ADVOCATE VOLUME 32, NUMBER 2 - WINTER 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Message From the Chair by Michael Hudak, Esq. 4 YLS Committee Updates 4 Activities 4 Chesapeake Bay Preservation 5 Diversity 6 Family Friendly Initiative 7 Pro Bono 8 Public Service 9 Social Media 9 Technology 11 YLS Summit by Indira K. Sharma, Esq. 12 New Attorney Celebration 13 Riding the Circuits 13 Anne Arundel 13 Frederick 14 Baltimore City 16 Featured Articles 16 Love the Library by Benjamin Schenker, Esq. 17 An Ode to the Post-Conviction Process: Petitions for Post-Conviction Relief and Motions to Reopen by Rebecca A. Neville, Esq., M.S.W. 20 Giving Back Beyond the Law: A Recommendation to Volunteer at Camp Jamie by Detric L. Kemp, Esq.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR BY MICHAEL HUDAK, SECTION CHAIR
(firstname.lastname@example.org) The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) begins 2018 with a renewed commitment to providing the best networking, professional and business development, and social events for young attorneys in the Maryland bar. I hope that you will take the time to read this Issue and catch up on the events that the YLS Committees have held and are currently planning. We have an exciting
few months ahead filled with programming, including the 27th Annual Charity Event and the Polar Bear Plunge. Letâ€™s make 2018 a productive and eventful year, and be sure to follow the YLS on our social media handles to stay up to date on all programming. Sincerely, Michael Hudak
YLS COMMITTEE UPDATES ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
The Activities Committee is busy planning the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) YLS’s charity event to benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a nonprofit organization that aims to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay and educate youth on the Bay, its ecosystem, and the role all people play in the Bay’s overall recovery. This year’s event will be held on Friday, April 20, 2018, at Gertrude’s in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Currently,
the Committee is looking for sponsors and donors for the silent auction. Anyone with leads or suggestions for sponsors or donors can contact the Activities Committee Co-Chairs Jessica Gorsky (email@example.com) and Lauren Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tickets are $65 per person/$120 per couple before February 1, 2018, and $80 per person/$150 per couple on or after February 1, 2018. Tickets are on sale now here.
CHESAPEAKE BAY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Committee administers the Heroes on the Half Shell program in partnership with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP). The Heroes on the Half Shell program visits elementary schools to teach students how to preserve the Chesapeake Bay and introduces students to some of the legal components of preservation. After our program, the students collect oyster shells, which are later used by ORP to grow future oysters. The school with the most shells collected wins a field trip to the Maryland Science Center. This year, schools from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, and Howard Counties are participating in the program. Our first training session for volunteer attorneys was January 11, 2018. Additional training sessions will occur throughout January and February. A Chesapeake Bay cleanup event is planned for the Spring.
Please contact Anne Deady (adeady@ thedeadyfirm.com). if you are interested in joining a training session or attending the clean-up event.
Young Lawyers Section’s
27th Annual Charity Event Friday, April 20, 2018 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art
DIVERSITY COMMITTEE On November 9, 2017, the Diversity Committee of the YLS teamed up with the Maryland Association for Justice to organize a fundraiser for Adelante Latina, an after-school program that enables young Latina women to reach for a better future, helping equip them for college and beyond. At the event, Leonor Blum, who founded the program in 2013 with 12 high school sophomores, reported that the program now serves more than 30 Baltimore City students. The program relies on the support of volunteers to tutor students once a week, assist with SAT prep classes, or mentor the young women throughout their high school careers. Each student who participates in the program for all three years and who enrolls in college, receives a one-year $3,000 scholarship to assist with her education. An Argentine immigrant and Professor Emerita at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Ms. Blum started this program to serve underprivileged and promising girls in Baltimore City public high schools. The participants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate competency in English, ambition, and leadership potential.
Elinor Spokes, Program Coordinator, informed the Committee that 98% of Latinas want to graduate from high school, but 41% do not graduate with their class. These young women are often disadvantaged when taking standardized college placement tests because they come from households where Spanish is the only language spoken, and many are first-generation college attendees. A recent graduate of the program spoke to the crowd in attendance regarding her journey as a Dreamer. She completed the Adelante program while attending Baltimore Polytechnic High School, and is now attending the University of Baltimore where she hopes to major in psychology. Given the current political climate, the future of immigrants in the United States remains precarious. This program is one of the few ways Dreamers can obtain legal status once they reach the age of majority. For more information about Diversity Committee events contact Divya Potdar (email@example.com) and Jillian Walton (Jillian.firstname.lastname@example.org).
FAMILY FRIENDLY INITIATIVE The Family Friendly Initiative has put together another great year of events aimed at bringing young lawyers and their families together. In October 2017, the Committee held an event at Summers Farm in Frederick, Maryland where those who attended enjoyed an afternoon of pumpkin picking, pig races, and hay rides. A full calendar of upcoming events should provide a variety of opportunities for members and their families to get out and participate. On Saturday, February 10, 2018, the Committee will be ice skating
at Quiet Waters Park Outdoor Ice Rink. On March 17, 2018, the Committee will be taking in the Navy vs. Loyola men’s college lacrosse game after a pregame tailgate. Finally, the Committee will once again be holding the annual ice cream social at Dumser’s Dairyland, in Ocean City during the Bar Conference. If you are interested in attending any of these events or would like to become more involved with the Committee, please contact Craig Borchers (craigborchers@ hme-law.com), 410-296-3630 ext. 114.
You’re invited to bring the family for an afternoon of ICE SKATING! When: February 10, 2018 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Quiet Waters Park (Outdoor Ice Rink) 600 Quiet Waters Park Road Annapolis, MD 21403
Cost: $5 per adults
$4 per children (12 and under) $3 Ice Skate Rental $6 vehicle entry permit Food will be provided by the MSBA YLS RSVP to email@example.com or call 301-395-5239, no later than February 5, 2018
PRO BONO COMMITTEE
On November 6, 2017, the Pro Bono Committee of the YLS of the MSBA held an Asylum Training Seminar. The event provided a step-by-step guide on how to win your asylum case. Approximately 40 people registered for this in-person and web-based seminar. Attendees learned how to successfully represent families and individuals seeking asylum in the United States.
and submit an asylum claim before the Immigration Court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The seminar covered topics such as who is an asylee, and the application and legal basis required to prepare
For more information on how to get involved with the MSBA YLS Pro Bono Committee, contact Maya Zegarra (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Attendees of the Asylum Training Seminar.
The program was held at Miles & Stockbridge in Baltimore. This event was sponsored by Esperanza Centerâ€™s Legal Services, the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, and the MSBA YLS Pro Bono Committee.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE On November 19, 2017, volunteers from the YLS joined other members of the Maryland Bar at Our Daily Bread in Baltimore for a morning of service as part of the One Bar One Community series. Working both behind the scenes in the kitchen and out in the dining hall, volunteers helped to deliver a warm Sunday lunch to community members in need. Young Lawyer and frequent Public Service volunteer Lauren Deutch enjoys these opportunities. “It is such a rewarding experience to take a few hours out of your day to make an impact on someone else that will last far longer than the few hours. At Our Daily Bread we are serving some people the only warm meal they will be getting that day. For most of us, eating our next meal is just what happens, but for our local homeless community no meal
is guaranteed. We all are so lucky to have a warm place to sleep and food in our bellies and we must give back, not because it feels good but rather because it is the right thing to do. If we all volunteered just one day a month we could make a major impact.” An arm of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, Our Daily Bread serves an average of 700 diners a day with donated food and an army of volunteers. Its impact is farreaching, providing a resource relied upon not only by the local homeless, but the elderly, people with special needs, and other food insecure residents trying to make ends meet for themselves and their families. No one who seeks a meal is turned away. In addition to time, energy and smiles, more than 30 dozen cartons of eggs were donated by YLS volunteers and on behalf of the MSBA in response to a call for this perishable from Our Daily Bread’s chefs earlier in the week.
Volunteers at the One Bread One Community event.
The Public Service Committee is gearing up for the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge on January 27, 2018, and the Committee hopes you are too! Join the MSBA team and then join your fellow daring plungers for a pre-plunge tailgate beginning at 11:00 8
a.m. in the Orange Lot, with the main event to follow at 1:00 p.m. Can’t be persuaded to risk a dip in the cold? You can still support the Special Olympics of Maryland – and your fellow Young Lawyers – by donating through the MSBA’s Team Page. Through sports training and friendly competition, the Special Olympics seeks to build a world where opportunity is never limited by disability. No donation is too small to make a difference for this important cause, and the more than 7,000 athletes it will benefit! Be a part of the coolest (wink wink) event of the year! Looking forward to next month, please save the date of February 20, 2018, at 7:00pm - especially if you enjoy games
and crafts! The YLS will be hosting a Family Activities Night for the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins. March will bring the Committee to Frederick County for a volunteering outing at the Frederick Food Bank (date and time to be announced), and the Committee is working on fun and engaging service opportunities for April and May. With so many different opportunities to become involved and give back, the Committee hopes to see you at one or more of the 2018 Public Service events! For more information about participating in any YLS Public Service Committee events, contact Public Service Committee Chair, Myriem Seabron (email@example.com).
SOCIAL MEDIA COMMITTEE The Social Media Committee has been hard at work advertising YLS events and updating social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Keep track of all YLS events
through our social media handles @ MSBA Young Lawyers Section on Facebook; @MarylandBarYLS on Twitter; and @MarylandBarYLS on Instagram.
TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE Thinking about New Year’s Resolutions? Why not add “learn to code” to the list? This interactive training will introduce legal professionals to coding in a programming language called Python. You will learn the basics of computer programming, the limitations of what software can do, and how to start
writing your own programs. Python can be used to make everything from web scrapers to document automators. This is an interactive training where every attendee will be writing code, so bring a laptop to the event. This course is for beginners with no coding experience who want to better position themselves in the quickly evolving legal market. 9
The class will be taught by Matthew Stubenberg, Esq. (mstubenberg@ mvlslaw.org), an attorney and computer programmer who has developed numerous, successful legal technology
projects. The event is a partnership between Legal Hackers Baltimore, the MSBA YLS, and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.
CODING FOR LAWYERS
January 24, 6:30pm-8:00pm University of Baltimore Law School 1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore MD 21201
FREE TO ATTEND Come learn how to code in a no pressure environment in a class designed for lawyers with zero coding experience. Make sure to bring your laptop so you can follow along.
Sign up today
By: Indira K. Sharma, Esq. (Indira.Sharma@saul.com) On October 26-27, 2017, the YLS held its 10th Annual Young Lawyers Summit (the Summit) as part of the 58th annual Conference of Bar Presidents in Cambridge, Maryland. For the past ten years, the YLS leadership has selected a small group of high potential young lawyers, not previously involved in the Bar, to attend the Summit as an introduction to MSBA activities and programming. The hope is that many of them will continue to be active in the Section and ultimately assume leadership roles. This year, sixteen enthusiastic young lawyers attended the Summit and represented a diverse cross section of the legal profession. Ranging from law firm attorneys to government attorneys to law clerks, and hailing from all parts of Maryland, the attendees gathered for what would be a memorable and valuable two days in
Cambridge. The Summit began late Thursday afternoon with introductory remarks from Bar President Sarah Arthur, YLS Chair Michael Hudak, and YLS ChairElect Indira Sharma. The attendees then participated in an engaging brainstorming discussion led by Executive Director Victor Velazquez on how to engage non-participatory young lawyers in bar activities. The evening concluded with a dinner at which the Summit attendees had the opportunity to engage with YLS leadership and start building relationships with each other that would only strengthen throughout the weekend and in the months to come. On Friday morning, the Summit attendees had the unique opportunity to attend the regular programming for the Conference of Bar Presidents, including
Participants in the 2017 YLS Summit. 11
a Board of Governorâ€™s meeting. In the afternoon, the attendees reconvened for a special program designed specifically for the young lawyer, which included a professional development seminar led by Michelle N. Lipkowitz, Esq., partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, and a lawyer wellness session led by Mark J. Muffoletto, Esq. and Chris Flohr, Esq., both of whom volunteer with the Lawyers Assistance Program for the MSBA. The attendees joined all other Conference of Bar Presidents attendees for dinner on Friday evening and the remainder of the Conference of Bar Presidents on Saturday.
The Summit received rave reviews from the attendees in the anonymous surveys collected at the end of the program relating to the excellent content of the sessions, the unique opportunity to engage with bar leadership, and the wonderful networking opportunities. Attendees have also already expressed greater interest in bar activities including serving on YLS committees for next year and are actively building upon the relationships they began at the Summit. There is no question that the 10th Annual YLS Summit was a great success and we are excited about the new energy that the Summit attendees will bring to the Section and the Bar.
NEW ATTORNEY CELEBRATION
MSBA Young Lawyers welcomed the Newly Admitted Attorneys during a Celebration at Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge in Annapolis on January 10, 2018.
RIDING THE CIRCUITS
5TH CIRCUIT – ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
Circuit Representative: Jessica Smoluchowski Praley, Esq. (firstname.lastname@example.org) On Wednesday November 15, 2017 the Anne Arundel County Bar Association (AABA) held its biannual Charity Pub Quiz. All of the money raised will benefit the community service programs of the Anne Arundel County Bar Foundation (AACBF). It was a very successful evening. Congrats to the winning team and current holder of the AABA Cup of Perpetual Knowledge, Hon. Pam North,
Hon. Paul Hackner, Bill Roessler and Stan Robbins. On Wednesday, December 6th, 2017, the AABA held its annual Holiday Party at Libations in Millersville. The party was, as always, very fun. Even more exciting however: AABA collected toys for Toys for Tots and raised $3,000.00 for the 40 unaccompanied minors attending Annapolis High School.
SAVE THE DATE for the 2018 Anne Arundel County Bar Association Barrister’s Ball March 28, 2018, 6-10 PM Navy - Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
6TH CIRCUIT – FREDERICK COUNTY Circuit Representative: Detric L. Kemp, Esq. (Detric@conklynlawfirm.com) Beginning in 2015 and every year thereafter, the YLS of the Bar Association of Frederick County (BAFC) has awarded one member of the Bar with a mentorship award. Dave Littrell was the recipient of the 2017 Mentorship Award. Mr. Littrell has worked in the Frederick County Office of the Public Defender since 1992 and has recently transferred to the Washington County Office of the Public Defender. Mr. Littrell was presented with the award on December 14, 2017, at the BAFC’s Holiday Party. The officers for the 2018 term of the
BAFC YLS are: Kyle Kane (Chair), Kelly Lynch (Chair-Elect), Chelsea Kadish (Secretary), Detric Kemp (Treasurer), Tyler Cejka (Social Chair), Frank Falatko (Philanthropy Chair), Andrew Murphy (Immediate Past Chair). Meetings will occur on the last Wednesday of every month beginning at 6:30 p.m. On January 15, 2018, the BAFC hosted a symposium on expert witnesses. Discussion topics included how to use an expert effectively to help settle your case, the advantages and disadvantages of joint experts, how to work with expert 13
witnesses, the challenges of the “hybrid expert,” and what to do with an expert’s report. On January 22, 2018, the BAFC will be had its annual meeting at the Courthouse in Frederick County. On January 23, 2018, the YLS of the BAFC will be having the general membership meeting from noon until 1 p.m. at Pistarros in Frederick, MD. On January 25, 2018, the MSBA Executive Director, the MSBA YLS Chair, and other leaders in the MSBA
will be meeting with the BAFC at La Paz Mexican Restaurant in Frederick, MD from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The event is free, however, please RSVP to Meredith at email@example.com. On February 5, 2018, at the Frederick County Circuit Court there will be the Opening Term of the Court ceremony from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. On February 13, 2018, the YLS of the BAFC will be having the general membership meeting from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the White Rabbit Gastropub in Frederick, MD.
8TH CIRCUIT – BALTIMORE CITY Circuit Representative: Kerri Smith, Esq. (KSmith@mdattorney.com) The Young Lawyers’ Division (YLD) of the Bar Association for Baltimore City (BABC) has been hard at work this Bar Year. Since August, we have hosted and participated in a number of events geared at the professional development of young members of the Bar.
On August 3, 2017, the YLD hosted a New Admittees event in conjunction with The Daily Record. The event was attended by approximately 30 new admittees and featured a panel of attorneys.
On September 27, 2017, the YLD’s Membership Committee hosted a Happy Hour at Maisy’s sponsored by Multi-Specialty Healthcare.
On August 31, 2017, the YLD hosted a Meet and Mingle with YLD Committee Chairs at Poets in the Hotel Indigo. The YLD was pleased with the great turnout of over 50 young lawyers. The Meet and Mingle was generously sponsored by Planet Depos and Hertzbach &
On September 20, 2017, the YLD held its first Breakfast with the Bench with the Honorable Christopher Panos who held a Question and Answer Session with young lawyers.
On October 14, 2017, the YLD Public Service Committee organized a service project at the Maryland SPCA. On October 25, 2017, the YLD’s Membership Committee hosted a happy hour at City Café, sponsored by TriBridge Partners. 14
On October 26, 2017, the YLD’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee held a Breakfast with the Bench with the Honorable Lynn Stewart Mays. On October 28, 2017 the YLD Public Service Committee organized a service project for volunteers at the Patterson Park’s Lantern Parade. On November 7, 2017, the YLD’s CLE Committee hosted a Breakfast with the Bench with the Honorable John Philip Miller (Ret.) presenting “Tips to Improve your Clients Success in ADR.” On November 15, 2017, the YLD’s Mentoring and Membership Committee hosted a Happy Hour and Networking at Mustang Alley’s. Attendees joined the YLD for happy hour, bowling and networking. On December 7, 2017, the BABC and YLD hosted the 83rd Annual Holiday Party at the French Kitchen in the Lord Baltimore Hotel. The silent auction and wine pull featured at the party raised
significant funds to benefit the YLD’s Annual Holiday Party for Children Living in Shelters (as well as other charitable programs for Baltimore City children sponsored by the YLD). The YLD’s Public Education Committee expanded the Mock Trial program for the first time to include two schools. On Friday, December 8, 2017, the YLD hosted 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School and Highlandtown Elementary/ Middle School for a Mock Trial before the Honorable Michael DiPietro. After the Mock Trial, the students enjoyed a tour of the Courthouse Museum, followed by lunch, which featured discussion with several local attorneys. On December 12, 2017, the YLD’s Annual Holiday Party for Children Living in Shelters was held at the Maryland Science Center. The YLD hosted approximately 250 people from Baltimore City’s homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Coming up in 2018, the YLD has more events planned: January 24, 2018
YLD and UB Law School Wine Tasting and Networking Event 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Spirits of Mt. Vernon
April 11, 2018 Meet the Judges of the Circuit Court and District Court for Baltimore City 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Brio Tuscan Grille Ticket information coming soon!
LOVE THE LIBRARY
BY: BENJAMIN SCHENKER, ESQ.* (firstname.lastname@example.org) As a young solo practitioner, I find the need to find more cost-effective methods to do most activities. Lawyers must perform research, draft forms, find conference spaces, and use technological resources. All of those things can cost a significant amount of money. One thing that I have learned is a lesson that I should have taken to heart as a child â€” libraries are incredible resources. 1. Research is done best at a library. Commercial services can be prohibitively expensive, even though they might be the most efficient options. Libraries at the Circuit Courts can offer commercial research services free of charge and there are knowledgeable librarians who can help find the best resources. 2. Forms may be complex to draft; the Rules and the Code provide good guidelines, but drafting a motion or an order for the first time can be intimidating. As part of the resources that Circuit Court libraries offer, there can be drafts of the various pleadings a lawyer might file, and they could be provided electronically. 3. A good conference space, for a client meeting or a deposition, can be very
expensive to find. The libraries that I have been fortunate to access have provided quiet and private rooms where there is a professional setting to meet with clients; further, when necessary, they can be reserved so that you could hold a deposition.
A good printer can be invaluable to an attorney. 4. A good printer can be invaluable to an attorney; pleadings and filings must be done in hard copy. Also, there are some administrative agencies (i.e., the IRS) where faxing is a requirement. Although the services are not free, libraries can offer options where printing, scanning, and faxing are available at a reasonable cost. In addition to the above-mentioned resources, Circuit Court libraries can also offer notarial services, and more importantly, a quiet and reasonable place where you can work. The courts in Maryland offer unparalleled resources, and for young attorneys, they should be utilized whenever possible.
*Benjamin Schenker is a family law attorney and solo practitioner. His law firm, the Law Office of Benjamin Schenker, is located in Washington, D.C.
AN ODE TO THE POST-CONVICTION PROCESS: PETITIONS FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF AND MOTIONS TO REOPEN BY: REBECCA A. NEVILLE, ESQ., M.S.W.* (email@example.com)
When criminal law is mentioned or taught, the focus is most often on the fast-paced trial or the labor-intensive appellate process. Little is known or encouraged in the post-conviction arena. I had certainly never heard of post-conviction proceedings until beginning my first job after law school; and in speaking with my newly graduated colleagues, neither had they. However, the more I researched petitions for post-conviction relief and motions to reopen, I realized that these pleadings hold a vital role as a final checkpoint of a defendantâ€™s rights. PETITIONS FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF AND MOTIONS TO REOPEN The Uniform Post Conviction Procedure Act governs the post-conviction process in Maryland. Under this statute, a
for which he deserves some form of relief. A hearing is held on the allegations of error, during which a petitioner is entitled to representation. The hearing court must render an opinion on every allegation raised by the petitioner. While relief can be a new trial, the most common forms of relief are permission to file a belated appeal or a motion for review of sentence. The most common allegations raised in these pleadings include a violation of some fundamental right, the retroactive application of a change in existing law, and the ineffective assistance of either trial or appellate counsel, with the latter comprising the substantial majority. An attorney (or a pro se defendant) must comb through seemingly endless transcripts, opinions, and case notes to determine which allegations have
The attorney must comb through seemingly endless transcripts, opinions, and case notes to determine which allegations have merit. defendant is entitled to one postconviction proceeding within the ten years after he is convicted of a crime. In a petition for post-conviction relief, the defendant presents allegations of error
merit. To be successful on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the petitioner must demonstrate sufficient facts under the two-prong analysis set forth in Strickland v. Washington, 466 17
U.S. 668 (1984). Indeed, due to the complex nature of many cases and the high burden for ineffective assistance of counsel, the vast majority of these petitions are denied. However, following a post-conviction proceeding, a defendant can still seek relief in the form of a motion to reopen. This pleading requires a true work of legal mastery. The scripting attorney must argue the underlying error committed by the ineffective counsel, which requires a two-prong analysis under Strickland. However, the motion must also plead “special circumstances,” to overcome the presumed waiver of the presenting allegations of error. These special circumstances generally include another analysis of ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel for not raising the specified allegation in the original proceeding. The legal maneuvering and linguistic weaving required to make clear the multiple layers of ineffective assistance can tax even the most experienced of attorneys. Further, although there is no limit on the amount of motions that a defendant may file, the motion can be denied by the court without a hearing. Therefore, the need to extensively explain each error alleged and provide substantial evidence to warrant a hearing is paramount. MOTIONS TO REOPEN PROVIDE RELIEF IN MARYLAND Few motions for post-conviction relief are filed in Maryland. According to Maryland Judiciary statistical data, only 745 postconviction petitions and motion were filed statewide between 2017 and 2016.
To put this in context, 806,840 pleadings were filed statewide during this same period of time. Baltimore City and Prince
Criminal lawyers should not overlook this significant tool to achieve meaningful relief for a client or as a pro bono opportunity. George’s County see the highest volume of these filings; and even then, only 57 and 124 post-conviction pleadings were respectively filed in all of 2016. However, criminal lawyers should not overlook this significant tool to achieve meaningful relief for a client or as a pro bono opportunity. The motion to reopen is a useful, albeit labor-intensive tool to secure some right originally denied to a defendant during trial,on direct appeal, or during post-conviction proceedings. The mass undertaking that these pleadings require pales in comparison to the preservation of a defendant’s constitutional rights if one is successful. The best example can be seen in the recent case involving Raymond Adams, jury instructions, and Unger v. State, 427 Md. 383, 48 A.3d 242 (2012). Prior to 1980, the jury instructions regarding the law were “advisory only” in Maryland. In the late 1970s, Mr. Adams was convicted 18
of multiple murder and sexual assault offenses. After exhausting his appeals, he filed for relief under the existing postconviction statute. The Court of Appeals denied Mr. Adams a new trial. The Court held that the failure of both trial and appellate counsel to challenge the “advisory only” nature of jury instructions constituted a waiver of the issue for postconviction purposes. See State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 958 A.2d 295 (2008).
retroactively. See State v. Waine, 444 Md. 692, 122 A.3d 294 (2015). Mr. Adams should have been granted a new trial. However, the motion to reopen remains the only avenue through which Mr. Adams could obtain this relief. While Mr. Adams remains incarcerated, many men and women have obtained a new trial or been released based on the “advisory only” Unger instructions used at their trial by filing a motion to reopen.
In 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals specifically overturned this holding in Unger v. State, 427 Md. 383, 48 A.3d 242 (2012). The Unger Court repudiated the Article 23 “advisory only” jury instructions in criminal trials and determined that a trial counsel’s failure to object to this instruction was not a waiver of the issue for post-conviction relief. Id. at 417-18. In 2015, the Court determined that this alteration to Maryland law should apply
As this case proves, post-conviction proceedings provide real opportunities for lawyers and clients to learn and attain substantive relief. The spotting of issues and weaving of cutting-edge arguments pertaining to the retroactive application of law or the ineffective assistance of various counsel require a steadfast determination and proficiency of language reserved for the most determined of lawyers.
* Rebecca A. Neville is a law clerk in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. In 2016, she obtained her law degree and Master’s in Social Work from The Catholic University of America, with a focus in children and families involved in the criminal justice system.
GIVING BACK BEYOND THE LAW:
A RECOMMENDATION TO VOLUNTEER AT CAMP JAMIE BY: DETRIC L. KEMP, ESQ* (Detric@conklynlawfirm.com) Camp Jamie is a grief camp for children ages 6 to 14. Each year 25 to 30 children (referred to as Little Buddies) are partnered with an adult volunteer (Big Buddy) for the weekend-long camp. In addition to having a Big Buddy to help them along the way, Little Buddies can spend time with and get to know peers (other Little Buddies) that are also grieving a loss. Camp Jamie is an overnight camp that is usually held on the third Saturday in May at Skycroft Conference Center in Middletown, Maryland.
A Little Buddy walked over to the little girl with a stuffed animal and a box of Kleenex and said “It’s okay, you are with friends and we support you.” The beauty of Camp Jamie is that volunteers can serve in one of two capacities – as Big Buddies, or as members of the Support Staff. Big Buddies are responsible for providing one-on-one support and guidance to his/her Little Buddy. Prior to the start of the camp, Big Buddies are provided with
information about their Little Buddies’ hobbies and type of loss. Volunteers serving as support staff are responsible for, among other things, assisting with the activities, games, and supervision. Prior to the start of the camp, each volunteer is assigned a role. The weekend kicks off with a group meeting at the Hospice of Frederick County on Saturday morning. Volunteers serving as support staff are asked to arrive about an hour prior to the arrival of Little Buddies and Big Buddies to ensure everything is in order. The support staff assists the staff with checking everyone in and connecting each Little Buddy with their respective Big Buddy. Once everyone is checked in, each Little Buddy hops on one of three school buses with their Big Buddy for the ride to the Skycroft Conference Center. On the bus ride to Skycroft, Little Buddies and Big Buddies find out more about each other. After arriving at Skycroft and gathering their things, the Big Buddies and Little Buddies retreat to one of two buildings to select a room, roommates, and bed (top or bottom bunk) - the males and the females are housed in separate buildings. All attendees receive Camp Jamie t-shirts. After selecting a bed and changing into the Camp Jamie t-shirt, the activities begin. From breakfast to lights out, every minute is accounted for in the schedule. 20
The professional staff at Camp Jamie includes bereavement counselors, psychologists, and nurses. There is no cost to attend Camp Jamie as a volunteer or child. The food (buffet style) is good and the selection is wide. I served as a Big Buddy at Camp Jamie for the first time in May 2016 and again in May 2017. During my first year serving as a volunteer, there were five children (along with at least two volunteers) that had a parent who had committed suicide. My Little Buddy lost his younger brother. One of the first activities that year was the sharing circle, which was designed to give anyone in the room (Little Buddies, Big Buddies, Support Staff, etc.) who wanted to share about their loss an opportunity to talk about it. In the middle of a 9-year-old sharing about her father that committed suicide, she broke down and started crying. Without any instructions from anyone, a Little Buddy (approximately age 7) walked over to the
little girl with a stuffed animal and a box of Kleenex and said, “It’s okay, you are with friends and we support you.” I was floored. I have never experienced or witnessed anything like that. That year, like many other volunteers, I decided that I would serve as a volunteer at Camp Jamie every year that I am able to do so. While I greatly enjoy the practice of law, as a young lawyer, I find helping the Little Buddies forces me to take a break from law and focus on something greater than law – the future leaders of Maryland (and possibly the country). In addition, serving as a volunteer has given me the opportunity to work with people from various job sectors and expand my professional network. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer (Big Buddy or Support Staff), please contact Hospice of Frederick at 240-566-3030. You can find an application at www.hospiceoffrederick. org/grief-support/camp-jamie.
*Detric L. Kemp, Esq. works at a law firm in Frederick, MD that specializes in family law. He represents clients in adoptions, child custody, child support, divorce, protective orders, peace orders, and other types of civil matters.
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE For questions or comments about The Advocate please contact any member of the Publications Committee: Letam Duson Chelsea Crawford Chaz Ball Paul Farmer
LDuson@stattorney.org CCrawford@browngold.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com