The Legal Benefits of Marriage

February 2024

The right to marry now extends to more Marylanders than ever before. Under the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which took effect January 1, 2013, same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses knowing that their unions will be recognized by the state. Federal recognition came some six months later with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. These are exciting developments for the LGBT…

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Are Punitive Damages Available to Plaintiffs Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland?

January 2024 | By Trevor F. Gee

The award of punitive damages in Maryland is exceptionally rare. In Maryland, the “purpose of punitive damages is…to punish the defendant for egregiously bad conduct toward the plaintiff, [and] also to deter the defendant and others contemplating similar behavior.” Owens–Corning v. Garrett, 343 Md. 500, 537–538, 682 A.2d 1143, 1161 (1996). Notably, “[a]warding punitive damages based upon the heinous nature of the defendant’s tortious conduct…

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Federal Circuit Court Invalidates Maryland Handgun Licensing Law Under New Supreme Court Test, Questions Constitutionality of Other Firearm Restrictions, Raising Potential Concerns for Maryland Businesses as Shooting Incidents Continue to Rise

January 2024 | By Richard J. Medoff

In a recent published opinion in Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., et al. v. Wes Moore, in his capacity as Governor of Maryland, et al., No. 21-2017, 2023 WL 8043827 (4th Cir. Nov. 21, 2023), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated provisions from Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013 requiring a handgun qualification license as a condition for obtaining a handgun,…

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Does The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act Prevent a Non-Dependent’s Claim for a Wrongful Death Suit Arising Out of a Workplace Injury? The Court Answers, Yes!

January 2024 | By Anthony Benito Blanchfield-Felice

In Maryland, well-established precedent dictates that an employee filing a claim for personal injuries sustained during employment must pursue remedies through the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. Nevertheless, the Appellate Court of Maryland (formerly the Maryland Court of Special Appeals) recently examined whether third parties with a cause of action under the Maryland Wrongful Death Act can pursue a remedy through the act or if they…

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The Semmes Spotlight: A Q&A with the Illustrious Semmes Attorney Paul Farquharson

January 2024 | By Simone T. Fair

Attorney Simone Fair sat down with principal Paul Farquharson for a wide-ranging conversation about everything from his interest in the law to his taste in literature to the superpower he would most like to have. Q: What led you to specialize in litigation? Farquharson: That was my vision of what lawyers did. That lawyers litigate and lawyers try cases. Q: If you could choose a…

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