committee Happy Hour, 5:30 -7:30 pm, Towson Tavern, 516 York Road, Towson Professionalism Committee Meeting, 5 pm, Grand Jury Room New Law Clerk Orientation, 4:30 pm Family Law Meet & Greet, 6 pm, Eagle’s Nest Country Club, 12821 Stone Hill Road, Phoenix Ravens Tailgate Party and Cook -off, Lot H Retirement Party for Judge Wyman, 1 -4 pm, Baltimore Yacht Club, 800 Baltimore Yacht club Rd, Essex

October 2018 2. 9. 10. 12. 13. 15.

The Advocate is a monthly publication of the Baltimore County Bar Association informing its members about current events relating to law. Articles do not necessarily reflect the official position of the BCBA and publication does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed.


The contents of advertisements are the responsibility of the advertisers and are not recommendations or endorsements by The Advocate.

18. 23.

Publication deadline: 15th of the month preceding publication.




September 2018

12. 13.

Adam T. Sampson,


17. 18.

Pro Bono Committee Meeting, 5 pm, Women’s Law Center, 305 W. Chesapeake Ave, Suite 201, Towson Family Law Committee Evening Series, 5 pm, Grand Jury Room Lawyer in the Lobby Clinic, 4:30 —6:30 pm Civics & Law Academy, 8:30 am, CCBC Owings Mills Pro Bono Clinic, 9 am—12:30 pm, Essex Library, 1110 Eastern Blvd, Essex Professionalism Committee Meeting, 5 pm, Grand Jury Room Estates & Trusts, Guardianship Changes, 5 pm, Grand Jury Room Family Law Dinner, New Tax Laws, 6pm, Country Club of Maryland, 1101 Stevenson Lane, Baltimore Bar Foundation Meeting, 3:30 pm, Ceremonial Courtroom 5 Stated Meeting, 4:30 pm, Ceremonial Courtroom 5 Pro Bono Awards, 5 pm, Pessin Katz Law, 901 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson Criminal Law Committee, Detention Center Programs, 5 pm, Grand Jury Room

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September 2018



FAMILY LAW JUDGE ROTATION The following Judge’s Rotation List for the Baltimore County Circuit Court Family Law Division, effective July 1, 2018 (to December 31, 2018), modifies the previously published list as follows:

Judge Kathleen G. Cox Judge John J. Nagle III Judge Jan Marshall Alexander Judge Justin J. King Judge Keith R. Truffer Judge Judith C. Ensor- July 1 - September 30 Judge Colleen Cavanaugh - October 1 - December 31 THE ADVOCATE

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A big thank-you to the Baltimore County Bar Foundation and the Judicial Portrait Fundraising Committee. Co-chairs Harry Chase and John Gontrum, along with the rest of the committee have been hard at work raising funds for judicial portraits of retired and deceased judges. We have a long way to go and a lot more to raise, so please consider a donation in any amount. The flyer is in this issue to make it easy to donate. The portraits of Judge J. Norris Byrnes and Judge Patrick Cavanaugh have been completed. The unveiling ceremonies will be held in October, with the exact dates to be determined soon.

September 2018

MDEC UPDATE FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY MDEC will “Go Live” in Baltimore County on February 19, 2019. Training and early preparation is underway in both the District and the Circuit Courts for the conversion that will occur. The training time needed for the Clerks’ Office staffs is significant, so we ask the Bar to be patient if processing times lag slightly over the next several months. The District and the Circuit Courts will set reduced caseloads in both January and February during the final training and conversion period, so you may notice some scheduling delays. As part of the MDEC conversion, the Circuit Court has converted from a County to a State platform for its computer network. Therefore the email address for Judges, their staffs, and the Clerk’s Office staff have all changed. Email addressed to courthouse employees through a Baltimore County email address will automatically forward for some period, but you will get a message back advising of the recipient’s new email address. Please be sure to update your address lists with the new “mdcourts.gov” email address.


As we get closer to the “Go Live” date, we will provide regular updates and practice pointers. Bar trainings will be scheduled later in the year for those who are not already familiar with MDEC. For now, the tip of the month relates to scanning. Eventually, all active files will be scanned into the Odyssey system. Please be aware that there is no two-sided scanning capacity. Therefore you should not file pleadings or attachments with print on both sides or they will not scan accurately during the conversion. Stay tuned for other updates. And in the words of the Honorable John Morrissey: “Go MDEC!”

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Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox Judge Dorothy J. Wilson

September 2018

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION In 1987, a small group of caring individuals had a vision: establish a private source of support for suicide research and education, and essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained into the future. These founding families—each of whom had lost a loved one to suicide—joined with scientists to create what today is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or AFSP. Many of our original founders were concerned about an alarming rise in youth suicide over the previous four decades. Statistics show that suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among young people age 15 to 24. The highest overall rates of suicide are for adults age 40 to 59. Every year we lose 45,000 Americans to suicide and for every suicide 25 people attempt to take their life daily. Every suicide affects at least 100 people. However, suicide is preventable (suicide risk factors and warning signs). AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. We are a voluntary health organization that intends to create a culture that is smart about mental health. AFSP does so by engaging in funding scientific research, educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention, and supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide. Since its founding in 1987, AFSP has: 

Mobilized and connected tens of thousands of people who have lost a family member, loved one, or friend to suicide

Reached thousands of individuals who are at risk for suicide, as well as those who love and care for them

Attracted the participation of members of the scientific and clinical communities, who


conduct groundbreaking research on suicide and its prevention with support from AFSP 

Established local chapters in all 50 states Educated hundreds of local communities about suicide and how to prevent it

Created a public policy and lobbying arm by merging successfully with an existing nation al policy organization, thus enabling AFSP to press for legislation and policies at the feder al, state and local levels that advance the goal of preventing suicide

Educated reporters and the media about how to best cover suicide

Raised awareness for suicide prevention and mental thanks to thousands of participants walking in the Out of the Darkness Walks

Set a bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate in the United States 20 percent by the year 2025

Research shows that suicide is a complex health issue. There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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Judge Robinson became an Associate Judge of the Baltimore County Circuit Court on November 30, 2016 after fourteen years of private practice as a civil litigator. At the time of his appointment, Judge Robinson was a partner with the law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, where he practiced for ten years. Prior to that time, Judge Robinson was an associate at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP. Judge Robinson was born in Towson, Maryland and attended Loyola Blakefield. He received his bachelor's degree from Towson University, where he majored in psychology. He received his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2002. When asked what he enjoys most about serving as a judge on the Circuit Court, his response was “coming to work every day and having the ability to have a positive effect on the lives of individuals who come before the court, as well as the community.” Judge Robinson stated that “being a judge is the most rewarding and challenging job that I’ve ever had. If the job becomes easy, then you are not doing it correctly.” When asked about his judicial style, he described it as always being well prepared and treating people with respect. Judge Robinson believes that while it may sound cliché, he feels strongly that every person who comes before the Court is deserving of dignity, who should be respected regardless of the reason they are appearing in Court. Judge Robinson’s advice to young lawyers is to remember that there is no such thing as just another [fill in the blank type of] case. All lawyers should remember that for your clients, this may be their only child custody case, or personal injury case, or criminal case. He believes it is important for young lawyers to remember that even though the case may seem routine after handling many of the same type for different clients, it may still be your client’s only case, and be of great importance to the client. In his free time, Judge Robinson most enjoys the time he spends with his family. This includes fishing with his son in lakes, streams, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries as well as saltwater fishing. He also enjoys doing whatever his young daughter wants him to do with her, such as reading to her, playing video games together, “just running around and having fun” and visiting her favorite ice cream shop. When he has time to do something for himself, he enjoys bicycling, including “century” rides (100 miles).


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September 2018

IN CHAMBERS WITH JUDGE DENNIS M. ROBINSON by Michael S. Barranco Editor's Note: Each judge profiled is asked a set of questions. Judge Robinson’s answers are as follows: Favorite Restaurants:

Gunpowder Lodge in Kingsville

Pet Peeve:

Lack of Professionalism

Favorite Sports Team:

Baltimore Orioles

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:

Chocolate chip cookie dough

Favorite type of music or Artist:


Station on your car radio right now:

93.1 WPOC

Guilty pleasure:

Mindless comedies

Favorite Charity:

Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation & Rescue Well

Favorite Book:

To Kill a Mockingbird (same as Judge Deeley)

Travel destination still on bucket list:


If could meet one person, living or dead, who would you want to meet:

Abraham Lincoln

f you had not gone into the law, what profession would you choose:

Wrecking ball operator!

Member of the Baltimore County Bar who has passed he misses the most:

Judge Ann S. Brobst


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September 2018

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR J. EARLE PLUMHOFF PROFESSIONALISM AWARD The Professionalism Committee is requesting nominations from Bar Association Members for the annual recipient of the J. Earle Plumhoff Professionalism Award, which will be presented at the Annual Black Tie Banquet on January 31, 2019.

Past Recipients

Recipient of this award must be:


Myles F. Friedman – FIRST RECIPIENT


Richard A. Reid


Leon Berg (presented at Family Law dinner)


Keith R. Truffer

A Baltimore County Bar Association


Carolyn H. Thaler

member at least 5 years;


Jennifer B. Aist

Have made professional contributions to Baltimore County Bar Association activities;


Christopher W. Nicholson


Kristine K. Howanski

Have made contributions of time and re sources that have gone largely unnoticed; and


Harris J. “Bud” George


Mary Roby Sanders


Robert L. Hanley Jr.


Judge Robert J. Steinberg


Herbert R. O’Conor III


Drake C. Zaharris


Carl R. Gold


Dominick A. Garcia

High marks for dignity, integrity and civility. Nominations should be sent to the Bar Office. Deadline for submission is December 1, 2018.

Mark Your Calendars! The Baltimore County Bar Association’s 97th Annual Black Tie Banquet (‘The Prom’) will be held on Thursday, January 31st at 6:00 pm at Martin’s Valley Mansion on Cranbrook Road in Cockeysville. Please note that this is A NEW LOCATION! Ticket and table information will be mailed out with your 2019 Annual Bar Association Dues invoice in November.


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THE PROFESSIONAL LAWYER— IS YOUR WORD GOLD? By Debra Cruz 3) Take pride in what you do. Others will see it.

A young lawyer entering the profession inquires, how do I interact with other attorneys in the community and build my professional reputation? Answer: conduct yourself so that they learn your word is gold.

4) Think first. Count to 100, or even better, 1000, before sending a flaming email or making a caustic remark.

IDEALS OF PROFESSIONALISM (Appendix 19B, Vol. II, Md. Rules Civ. Pro.) Professionalism is the combination of the core values of personal integrity, competency, civility, independence and public service that distinguish lawyers as the caretakers of the rule of law. *





5) Accept responsibility for your actions. If you wouldn’t be proud to see your words in a headline, don’t say them. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it.


An attorney should aspire:






6) Acknowledge the good work of others. Resist the temptation to engage in reputation assassination.


(7) to preserve the dignity and the integrity of the profession by his or her conduct because the dignity and the integrity of the profession are an inheritance that must be maintained in each successive generation of attorneys;

To be a leader you must have followers, and to have followers, you must have their confidence. Your word should be your bond. Do what you say and keep your promises, and your word will be gold.

Gaining a reputation for integrity enhances your reputation – your most valuable asset- and the profession by osmosis. How do you gain a reputation for integrity?

1) Do what is right. Easy to say, not so easy to do. Listen to your conscience.

2) Be consistent. Steady and reliable actions allow others to form a positive impression of you.


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CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE By Matt Wyman ularized knowledge of Cingular’s network from his years of experience that he did have a sufficient factual basis from which to testify as to the data and how it was used to locate the Defendant’s phone.

Some of the bigger criminal cases coming out of the appellate courts in recent months are summarized below from the Amicus Curiarum for your reading pleasure. I will note that the Court of Special Appeals did file a lengthy opinion in the Adnan Syed Case of Serial fame. The long, and short of it is that his right to a new trial was affirmed. The rest of that opinion can be found here for those so inclined https://mdcourts.gov/data/opinions/ cosa/2018/2519s13.pdf

The court also ruled against Santiago on the issue of his refusal to give a statement to his insurance company. Santiago voluntarily submitted the insurance claim. He was never compelled to give any evidence against himself. To the contrary, statements he could have made would have presumably been to his benefit as it was his claim. Additionally, there was no police involvement, so his Fifth Amendment rights were not violated.

Jerry Harris v. State of Maryland, No. 9, September Term 2017, filed April 12, 2018. Opinion by McDonald, J.

Isa Manuel Santiago v. State of Maryland, This case shines a new light on Maryland’s applicaNo. 10, September Term 2017, filed tion of the Missing Witness Instruction in light of March 27, 2018. Opinion by Getty, J. recent changes throughout the country. In this case, Santiago’s case has a lot of appellate history to it. Ultimately after being remanded for trial for a third time, Santiago was convicted of various charges related to the murder of Latoya Taylor. During his trial, Allen Hagey was qualified as a telecommunications expert. He had testified at prior trials about using cell sites to locate the defendant’s phone on the night of the murder. Ultimately, when the case was retried for the third time, the chart he used previously had been destroyed, but the judge permitted him to testify from memory. Santiago also had filed an insurance claim, but refused to participate in his insurance company’s interview to determine liability. The State introduced his refusal as consciousness of guilt. Santiago appealed on both issues.

First, the court determined that Hagey was permitted to testify from memory. Further, he had such particTHE ADVOCATE

Harris was convicted based primarily on old forensic evidence, of several burglaries and related charges. Harris contended at trial that he was at home with his mother when the crimes took place. His mother did not testify. The trial court then offered to the State to give the missing witness instruction to imply that Harris’ mother’s testimony would have been unfavorable to him. Harris appealed on this issue. The Court reversed Harris’ conviction. The court went on to examine the rule and its application in criminal cases. Specifically, in a criminal case, where the State has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the missing witness rule may conflict with some of the Defendant’s trial rights, and his presumption of innocence. In noting that the trial court needs to be more conscious of this, the Court reversed Harris’ conviction, noting that this was done solely on the basis of the “mother child” relationship without any specific inquiry as to Harris’

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CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE By Matt Wyman situation or relationship with his mother.

Marquise Holt v. State of Maryland, No. 1841, September Term 2016, filed April 5, 2018. Opinion by Kenney, J. Holt was convicted of Murder and related crimes at trial. Prior to trial, he wrote a letter to the Court asking to discharge his counsel. Counsel then filed a motion to withdraw his appearance based on the Defendant’s request. A status conference took place where the Public Defender (not Holt’s counsel at the time) alleged ethical violations on the part of counsel. There was a later status hearing, with counsel present, without the Defendant, where counsel indicated Holt asked him to stay on the case. Holt appealed on the issue of discharging his counsel. In determining whether to discharge counsel under Rule 4-251(c), the court must determine what the Defendant’s present desire is. It doesn’t matter what his prior writings were if they conflict with his current desires. In this case, the last information the court had was that Holt was satisfied with his attorney. He should not be permitted to re-litigate the issue merely because he lost the trial.

Patrick Joseph Thomas A/K/A Patrick Joseph Patrick v. State of Maryland, No. 1115, September Term 2016, filed April 4, 2018. Opinion by Friedman, J. This case deals with the criminal liability drug dealers face when their customers overdose on their product. The Defendant sold heroin to Colton Maltrey. Maltrey later died from a combination of alcohol and heroin. The Defendant was charged with manslaughter. He proceeded on an agreed statement of facts and was convicted, he now appeals that conviction.

a grossly negligent act. It could not be determined that the Defendant’s unlawful act was the legal cause of death as Maltrey injected the heroin on his own, in conjunction with alcohol, out of the presence of the Defendant, at a later time. Also, while the sale of the heroin may have been negligent, the Court ruled it was not with such wanton or reckless disregard to human life to sustain a gross negligence finding.

Terrence Newman v. State of Maryland, No. 2629, September Term 2016, filed April 4, 2018. Opinion by Moylan, J. Newman was convicted of First Degree Murder and related crimes. He killed the victim during a sexual encounter after a night of drinking. He later felt guilty and confessed to a friend who helped police locate the victim’s body in a wooded area. To help find the Defendant, his friend showed police a Facebook photo. Newman appealed his conviction based on presumed prejudice by the jury seeing a Facebook photo of him flexing his bicep. The Court affirmed the conviction. The opinion contains an analysis of “legitimate prejudice” vs “unfair prejudice”. Any evidence is going to be prejudicial to some party in one form or another. That is not the issue, the issue is whether the prejudice becomes so great as to become “unfair”. In this case, the state had a burden of production in identifying the Defendant. The photo they used was one in which the Defendant was flexing his bicep. It was not unnecessarily violent, or offensive, despite the fact that it showed appellant “making a muscle.” Continued on page 16

The Court reversed his conviction, noting that there was not enough evidence to sustain a manslaughter conviction on the grounds of either an unlawful act or THE ADVOCATE

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Thoyt Hackney v. State of Maryland, No. 53, September Term 2017, filed May 9, 2018. Opinion by Barbera, C.J. Hackney was convicted of various crimes in Baltimore City and was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence. Right before his ten year statute of limitations had ran, Hackney filed a Petition for Post Conviction Relief in proper person. The petition was sent from the jail 2 days after the statute of limitations, and received by the court 6 days later. It was then rejected as untimely.


The Court overturned the denial of his petition for being untimely filed. The Court adopted the prison mailbox rule espoused in Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988). Essentially, incarcerated Defendants, without counsel, lose the ability to control the dates of mailings and filings once they are given to prison staff. For that reason, in these instances, the pleadings shall be considered filed as soon as they are handed off to prison staff to be mailed, regardless of when the mailing actually takes place.

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September 2018

MEDITATION HELPS By Larry Polen In April, 2007, Virginia Tech suffered an unthinkable tragedy. The college President, William Steger. Jr., Ph.D was enormously popular and beloved by the students, but he was a soft-spoken, shy intellectual. He was suddenly thrust into the dual role of providing comfort to a traumatized student population and their families, as well as the families of the victims, both students and faculty, and bringing some sense of calm and function, all on the one hand. On the other hand, he faced the cameras and reporters from all over the world in daily press conferences for what was at the time one of the worst mass shootings in history. All this while he was undergoing his own shock and grief. It is hard to imagine the weight of the stress on Dr. Steger. He was asked by a reporter how he was able to face the cameras every day with such calm. He responded that he starts each day with meditation. He said (I am paraphrasing here) that his daily meditation reorders his mind. It improves his mood, his focus and his function. It obviously worked for him. It was later said that Dr. Steger’s steady hand of leadership inspired the university community to come together and recover, and the university became a model for organizational resilience. He went on to make meditation a part of the Virginia Tech curriculum. Hearing his story was an inspiration to me. Dr. Steger is not alone of course. Meditation has been practiced throughout the world and for thousands of years. It is common to most religions. While the practice of law is a magnificent profession, lawyers and judges, for a variety of reasons, undergo extraordinary stress. Many turn to meditation.

... It is also important that you pay attention with the terminology I became aware of some time ago of mindful meditation. Mindful meditation is a process by which you pay attention from moment to moment to moment. It is also important that you maintain an open mind, that you make no determination on this case until all the evidence has been submitted for your consideration. It turns out that Judge Connon had, at the time, recently taken a stress reduction program for judges at UMass medical school, and was fascinated by the concept of watching events unfold “moment by moment by moment� -- that attention could be ongoing and continuous. He concluded that mindful meditation was precisely what he wanted the jury to do to help them pay attention and to listen nonjudgmentally. John Kabat-Zinn describes meditation as having the capacity to calm the heart and focus and clarify the mind in any season of life, even in the midst of the most horrific and tempestuous storms. He goes on to say that meditation is really about freedom. It is first and foremost a liberative practice. It is a way of being that gives us back our life, and our happiness, right here, right now... Pretty tall stuff, but, I think, worthy of consideration.

Jon Kabat-Zin, author of Coming to Our Senses, (Healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness), tells the story of a famous trial in Massachusetts where the judge (the Honorable Richard Connon) gave the following opening instruction to the jury: THE ADVOCATE

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RECEPTION TO HONOR JUDGE KEITH R. TRUFFER by Ari Kodek On August 8, 2018, our Bar Association had the distinct pleasure of honoring Judge Keith Truffer on his recent installation as the 125th president of the Maryland State Bar Association. BCBA members and members of the judiciary toasted one of their own at a lively reception held at The Point, Towson, where Judge Truffer “held court” to share his vision for the MSBA. Photo courtesy of Bill Hall, MSBA

As Judge Truffer prepares to take the reins as MSBA president, he draws inspiration from his experience helping others during his practice of law before taking the bench, and strives to exercise his leadership role with the same compassion, patience, and respect for others that he displays on the bench. Judge Truffer shared that whether it is strengthening the law assistance program or revamping the vision of the MSBA to ensure its continued longevity, his vision for leadership must “be mindful of those challenges . . . which are on and beyond the horizon.”

We look forward to the fruits of Judge Truffer’s vision and tenure as president. “Salud!”


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September 2018

Photo courtesy of Bill Hall, MSBA


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JUDGE WYMAN SET TO RETIRE FROM DISTRICT COURT by Ari Kodek I had an opportunity to sit and talk with Judge Wyman in the relative calm before the storm of a busy day’s docket in the Towson District Court. Although we briefly talked about his plans for upcoming retirement, we reminisced about our lives as attorneys and the pleasures of practicing law in the District Court. He remarked that he liked the volume, the people, and the mixture of personalities he encounters every day. Although it took Judge Wyman three attempts before his appointment to the bench, he shared that the job came very natural to him. Appointed by Governor O’Malley almost 8 years ago, Judge Wyman remarked how fast the time passed. He thoroughly enjoys the collegial nature of the District Court and will miss seeing his colleagues on a daily basis. Judge Wyman shared that his approach to the bench is inspired by his vast experience practicing law as well as his experiences working at a pawnshop to put himself through college and slinging herringbone tweeds at Hamburgers, where Judge Wyman learned to be a man of the people. All of these experiences shape his demeanor as a judge, which is marked by patience, decorum and general respect for every litigant that appears before him. Upon his retirement, Judge Wyman looks forward to traveling and taking a riverboat cruise in Europe. Recently made a grandfather, Judge Wyman will need his much needed rest and relaxation if he has any hope of keeping pace with his 2 month old grandson “Dawson”, named for the late and much missed Master Jacqueline E. Wyman-Dawson. Although it is only August, the next two months will fly by, bringing Judge Wyman closer to his riverboat trip. He will be missed. Hurry back to sit your required days so we can still experience the Wymo magic!


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COOPERATING ATTORNEY PANEL Established, respected Legal Services Fund providing legal benefits to thousands of members seeks Washington D.C. and surrounding vicinity counsel (Virginia and Maryland) practicing in the areas of immigration, civil, criminal, family, divorce, bankruptcy and real estate law (combination or individual areas). Bilingual attorneys a plus. Potential for practice growth. Please contact Joy Khan at: lfadmin@32bjfunds.com and request an information packet.


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September 2018

MEMBER NEWS Members on the Move Have you moved? Added a partner to your firm? Received an award? Have other news to share? Email it to Rachel Ruocco at rruocco@bcba.org and we will include it in The Advocate.

Wendy S. Meadows has opened a new solo practice. Law Office of Wendy S. Meadows 3312 Paper Mill Road, Suite 201 Phoenix, MD 21131 410-403-0600 wendy@wendymeadowslaw.com

Mock Trial Volunteers Needed: UMBC is hosting a Mock Trial tournament the weekend of October 13 and 14 and needs judges for all four rounds. The tournament will be at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. There is a morning and afternoon round each day. Parking will be free and food and beverages will be provided before each round. No prior trial experience or judging experience is needed. All you need to donate is your time! This year's fact pattern is an interesting civil case where an animal segment for a late-night talk show went very wrong and left a screen writer dead. It will be an interesting and entertaining experience to judge the trial. If you are interested in judging or have questions, please contact UMBC’s head coach, Ben Garmoe, at ben.garmoe@gmail.com.

BCBA Members named Best Lawyers in America, 2 listed as ‘Lawyer of the Year.’ ‘Lawyer of the Year’—Edwin G. Fee, Jr., G. Scott Barhight ‘Best Lawyers’ G. Scott Barhight John A. Bourgeois Jennifer R. Busse Edward Buxbaum Edwin G. Fee, Jr. Rebecca A. Fleming John B. Gontrum John A. Hayden III


George s. Lawlor Jennifer Ryan Lazenby Rose Matricciani Albert Mezzanotte, Jr. Christopher W. Nicholson Mary R. Sanders Dennis J. Shaffer Thomas Whiteford

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Lawyer in the Lobby Clinic September12th 4:30—6:30 County Courts Building, 1st Floor, 401 Bosley Ave, Towson Lawyer in the Lobby is held the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Walk-ins are assisted in General Civil and Family Law matters. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rae Wyatt at rwyatt@bcba.org or 410-337-9100. Thank you to our volunteers for this September: Julius Blattner James Rucker E. David Silverberg Bryan Tillman

Divorce, or probating an estate. Your client has options when it comes to the real estate. Hawk Mortgage Group can help you and your client sort out the options and strategies they have at hand, to help at this time ‌ and down the road. Jeffrey T. Hawk, President 443-619-7900 - Office 410-241-7071 - Cell Jeff@hawkmortgagegroup.com


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Committee News ADR COMMITTEE Stay tuned for programming news. ADVOCATE COMMITTEE Please submit any ideas for articles to Rachel Ruocco at rruocco@bcba.org or Ari Kodeck at akodeck@oag.state.md.us BENCH/BAR COMMITTEE This committee (appointed by the BCBA Presidents) meets the second Thursday of each month, 8 a.m., in Judicial Conference Room 412. If there are issues to be brought to the attention of this committee please contact Chairperson Fred Allentoff, 443-588-0066 or fallentoff@aol.com. CRIMINAL LAW COMMITTEE October 25, 5 pm, Baltimore County Detention Center Programs, Grand Jury Room. November 14, 5:30 pm, Evidence Update with Judge Murphy, Harford County Circuit Court March 7, 5 pm, Effective Cross Examination, Grand Jury Room CLE COMMITTEE October, Accounting and Bookkeeping for Lawyers November, Speed Networking for Lawyers February, How to Build a Million Dollar Practice

FAMILY LAW COMMITTEE September 20, 6pm, Meet & Greet, Eagle’s Nest Country Club October 9, 5 pm, Evening Series, Suicide Prevention Awareness, Grand Jury Room October 17, 6 pm, New Tax Laws, Country Club of Maryland November 14, 6 pm, Custody & Psychological Reports, Vito’s Restaurant November 27, 5 pm, Evening Series, Domestic Violence Awareness, Grand Jury Room December 4, 12 pm, Brown Bag Lunch, Tracing of Non-Marital Assets, Grand Jury room LAW DAY COMMITTEE May 1, 7:30 am, Breakfast, Martin’s Valley Mansion, Noon Ceremony, Ceremonial Courtroom #5 This year’s theme is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society LRIS COMMITTEE Please renew or consider joining the LRIS at this time. Application can be found on the website: LRIS Application. Contact Rae Wyatt at rwyatt@bcba.org or 410-337-9100 for more information. The 2018-2019 LRIS Panel Registration and Renewal Packet is now available. Join now! Current panel members, remember to renew!.

ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE September 23, 9 am,, Ravens Tailgate, Lot H November 8, 6 pm, Wines & Whiskey Fundraiser, Maryvale December 6, 6 pm, Holiday Party, Towson Tavern ESTATES & TRUSTS COMMITTEE September 13, 5:30-7:30 pm, Happy Hour a Towson Tavern October 16, 5-6pm, Court Appointments November 13, 5-6pm, Tax Updates December 18, Holiday Lunch January 22, 5-6 pm, Ethical Conduct February 12, 5-6 pm, Fiduciary Responsibilities May 21, 5pm, Annual Dinner


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Committee News MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE September 5, 5-7 pm, Bar Year Kick-Off Party, CVP in Towson

PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEE September 17, 5-6pm, Committee Meeting October

MEMORIAL COMMITTEE Please notify Rachel Ruocco at the Bar Office of the passing of any BCBA member. If this information is received in a timely manner, it will be emailed to all members. Thank you.

PUBLIC AWARENESS & SPEAKERS COMMITTEE AKA CIVICS & LAW ACADEMY October 12, Civics & Law Academy, CCBC Dundalk November 16, Civics & Law Academy, CCBC Owings Mills

Those members who will be honored at next year’s service on November 15, 2018, at 3:30 p.m., include:

SOLO & SMALL FIRM COMMITTEE Planning Meeting, August 14, 5pm, Grand Jury Room

W. Lee Thomas Henry J. Myerberg Philip I. Klein Ellen P. Rosenberg Judge Dana M. Levitz Lawrence Melfa JR Francomano, III Donna C. Baust Kevin Kamenetz Edward Pinder


If you know of any other BCBA Member who passed away (since August 15, 2017), please advise Rachel Ruocco immediately, so they can be included in the service. Thank you. The reception for family and friends to honor and remember loved ones will be held immediately following the service. Monetary contributions are greatly appreciated to support the Memorial Reception, and can be made payable to the BCBA, 100 County Courts Building, 401 Bosley Avenue, Towson, MD 21204. Donors will be acknowledged on the printed program. NEGLIGENCE, INSURANCE & WORKERS’ COMP COMMITTEE PRO BONO COMMITTEE October 13, 10:30 am-12:30 pm, Pro Bono Day, Essex Library October 23, 5-7 pm, Pro Bono Awards, Pessin Katz Law



Holiday Lunch & Toy Drive, December 5, 12-2 pm, County Courts Building Bull & Oyster Roast, March 31, 2-6 pm, Towson American Legion


Third Thursdays, Various establishments in Towson, 5 p.m. Come join young lawyers, judicial law clerks, and a special monthly guest to relax and network. September 20 October 18 November 15 December 20 January 17 February 21 March 21 April 18 May 16 June 20

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“The right lawyer can make all the difference” Michael A. Mastracci, Esquire Law Office of Michael A. Mastracci, LLC 614 Edmondson Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21228

(410) 869-3400 fax: (410) 869-4140 MikeTheLawyer.com

Paul E. Alpert, Retired Judge Available for Mediation and Arbitration Former Judge of District Court, Circuit Court and Court of Special Appeals



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Running Club. Monthly runs will be held on the last Thursday of each month. August – May, 5:30 p.m., meet in Patriot Plaza. December-February, meet at 401 Washington Avenue, Lobby. We recommend that runners bring reflective gear, headlamps, etc. Please RSVP to Craig Borchers, craigborchers@hme-law.com, thanks.


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Property for sale in the heart of Timonium/Lutherville, MD Move in ready and perfect for small practice of attorneys. 3,000 sq. feet with additional storage, 4 private offices, conference room, reception area and many more advantages. If you’re paying rent now, why not consider investing instead? Also ideal for shared offices. Listed @ $459,900. Call realtor, Bob Mikelskas @ 410-375-2990 or email him @ bmikelskas@gmail.com for an appointment or questions.

Rosario Realty, 12202 Happy Hollow Road Cockeysville, MD 21030

ARE ALCOHOL AND DRUGS CAUSING PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE? There is a way up and a way out — for ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENTIAL help, call us today ... BALTIMORE COUNTY LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM A CONFIDENTIAL resource for Baltimore County attorneys, assistants and judges. Our services include help for a broad range of problems and personal concerns, such as: Gambling Depression Internet Addiction Marital and Family Relationships Sexual Addiction Alcohol and Drug Abuse Compulsive Spending Stress and Burnout Eating Disorders Prescription Drug Concerns Balancing Work and Family Career Concerns WE DO NOT KEEP RECORDS. Our sole purpose is to provide help. We can assist with providing access to treatment facilities and provide emergency practice management, as well as referrals to professional counselors. RICHARD LYNAS, Chair STUART AXILBUND JIM BEACH MARY CHALAWSKY MARISSA JOELSON JAY MILLER JOSE MOLINA SAM MOXLEY JOE MURTHA


410-288-1099 410-832-7579 410-241-8538 410-649-2000 917-226-6472 410-951-7165 443-851-7353 410-733-3306 410-583-6969

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Baltimore County will celebrate National Adoption Day with an Adoption Ceremony in Ceremonial Courtroom #5 on Saturday, November 17th at 11:00 am. Please consider volunteering your time.


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Baltimore County Bar Association

Presort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 1262 Baltimore, MD

100 County Courts Building 401 Bosley Avenue Towson, MD 21204-4491 410-337-9103-Telephone 410-823-3418-Facsimile www.bcba.org

MEMBER ADVERTISEMENTS TOWSON. Office for Rent: $850/mo for one office with reception area in attractive, well-maintained building. $1,000/mo to add an additional office not attached to main suite. Includes electricity, but not phone or internet. One block from circuit courthouse, one block from Towson circle. More info at nicole@whitaker-legal.com or 410-2079272. TOWSON. Furnished, office with windows available for lease. Includes use of conference room, reception area, copy, scan and fax machine and internet. Paralegal/ Administrative Assistant available. Possibility of referral work. Walk to both Towson courthouses. Contact Robert Jacobson at 410-583-8883, kjpaoffice@comcast.net. TOWSON. Office for rent in the heart of Towson. One block from the Circuit Court. Rent includes one parking space. Available in September 2018. Rent is negotiable. Call 410-494-1494 to schedule a tour. Ask for Dilip. TOWSON. Up to three furnished offices for rent one block from the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Share use of conference room, reception area, kitchen and copy machine. Includes parking and all utilities. Call Cynthia at 410-3825910 for more information. LUTHERVILLE/TIMONIUM. Seeking reputable subtenant to share office suite in nice building in Lutherville/Timonium. Fully furnished partner’s office (2 available), includes internet, receptionist, use of conference room and free parking in a pleasant low key environment. If interested, please contact Randy Wase, 410-828-8500 or Randy@Waselaw.com. TOWSON. Office space available in First Class Suite directly across from the Towson District Court. Parking, use of conference rooms, library, receptionist, etc. included. Contact Keith at 410-821-6800. TOWSON. Offices for rent in a charming and newly renovated 100-year-old building in the heart of Towson. Building offers a reception area, kitchenette, conference room, storage and free parking. Office sizes vary. Electric included and receptionist available upon request. Contact Anna at 410-494-4921 or awalsh@awalshlegal.com. DUNDALK. DUNDALK. Awesome space available. 5 office suites available in the Holabird Building on Holabird Avenue. Conference room, lots of free street parking and receptionist. Contact Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 or rr@ricelawmd.com for more information. For more information visit: https://ricelawmd.com/about/office-space/


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Profile for Baltimore County Bar Association

Advocate September 2018  

A monthly publication of the Baltimore County (MD) Bar Association

Advocate September 2018  

A monthly publication of the Baltimore County (MD) Bar Association

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