Author: University of Baltimore Law Review Staff

Issues to Watch

Corrupt Trump? Possible Violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses


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Bridget Mentzer*

 United States District Court for the District of Maryland Judge Peter J. Messitte permitted a lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia and Maryland against President Trump to proceed, contrary to the wishes of the Department of Justice.  District of Columbia v. Trump, 315 F.Supp.3d 875, 907 (2018); Peter Overby, Federal Lawsuit Against President Trump’s Business Interests Allowed to Proceed, Nat’l Pub. Radio (July 25, 2018, 5:00 PM), https://www.npr.org/2018/07/25/632300960/federal-lawsuit-against-president-trumps-business-interests-allowed-to-proceed.  The suit claims that President Trump, through his and the Trump Organization’s ownership of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., violated the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution by either directly or indirectly accepting payments from foreign and domestic governments.  Trump, 315 F.Supp.3d at 877, 907. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Is Social Media a Viable Vehicle for Alternate Service?


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Joseph Rossi*

Alternate service is service of a party in a court proceeding through means other than direct personal service.  Amanda Sexton, DGR Serves First Instances of Service via Social Media Through LinkedIn & Instagram, DGR Legal (Oct. 18, 2017), https://www.dgrlegal.com/electronic-service-of-process/service-via-social-media-linkedin-instagram/.  Often, courts must grant motions for alternative service due to either difficulties in obtaining current information for a party, or because of a party’s evasion. Erdal Turnacioglu, Facebook Notification: You’ve Been Served!, L. Prac. Today (Nov. 13, 2015), https://www.lawpracticetoday.org/article/facebook-notification-youve-been-served/.  This entails posting the summons at a known address, placing the summons in well-known publications, or using a public posting at a local courthouse.  Sexton, supra.  Alternative service has greatly evolved over time as new ways to serve and new issues in service have arisen.  See Turnacioglu, supra.  For example, in auto-tort cases, a party’s insurance carrier, which would be aware of its policy holder’s most current address, may be served rather than the policy holder themselves.  Md. Code Ann., Ins. § 4-107 (West 1997).  Fifteen years ago, service through email in certain instances was approved for the first time.  Sexton, supra; Rio Props., Inc. v. Rio Int’l Interlink, 284 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2002).  In a modern era with the growth of social media there has been a question of, when all else fails, whether social media can be a proper way to serve a party. Turnacioglu, supra. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Oh SNAP!  The Farm Bill Will Likely Impact Your Everyday Life.  


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Travis C. Jones*

Congress passed the latest iteration of the five-year farm bill in February 2014, and it is scheduled to expire in 2018.  Renée Johnson & Jim Monke, Cong. Research Serv., RS22131, What is the Farm Bill? 1 (2018), http://nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/
/assets/crs/RS22131.pdf
.  The reauthorization process is underway, but the House and Senate have produced starkly different versions of the new farm bill.  Compare Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Section-By-Section: Title I – Commodity Problems, Senate.gov, https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ALL%20SBS%20S.3042.pdf (last visited Oct. 25, 2018) (outlining changes to the Farm Bill proposed by S. 3042, 115th Cong. (2018)), with Section-By-Section: H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, House.gov, https://agriculture.house.gov/uploadedfiles/agriculture_and_nutrition_act_of_2018_
section_by_section.pdf
(last visited Oct. 24, 2018) (outlining changes to the Farm Bill proposed by H.R.2, 115th Cong. (2018)). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Creating an Even Playing Field: State Sales Tax and Internet Transactions


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Brenton Conrad*

In 2016, South Dakota enacted emergency legislation requiring out-of-state businesses to pay South Dakota sales tax for any in-state internet purchase, claiming that the loss of revenue from a sales tax was “causing revenue losses and imminent harm . . . through the loss of critical funding for state and local services.”  South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 138 S. Ct. 2080, 2088 (2018) (quoting S. 106, 2016 Leg. Assemb., 91st Sess. (S.D. 2016)).  Pursuant to this Act, sellers that delivered more than $100,000 of goods or completed 200 or more transactions in the state annually were required to collect a 4.5 percent sales tax on all purchases within South Dakota.  Id. at 2089.  As a result, South Dakota filed a declaratory judgment action against Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and Newegg, three companies that had no physical presence in South Dakota, and did not collect any South Dakota sales taxes, but nonetheless met the requirements of the 2016 South Dakota Legislature.  Id. at 2090.  The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Defendants by citing to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which enforced the “physical presence rule.”  Id. at 2091.  Ultimately, the 2016 Act was struck down by the South Dakota Supreme Court as unconstitutional.  Id. at 2091. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Maryland Offshore Wind Farms: Concerns of Ocean City, Maryland’s Tourism, and the Fishing Industry


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*Curtis Snyder

Under Maryland law, a “qualified offshore wind project” is permitted to be located in an area between ten and thirty miles off the coast of Maryland.  Md. Code Ann., Pub. Util. § 7-701(k)(1)(ii) (West 2017).  A qualified offshore wind project is defined as a wind turbine generation facility, which functions to produce renewable energy from ocean winds off the coast.  Md. Code Ann., Pub. Util. § 7-701(k) (West 2017); About Deepwater Wind, Deepwater Wind, http://dwwind.com/about/ (last visited Oct. 25, 2018).   In 2017, Deepwater Wind and U.S. Wind received approval to construct two qualified offshore wind projects off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland.  Jeremy Cox, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris Calls for Delay of Maryland Offshore Wind Projects for More Studies, Delmarva Now (May 30, 2018, 6:29 AM), https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/2018/05/30/andy-harris-calls-more-offshore-wind-development-studies-maryland/627226002/ [hereinafter Cox, Calls for Delay].  Deepwater Wind and U.S. Wind’s construction plans reveal the possibility of forty-seven turbines being built in two separate federal leases off the coast of Ocean City.  Id. (more…)