June 2015 Archives

35 Years Jail Time for Unlicensed Home Improvement Contractor?

In the case of State v. Manion, an unlicensed home improvement contractor was given a sentence by the trial court of 65 years with 30 years suspended for taking deposits from homeowners, not performing work and lying about his credentials (among other things). The decision was overturned by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals which indicated that there was not enough evidence of intent. The Court Special Appeals decision was later reversed by the Maryland Court of Appeals which indicated that the Court of Special Appeals had improperly weighed the evidence presented. Apparently, there are some other arguments that the contractor presented that were not considered by the Court of Special Appeals in its reversal. Will the sentence stick? 

Paramount Equity Resurfaces

"Piercing the corporate veil" or pursuing an individual for the debt of a corporation or LLC is very hard to do. This is the case even when that individual is responsible for running and deriving profit from that corporation or LLC. However, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals may have made it a bit easier. It has ruled that, where there is no allegation of common law fraud, a court may disregard the corporate entity and establish personal liability to enforce a paramount equity. This resurrects a doctrine that many thought had been effectively killed off. Establishing a "paramount equity" is still a daunting task, and there is little in the way of direction showing what conduct, other than fraud, creates a paramount equity. 

Do Not Settle Without Providing Required Notice to Uninsured Motorist Carrier

The amount of automobile insurance coverage that a Maryland driver is absolutely required to have is very small. Frankly, minimum insurance coverage is inadequate in the event of serious injuries or death. Therefore, a savvy car owner will make sure that he has obtained a substantial amount of uninsured/under-insured coverage. However, in order to obtain uninsured/under-insured benefits, an injured party must proceed carefully. In the recent case of Woznicki v. Geico, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that an injured person, seeking to recover under-insured benefits, cannot settle with the negligent driver's insurance company without providing proper notice to the uninsured/under-insured carrier. Our firm knows how to prepare this notice. This case underscores the fact that if you have been in an automobile accident and have suffered serious injuries, you need an experienced personal injury attorney's assistance and should not attempt to resolve anything on your own. 

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