The Trouble With Juries

I have recently had a run of cases which have gone to trial before a jury in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. It is said that only the most difficult of cases make it to a jury because the vast majority of cases are settled before reaching the trial stage. By definition then, once you get to the point that the case is being tried, anything can really happen. There are arguments to be made on both sides and Read More

The Last Believer: Why I Like Lance Armstrong

So this has nothing to do with Montgomery County, the practice of law, nor the use of Apple products. OK, maybe a little bit of due process. But I am THE guy, the last believer, the lone sole in the wilderness who seems to think that Lance Armstrong is getting railroaded. Judging by everything that has been said and written about Lance and the assertion (no longer seemingly an allegation) that he cheated along the Read More

What’s Mine is Mine;What’s Ours is Mine, Too!

One of the most difficult issues to understand in a divorce action is the concept of marital property. Lawyers spend entire seminars, read full treatises, and examine statutes for hours on end to try and understand the nuances of this concept. So it is not surprising that most non-lawyers struggle with the same problem. Most people seem to think that each gets half of all the "stuff". It's not that Read More

Control Your Outcome – What the NFL Referee Lockout Teaches Family Law Clients

The settlement of the NFL referee lockout generated a sigh of relief throughout the country yesterday as the league and the referee's union announced an agreement that put an end to the lockout. The workplace dispute resulted in three weeks of disarray, erroneous results, and a real economic impact the the league and it's followers. The sad part is that the deal that was agreed to was available before the start of Read More

Virtually in the Courtroom

The recent Lululemon murder trial provided an opportunity to literally monitor the trial in great detail, in near real-time, from anywhere literally in the world. I followed the courtroom action via Twitter by saving the hashtag search term #lululemon. A hashtag is a way to filter the billions of tweets (Twitter messages) down to the item of interest. In this case, the reporters and courtroom observers who were live Read More

Murder, Martial Arts, and Macs!

Seems like a couple of themes are coming together to prompt me to get back to posting. Sadly, it is the tale of a gruesome murder here in Montgomery County - the trial for which is about to wrap up. Brittany Norwood stands accused of first-degree murder in the killing of Jayna Murray inside the Lululemon Athletic store in Bethesda earlier this year. Courtroom observers are reporting on Twitter today that the Read More

Leaving It To the Court to Decide

This story has been told by judges and family division masters in Montgomery County many times but it bears repeating. A couple stands before the judge in a highly disputed child custody case. The judge turns to the mother and says, "Ma’am, do you love your child?" To which she replies, "Of course I do!" He then turns to the father and asks the same question. “But of course I love my child.” The judge turns to them Read More

Should Maryland Recognize Out-of-State Same Sex Marriages?

The question is obviously highly political. But it is about to come to a head here in Maryland as we await a legal opinion from Attorney General Doug Gansler as to whether or not under Maryland law same sex marriages that are legal in other states can be recognized here in Maryland. Same sex marriages themselves are not permitted in Maryland but are in several other states (currently Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Read More

Two Powerful Women

I am struck by the fact that the two most recent appointments to the judicial bench, at least to me and my little practice, have been powerful women. At the national level, Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in this Saturday as the Supreme Court's 111th justice, third woman and first nominee by a Democrat in 15 years. I was not practicing law when the previous two women were appointed to the Supreme Court so it has Read More

When Will I Become Jaded?

I'm sure it will come at some point. Listening to all of my esteemed colleagues, who have been practicing far longer than I have, moan and groan about the system and about judges in particular, makes me wonder when I will become equally jaded. Because to date, I have been remarkably surprised about how accommodating the court has been towards me and my clients. There have been times when my clients have been late for Read More