Robert H. Lande, Venable Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and James MacAlister, an alumnus of both the School of Law and the Law Review, have co-authored a piece that examines Maryland’s current contributory negligence standard, and suggests it be replaced by a comparative negligence standard that retains joint and several liability. The authors show this new approach would be a vast improvement that would bring Maryland into the mainstream of 21st Century Torts jurisprudence.
Robert H. Lande & James MacAlister, Comparative Negligence with Joint & Several Liability: The Best of Both Worlds, 42 U. Balt. L. Rev. Online 1 (2012).
On Friday, November 9, 2012, the Supreme Court announced that it would review Maryland v. King next year, and in the process rule on the constitutionality of the state’s controversial DNA collection law, which allowed police to obtain a DNA sample from arrestees suspected of violent crimes or burglary for comparison against the state’s database before they are found guilty of the underlying crime. When Alonzo Jay King Jr. was arrested on assault charges in 2009, he information gleaned by the comparison was used to convict King of a 2003 rape, and the state’s Office of the Public Defender appealed the conviction on the grounds that extracting the DNA sample from an arrestee was a violation of Fourth Amendment protections. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed, ruling that obtainment of DNA evidence for the purpose of a speculative search of crime data for comparison did in fact violate King’s right to freedom from unreasonable and unwarranted search.
The Supreme Court signaled its intent to review the case when it granted the state of Maryland a stay in July, and the King decision promises to be a landmark ruling which will draw the boundaries of law enforcement’s authority to collect scientific evidence from arrestees. The implications of the King decision case will be highlighted in our March symposium and Volume 42, Issue 3, as we await word from the Court.
The first issue of the University of Baltimore Law Review was published in Winter 1971. Volume 1 Issue 1 contained three student notes, several book reviews, and an article by then-Attorney General Francis B. Burch, an incredible achievement even for eleven ambitious evening students.
The journal has come a long way since that time. Four decades after the publication of our first issue, with a staff of more than seventy students, we still aspire to the high standard set by the classes before us. In 2011-12, the Volume 41 Executive Board began publishing four issues a year and using an entirely digital production process, eliminating a paper-based process that had existed for forty years. It is therefore with an emphatic nod to our journal’s past that we announce this new endeavor, a student-run website that will offer an outlet for the timely publication of editorials, commentary, and legal scholarship for the Law Review staff and the local legal community as a whole.
While much remains to be decided about the scope and breadth of the online version of our journal, we hope our readers will enjoy the additional content and look forward to seeing our online presence evolve as future classes build upon it.
The Volume 42 Executive Board