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Semmes Law Updates

Semmes offers Law Updates for information-purposes only. Semmes assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The information may not apply to your unique situation, and is not intended to be used as a basis for any particular course of action or as a substitute for legal advice.

Failure to Raise Merger Defense Was Reasonable

Fourth Circuit reverses District Court in case alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, finds that court imposed too high of a standard for prejudice when it required Appellant to show that the result of the case would have been different but for counsel’s omission. The Fourth Circuit decides in favor of the Appellant on the grounds that the omission was likely to produce a different result.

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Insurer Must Defend Violation of Privacy

Maryland Court of Special Appeals finds that insurer must defend Rams Head in action alleging violation of privacy, but finds no duty to defend general manager in who plead guilty to violating privacy statute. Through its analysis, the Court provides a thorough discussion of how Maryland courts are to construe insurance contracts.

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Sovereign Immunity is Defense to Copyright Infringement

North Carolina appeals denial of motion to dismiss copyright infringement claims The Fourth Circuit found that the defense of sovereign immunity was applicable because the complaint against North Carolina contained insufficient evidence to establish that the state had expressly consented to suit in federal court.

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Bank Statements are not Hearsay

Defendant objected to the admissibility of bank statements and video surveillance of an ATM on the grounds that this evidence was hearsay and lacked the requisite authentication. In ruling that both pieces of evidence are admissible, the Court of Appeals provides a thorough discussion of the scope of the Maryland Rules of Evidence.

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