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.

Medical expenses are recoverable from a negligent third party only when those expenses are causally related to the third party’s negligence.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the decision of the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission finding that an Employer in a Workers’ Compensation Claim cannot recover medical expenses it paid from the proceeds of a related medical malpractice settlement where the medical treatment provided was not causally related to the alleged malpractice.

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Elimination of Wholly Groundless Exception to Arbitrability

In deciding whether the court or an arbitrator should decide questions of arbitrability, the Supreme Court held that the decision is left only for arbitrators. Lower courts may no longer recognize a “wholly groundless” exception to stop frivolous lawsuits from going to arbitration, when an argument for arbitration is wholly groundless.

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Unclear docket entries, and the countdown to file an appeal

A docket entry on the court’s electronic case management system must be clearly marked with the date a judgment is entered. Unless the date is clear to both litigants and the public, the judgment cannot be treated as entered. Any appeal filed before the entry is corrected must be treated as being timely filed, regardless of the length of time between the original docket entry, and the docket’s correction.

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No Equitable Tolling For Class Certification Appeals

The Supreme Court unanimously held that Rule 23(f), governing class action class certification appeals, is not subject to equitable tolling. Parties must appeal within the 14-day deadline, and the deadline cannot be extended even if good cause exists.

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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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