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I’m passing along the latest information on Maryland transition to e-filing.

emptycourtIn 2014, the Maryland Judiciary launched the Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) system – a project that modernizes current case management systems and streamlines court processes to make case filings more convenient for litigants. Here are two updates

APRIL 4: New E-filing interface

Donald Trump has the support of a broad swatch of people.   Many of his supporters have the viewpoint that the problem in this country is too many lawsuits.Trump

Trump would not take this position.  He is, by any definition, a celebrity.  Many celebrities have a history of using lawsuit first recourse in settling disputes.

Yesterday, Trump threatened a lawsuit if Ted Cruz does not take a campaign ad down that is predominantly made up of Trump’s own words footage  in a 1999 interview saying he’s “very pro-choice.” Cruz has, with good reason, mocked the viability of such a claim, giving the sound bite that Trump has been bringing frivolous lawsuits his entire adult life.

Trump certainly has filed a number of unbelievable lawsuits.  Here are a few highlights:

  • He sued two brothers for using the Trump name, even though their last name was Trump.  Reportedly, these guys were worth more than ten times what Trump is worth, but somehow they were using the name to piggyback off of his success.  The suit went nowhere.
  • He sued his ex-wife for $25 million for talking about their relationship in spite of a confidentiality agreement.   He might have technically been on the right side of this.  But you get the point.
  • Bill Maher joked that he would pay Trump $5 million if he could prove that his father was not an orangutan. Trump produced his birth certificate and sued for $5 million when Maher did not pay.  This one has a real elementary school vibe to it, doesn’t it?  Trump eventually dropped the case.
  • He sued the Chicago Tribune for $500 million after the paper’s architecture critic, wrote he thought the Chicago’s Sears Tower would remain its world’s tallest building title even though Trump has made a plan to build a taller building on the East River in Manhattan.  Reportedly, Trump did not even hire an architect for the building.  A federal court judge dismissed the case, ruling that you cannot sue someone for their subjective opinions.

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rottweiler2Maryland made the right call by getting rid of the “one bite rule,” which created an assumption that dog owners know their dogs can bite.  In doing so, they effectively nixed a court ruling that said that Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous and imposed strict liability for owners and landlords.  At the end of the day though, insurance companies are most interested in these sort of decisions, since they’re the ones paying out dog-bite claims.  And although the dog breeds may not be as big an issue for Maryland legislators anymore, your insurance company may still discriminate and charge you more based on the type of dog that you have.

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“There’s two sides to every story. I saw the video. That’s their personal business, and it shouldn’t have affected his career. I don’t agree with domestic violence, but she’s still with him, so obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it.”

– Random Ravens Fan Last Night

“The case is a perfect symbol of all that’s wrong with the litigation system in this country.”

Lisa Rickard,  President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform and the American Tort Reform Association talking about the infamous lawsuit where an administrative law judge sued for $65 million claiming a dry cleaner had lost his pants

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Tiger Woods "easy" back surgery hurts some tort victims

Tiger Woods “easy” back surgery hurts some tort victims

Tiger Woods announced today that he has undergone successful back surgery and expects to be back playing golf this summer.  Good for him. This is bad news for golf fans who passionately root for or against Tiger.  But it is also bad for personal injury victims who are bringing a back injury claim in front of a jury.  Why?  Because juries get constant evidence from athletes that back injuries and back surgery is not a big deal.  Some will equate Tiger Woods to 58 year-old Mary Smith when she has a discectomy and fusion for a herniated disc after a car accident.

Why Tiger’s Surgery and Expected Recovery Misleads Juries

There are a number of reasons why the comparison is unfair.  First, not all back injuries are created the same.  Tiger had a microdiscectomy for a pinched nerve.  That is light years from, say, a herniated disc suffered by great trauma.  But some jurors view back surgery as back surgery regardless of the severity of the injury. Second, Tiger is a professional athlete who dedicates his life to keeping his body in the best possible shape.  Tiger won’t even share his workout secrets.   He will also get stunning medical care.  The best doctors and ridiculous amounts of medical attention you and I would never see. Finally, Tiger’s getting surgery in the first place is probably something you and I never would have gotten in the first place.  Why?  First, we are not violently swinging a golf club at pretty much the speed of light.   So I can probably still workout and work around the same injury that Tiger needs to get taken care of so he can perform on a world class level. Continue reading

According to Alexa, this is the most read personal injury lawyer blog in the country.

Do pictures like this drive legal blog traffic?

Do pictures like this drive legal blog traffic?

I really don’t have anything else to say about that except I really do appreciate the people who read this blog, especially those that comment, like on Facebook and Twitter, etc.

I have not done a decent roundup in a while! Here we go:tort

  • Walter Olson at Overlawyered provides a Maryland law roundup. Yes, this is a roundup within a round-up but most of these are most germane to our issues here. The one that is least relevant, and the most interesting, is the latest on Tavon White. I demand someone write a biography on this guy. Accumulating the power that he was able to enjoy in that environment against all odds is just fascinating as is getting four different prison guards pregnant and apparently all of them being cool with it. If you don’t live near Baltimore, you may not have heard of him. But I can’t be the only one who thought it was an amazing story. The Baltimore Sun spent three weeks gunning for a Pulitzer Prize on this story. (They won’t get one because their budget these days is about $354. But there was some good reporting done anyway.)
  • Eric Turkewitz writes about everyone’s new favorite discovery issue: Facebook. I do find it interesting to see courts attacking this new issue but it has really only been a significant issue in one case what we have had. So while the topic is fascinating, I think the actual impact on our practice has been fairly limited.

I had jury duty yesterday which was unbelievably interesting. Turns out Anne Arundel County is a small town. The oral surgeon plaintiff might have done my root canal (it was definitely his office) and the defense lawyer represented the defendant in my first trial with Miller & Zois. (What happened in that case? Thanks for asking. We socked him with a $300,000 verdict in a low property damage case which I enjoyed sharing at the judge’s bench yesterday.)oldschooljury

Shockingly, I was not chosen for the jury. I’m not sure if I was struck for cause; I’m going to try to find out. Technically, I can talk about the case since I was not on the jury, but because I’m going to share my impressions of the case – based on nothing but still – I’m going to wait until the case resolves before writing about it. So look for my post next week. It was a very interesting experience where I learned absolutely nothing but really learned a lot, if that makes any sense.

These were the five most popular posts on this blog in 2012:

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