What’s New … in Family Law 

A stack showing the spines of the listed new books.

The law library has added a number of recently published books to its shelves for both family law attorneys and others interested in family law. A list of them follows, with links to their more detailed records in our catalog.

The complete QDRO handbook: dividing ERISA, military, and civil service pensions and collecting child support from employee benefit plans
4th edition  
KF3512 .C37 2019 
Patricia Shewmaker and James R. Lewis 
[Chicago, Illinois]: American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, [2019] 

The family law practitioner’s guide to social securit
2nd edition  
Lydia S. Terrill 
KF3649 .S73 2020 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2020] 

Forms, checklists, and procedures for the family lawyer  
Mark A. Chinn 
KF505 .C478 2021 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2021] 

Litigating parental alienation: evaluating and presenting an effective case in court  
Ashish Joshi 
KF540 .L58 2021 
[Chicago, Illinois]: ABA, American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2021] 

The military divorce handbook: a practical guide to representing military personnel and their families Third edition 
Mark E. Sullivan 
KF535 .S85 2019 
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, [2019] 

Parent-child reunification: a guide to legal and forensic strategies 
Stanley S. Clawar 
KF547 .C57 2020 
[Chicago, Illinois]: American Bar Association, Family Law Section, [2020] 

Top challenges in Maryland family law
KFM1294.A75 B4 2021 
Eau Claire, WI NBI [2021]

lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono: Anne Arundel Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award 2021

The Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee celebrated Pro Bono on October 13, 2021 with a virtual recognition event. In the past recognition events included an annual luncheon and the Inn of Court and Bar’s Joint dinner. This year the luncheon was virtual but still members of the Committee, bar and bench gathered on Zoom to see Steven R. Migdal receive the award from AABA President John Doud.

The AABA President’s Pro Bono Award recognizes an outstanding attorney who contributes to the community by providing pro bono service.  John Doud presented the award to Steve Migdal saying that without Steve Migdal, the Lawyer in the Library program may have ceased to exist. Steve signed up for more hours than anyone and was still always ready to step in at the last minute to fill in when an attorney was needed. Steve provided 28.75 hours of service – 40% of all program hours in FY21 and helped 61 people or half of all assisted by the program. You could almost say that the remote program has become the Steve Migdal in the Library Program. With so many facing new legal problems in a very difficult time, the availability of an attorney to provide legal advice was much appreciated by all.

Steve accepted the award and said that he certainly did not volunteer for the award as he did not even know about it but for the same reasons that he became an attorney. He wanted something challenging and he wanted to help people and he enjoys it. Steve said that during this time of COVID, volunteering for the Lawyer in the Library Program let me connect with people in a meaningful way. Whether providing legal advice, practical advice or just a sympathetic ear to someone who is overwhelmed, the real reward is the joy of social responsibility using my abilities to serve the community.

See the video here.

The Lawyer in the Library Program is a limited legal advice program held weekly every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and monthly on the third Wednesday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  The program is a joint effort of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, the Anne Arundel County Public Library, and the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Committee.  The program is sponsored by the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.


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 .

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.


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.

Bonus video – watch the last four trucks leave with the last of the discarded books:


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.


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.


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


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.

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