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First Monday in October Signals New Supreme Court Term

The United State Supreme Court begins its term today, the first Monday in October. The SCOTUSblog is the place for all information on the Supreme Court.

Information there includes a listing of cases to be heard this year, petitions, supreme court statistics and the newsfeed. Find even more under the “CATEGORIES” tab to find Book Reviews , the Academic Round-Up for “news about recent court-related scholarship,” and discussion of Cases in the Pipeline

The official website for the Supreme Court is here .

Categories
lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Maryland Laws: October 1, 2021

The Maryland General Assembly enacted 771 laws in the session that ended on April 12, 2921. Most of those laws will go into effect on October 1, 2021. The following is just a tiny sampling:

CH680 (SB201) Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records Provides for the expungement of records for cases with a disposition of acquittal; dismissal; not guilty; or nolle prosequi, except nolle prosequi with a requirement of drug or alcohol treatment.

HB 18 (SB746)— Landlord and Tenant – Residential Tenants – Access to Counsel. Creates a new notice requirement for landlords in a failure to pay rent case. The law also establishes an Access to Counsel in Evictions program with full implementation by October 1, 2025.

CH 74(SB66) established the Office of Statewide Broadband to ensure that all Maryland residents have access to reliable and affordable broadband.

The Maryland General Assembly website provides access to all legislation from 2021 and other years as well. Check out The 90-Day Report: A Review of the 2021 Legislative Session for an overview and discussion of all 2021 legislation.

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lawlibrary

The Law Library has moved!

The Law Library has moved to room H201. It is on the second floor of the historic courthouse which serves as the entrance to the building. How did this happen? Take a look below:

To reach the law library, you must still go through security but then make a U-turn to reach the law library. Even though the space is much smaller, the law library provides access to the same legal information as before with many of the U.S. texts and treatises available online using Westlaw or Lexis.

For those who do not wish to come in-person, especially during this time of the Coronavirus, library services are available remotely . Visit our Virtual Reference Desk for more information.

Here are some bonus moving videos – watch the books fly off the shelves into a bin and the last four trucks leave with the last of the discarded books:

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lawlibrary

Worth a listen: musical adaption concerning Federal Jury Trials in the Southern District of Texas

Federal judges from the southern district of Texas set the notice discontinuing jury trials to the tune of Hamilton’s, “I’ll be back.” Nice to see something fun and legal these days.

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lawlibrary

New in Our Catalog

From the Maryland Judiciary:

2019 Strategic Plan Update: Building for the Future (Document URL) (Catalog Record). This document reports on the Judiciary’s progress towards its strategic goals for 2015-2020.

Handbook for Guardians of Minors. (Document URL) (Catalog Record): This guide provides help for court-appointed guardians of minors. The handbook includes instructions, sample forms, and resources to contact for additional information.

Serving on a Maryland Grand Jury. (Document URL) (Catalog Record): This pamphlet, written for new grand jurors, explains a grand jury’s purpose and the duties and responsibilities of serving on one. It also includes a helpful “Frequently Used Terms” glossary in the back.

Journalist’s Guide to Maryland’s Legal System. Sue Kopen Katcef & Robert D. Anbinder, eds. Third edition. (Document URL) (Catalog Record): Here, journalists can read about Maryland laws that affect them, the structure and functions of the courts, explanations of different court processes, and other pertinent legal topics. The third edition to this handbook is available on-line only; our library holds superseded, print versions of this handbook for those who prefer them. Find them in our catalog.

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lawlibrary

Juneteeth Day in Anne Arundel County

On Friday, June 19, 2020, County Executive Steuart Pittman issued a proclamation declaring it Juneteenth Day in Anne Arundel County. Juneteenth is the anniversary of the date the last enslaved people, who were in Texas, learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after it was issued. It was then and is now a day of celebration. To commemorate in Anne Arundel County, there was a march beginning at the MLK Foot Soldiers Memorial at Whitmore Park ending at the Kunta Kinte Memorial at City Dock, socially distanced and with masks. 

You might wonder how the information finally made it to the last people to know in Texas. Joe Lawson, Deputy Director of the Harris County Law Library, shared that he”found an article written for our local bar journal, The Houston Lawyer, which includes an interesting passage about how news of the end of slavery arrived in Houston:”

On June 20, the 34th Iowa Regiment and five companies of the 114th Ohio Regiment marched through Houston and occupied the courthouse. A cannon placed in front of the courthouse was fired every day, breaking the windows around the courthouse square.

The full article is available at:
Reconstructing Reconstruction: Stories from the Harris County Court Archives on How the Rule of Law Was Restored After the Civil War
– The Houston Lawyer, January/February 2008

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lawlibrary

New Title Available: Law in the Time of COVID-19

Law in the Time of COVID-19

The Columbia Law School Scholarship Repository has added this title. Access (for free) is provided here. It is described on the site as follows:

The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal issues the pandemic has raised, especially (though not exclusively) for law in the United States: from the rights of prison inmates who live under conditions that make them exceptionally vulnerable to the highly contagious virus to the options for contracting parties who now face circumstances that make it impossible for them to live up to their past commitments. The book does not give legal advice. Instead, it identifies critical legal issues that affect many peoples’ lives, offers fresh perspectives for thinking about those issues, and provides guidance to legislatures and policy makers about the legal challenges ahead.

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the (virtual) Library

After a break of more than two months, the law library was able to again offer the opportunity to the public to speak to an attorney about their civil legal issues. This is normally an-in person program, but with the courts having to close to the public due to the pandemic – not to mention that face-to-face meetings are not a good idea no matter what at this time – the law library had to find another way to provide the service. Many thanks to attorney, Joe Gormley of Gormley Jarashow Bowman for volunteering to be the first online “lawyer in the library.”

Joe Gormley, the Lawyer in the Library, with librarian, Joan Bellistri, on Skype.

Skype for Business worked out well. It allowed for easy access via phone or an online link. Today, all chose the phone option. All of the four slots were filled. (We are starting with fewer time slots so that we can get used to the new format. It seems when online, the transition takes a little longer between appointments.)

This remote program is now scheduled through July. The program, as before, will be held every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The next session will be on June 3, 2020. The monthly programs that were held in-person at the Anne Arundel County North County Regional Library on the third Wednesday and at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday are on the schedule, too, from 3:30 pm until 6:45 pm. (The hours are a little different to accommodate the new format.)

Sessions are now by appointment. Register online here or call the law library at 410-222-1387. Once registered, a link to an online intake and agreement will be sent via email. Meeting information is sent the day of the program. Anyone without computer access, can schedule an appointment as well as fill out the intake with the assistance of library staff by phone.

The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can talk with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program that was held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday, in the evening, will continue online as well. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

The Lawyer in the Library is back – remotely

The Lawyer in the Library program is now available remotely by phone or video conference. The Lawyer in the Library is a civil legal self-help program where you can speak to an attorney for up to 20 minutes. The program is coordinated by the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and sponsored by the Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

Issues that may be addressed include:

  • Debt and bankruptcy
  • Landlord/Tenant questions
  • Real estate
  • Employment and wage claim issues
  • Contracts, warranties and/or consumer disputes
  • Wills, estate planning, probate, living wills

To prepare for your session:

  • Write a list of specific questions for the attorney.
  • Make sure that you have any paperwork and information related to the case on hand.
  • Organize any paperwork from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.
  • Identify all deadlines.
  • Prepare a timeline of the legal issue.

Lawyer in the Library is offered every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 3:30 pm – 6:45 pm on the third Wednesday and last Tuesday of the month. Register here: http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library

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lawlibrary

Law Library Closed for Memorial Day

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

Law Library services will be unavailable today, May 25, 2020 for the Memorial Day holiday.  The Law Library will be available via phone and email tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26, 2020.  Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open – virtually these days – Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website’s list of Court Holidays.

Interested in the history of this holiday? Please see the following provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/

Contact the law library at 410-222-1387 or AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov