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Law Library News

New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Spotlight on Expungement

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 25, 2017

Untitled drawing (1)New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2017 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2017, check out this publication from DLS.

Although effective October 1, 2017, the Justice Reinvestment Act which made significant changes to the expungement law, was actually passed during the 2016 session.  SB1005/CH515 known as the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA), among other things, authorized “a person to file a petition listing relevant facts for expungement of a police, court, or other record if the person is convicted of specified misdemeanors. A petition for expungement may not be filed earlier than 10 years after the person satisfied the sentence or sentences imposed for all convictions for which expungement is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. If the person is convicted of a new crime during the 10-year waiting period, the original conviction or convictions are not eligible for expungement unless the new conviction becomes eligible. A person is not eligible for expungement if the person is a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding or if one conviction in a unit is not eligible for expungement. In general, a person must file a petition for expungement in the court in which the proceeding began. However, the bill specifies procedures for situations involving transfers to another court or the juvenile court. In addition, the bill specifies procedural requirements regarding objections to a petition, hearings, and appeals.”

Now Maryland law (codified in section 10-110 of the Criminal Procedure Article) allows for expungement of more misdemeanor convictions after a certain period of time.  WIth changes, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) offered a webinar on expungement that covered the new and old expungement law.  Matthew Stubenberg, creator of the MDexpungement app, was the presenter.  The presentation, JRA Expungements,  is online and the full webinar will be available soon. MVLS has also posted a list online that details which offenses are eligible for expungement  under the JRA:  All Convictions Eligible Under the JRA.

New expungement forms will be made available October 1 – one for non-guilty records and one for guilty.  You can view them online now but they are not ready for use. Per Matthew:

CC-DC-CR-072 A should be used for the expungement of acquittal, dismissal, probation before judgment, nolle pros, stet, and certain not criminally responsible dispositions. There will be no filing fee for these dispositions.

 CC-DC-CR-072 B should be used for the expungement of eligible guilty dispositions. The filing fee for guilty dispositions is $30.

MVLS has provided this training to those who are interested and hope those who do will volunteer by taking a case  OR taking part in an expungement clinic

Volunteer attorneys are also needed to help with expungement at the  Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day which is scheduled for October 28, 2017.

To learn more about expungement and expungement resources, check out expungement on the Maryland People’s Law Library and our wiki page. In addition, the Maryland Courts website includes information on how to expunge your records and a video.

Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2016 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.  

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 22, 2017

On Wednesday, September 19, 2017, the law library offered three different brief legal advice programs.

crighton_chase_2017_02

Crighton Chase

Crighton Chase of Hillman, Brown and Darrow was the “lawyer in the law library” in the morning at the courthouse.  He was able to help three people with issues such as debt collection, custody (referred by the FLSHC), and discrimination.  One of  the clients was a Japanese speaker and we were able to use the Language Line as mentioned in a  previous post on language services. At the same time, we had the MVLS Foreclosure Brief Advice Clinic via videoconferencing via Google Hangouts.  A client facing a tax sale foreclosure was assisted by Ellyn Riedl, an MVLS staff attorney, who was in her office in Baltimore.

mvls-logoWhile the two programs were going on we got a request from the FLSHC for the ASL laptop so they could better assist a client who was hard of hearing.  I was able to use the service, too, when the client was referred to the library for help in locating examples of separation agreements.

In the evening the program traveled to the Glen Burnie Regional Library. Josh Tabor of the Law Office of Marla Zide with Cliff O’Connor and Katelyn Maloney of Holmes and O’Connor were the volunteer attorneys.  Issues for which help was provided included real estate, estate administration, power of attorney, and guardianship. Towards the end of the program a young woman stuck her head in the door.  She just wanted to say “thank you” for the help she had received before.  A nice way to end a long day of self-help services.

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery.  On the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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Webinars offered by the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center

Posted by johnjeffreyross on September 20, 2017

As part of the Judiciary’s effort to provide more complete public access to justice, the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center is offering instructional Online Classes (Webinars) on the following topics:

  • Filing a Failure to Pay Rent Case?  (Next class will be on September 27, 2017 from 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.)
  • Facing Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent? (Next class will be on September 27, 2017 from 10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.)
  • Filing for Absolute Divorce in Maryland (Next class will be on October 25, 2017 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.)
  • Filing Your Case in the District Court of Maryland (One hour class is on demand.)

Register for classes here.

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Ask A Lawyer In The Library: Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 18, 2017

Valadez

Mike Valadez

Last Wednesday, Mike Valadez was back as the “Lawyer in the Library.” Mike was able to help five people with issues such as judicial review, arbitration and wills.

The next program date is Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – at both the circuit court and Glen Burnie locations.  More information here

Also on September 20, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, the law library is hosting a monthly foreclosure clinic through the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS).  Registration is not required but suggested.  (Contact the law library for more information @ 410-222-1387 or lawlibrary@aacounty.org) Check out the law library’s foreclosure wiki page for more information.  Take note of the links to the video’s of the Maryland Access to Justice Department on the Foreclosure Process and Foreclosure Mediation.

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery.  On the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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Language Access Services

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 15, 2017

Thanks to the Access to Justice Department of the Maryland Judiciary, the law library and the entire circuit court is able to provide assistance in many languages including American Sign Language (ASL).

We can assist speakers of just about any language including Hmong, Tagalog, Japanese and Punjabi using the Language Line service as provided by the Judiciary.  We use the service mostly for Spanish and Korean speakers in the law library.  We now have a special two-receiver phone for use with in person customers that allows for more privacy at the counter.  The court’s new phones have made it much easier to use the Language Line for those that call.

collage_language

And, now, we have a special dedicated laptop that will allow us to assist those who are hard of hearing using ASL.  We can dial up an ASL interpreter at the counter whenever needed.  The laptop will also be used in the Family Law Self Help Center.

If an interpreter is needed for a court case, the Court Administrator’s office will be able to see that one is there on the day of court. More information and a link to the request form can be found of the court’s website here.

The Judiciary’s Court Language Services has also created foreign language portals where you can find forms, brochures, and other helpful information about the Maryland Courts in five different languages: Spanish, French, Russian, Korean and Chinese. 

collage_pllThe Maryland People’s Law Library, a legal information and self-help website maintained by the Maryland State Law Library, provides many articles in other languages. Look for the “non-English Help” links in the sidebar and the”translate this” box on the pages that are available in other languages.

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 10, 2017

On Wednesday, September 6, 2017 the Law Library hosted the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program.  Mike Ragland and Jack Paltell were the “lawyers in the library” and provided assistance to  three people with issues such as real estate, an appeal and the disposition of remains.

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The next program date is Wednesday, September 13, 2017.  

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery.  On the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

It is helpful to prepare for your session with the attorney.  Here are some helpful tips:

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

If you would like to read up on your issue prior to your session with the attorney, please come find us at the Law Library’s information desk.  We are happy to assist you.

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What’s new …..

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 5, 2017

Many of these titles will be of special interest to  young lawyers, law clerks, or anyone interested in the basics of law and legal research.

Law Clerks and Young Lawyers                                                                                                   

The millennial lawyer : making the most of generational differences in the firm / Ursula Furi-Perry ; cosponsored by the Section of Law Practice Management, American Bar Association.  (KF297 .F872 2012)

The all-inclusive guide to judicial clerking / Abigail L. Perdue, Associate Professor, Wake Forest University School of Law. (KF297.P47 2017)


ref

Legal Research      

The ABA Spanish Legal Phrasebook / Samantha Snow Ward and Corinne Cooper.  (REF K52.S6 .W384 2010)

Legal research survival manual : with video modules / Robert C. Berring, Michael Levy. (REF KF240 .B454 2017)

Prince’s dictionary of legal abbreviations : a reference guide for attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law students / by Mary Miles Prince. (REF KF246 .B46 2017)

Legal research in a nutshell / Morris L. Cohen, Late Librarian and Emeritus Professor of Law, Yale Law School ; Kent C. Olson, Head of Research Services, University of Virginia Law Library. (REF KF240 .C54 2016)

Principles of legal research / by Kent C. Olson, Head of Research Services, University of Virginia Law Library. (REF KF240 .O378 2015)

Prince’s dictionary of legal citations : a reference guide for attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law students / by Mary Miles Prince. (REF KF246 .P73 2017)

ABA and Nutshells

 

nutshells

Consumer protection law in a nutshell / Dee Pridgen (Carl M. Williams Professor of Law & Social Responsibility, University of Wyoming College of Law), Gene A. Marsh (James M. Kidd, Sr. Professor Emeritus of Law, the University of Alabama School of Law). (KF1610 .M37 2016)

Conflicts in a nutshell / Patrick J. Borchers, Professor of law, Creighton University School of Law. (KF412 .S5 2016)

The law and policy of sentencing and corrections in a nutshell / Lynn S. Branham (distinguished visiting scholar, Saint Louis University School of Law). (KF9728 .B733 2017)

Toxic torts in a nutshell / by Jean Macchiaroli Eggen, Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener University Delaware Law School. (KF1299.H39 E37 2015)

Civil procedure in a nutshell / by Mary Kay Kane, John F. Digardi, Distinguished Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law. (KF8841 .K36 2013)

The American Bar Association guide to wills and estates: everything you need to know about wills, trusts, estates, and taxes. (KF755.A94 2000)

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Library Closed for Labor Day

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 4, 2017

The Law Library is closed today, September 4, 2017 for the Labor Day holiday.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Read more on the DOL’s page, the History of Labor Day.

The Law Library will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at http://www.circuitcourt.org/court-holidays. Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on August 31, 2017

This week, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program was offered in two different locations and at two different times.  On Tuesday evening the program was held at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library starting at 4:30 p.m. in addition to the weekly, Wednesday program held in the law library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

In Eastport, Jerry Williams and John Bailey assisted six people with issues such as bankruptcy, wills, child support, and zoning infractions.  Richard Ronay was the lawyer for the weekly Wednesday program from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  He provided assistance with questions about defamation, a foreclosure eviction, contracts and employment.

The next program date is Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in the law library.  

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by the Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery.  On the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Do you have a question about foreclosure?  The law library is hosting a monthly foreclosure clinic through the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). The next clinic will be held on September 20, 2017 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in the law library. Registration is not required but suggested.  Contact the law library for more information at 410-222-1387 or lawlibrary@aacounty.org.

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Library Curses

Posted by Joan Bellistri on August 30, 2017

monkA tweet by Tinkering Librarians @tinkeringlib  on August 23 caught my eye with its link to this article Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses on  Atlas Obscura,  a website exploring hidden spots around the world.

In the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library we hope that no one ever takes anything from the law library without asking but when anything goes missing, the curse I first saw in Mel Hirshman’s Maryland Bar Journal column (July/August, 1994, p. 52) comes to mind. Mel Hirshman was Bar Counsel for the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission for almost 30 years. This column , “By Special Request (Sad Information From Our Law Librarians),” reported on the problem with books missing from Maryland law libraries. It included the curse found on the door of an ancient monastic library in Barcelona, Spain:

For him that stealeth a book from this library, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy and let there be no surcease to his agony til he sink in dissolution.

Let bookworms knaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final judgment, let flames of hell consume him forever and aye.

So next time you are tempted to “borrow” something from a library permanently, beware of the library curse.

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