September 2015 Archives

Lawsuit Alleging False Claim Made by Electrician Has No Juice

In an unpublished opinion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit case of Mclain v. KBR, Inc.,the appeals court upheld a Federal District Court decision which dismissed a claim against an electrician under the False Claims Act. The appeals court emphasized, that after two tries, the party bringing the case could not, "describe the time, place, and contents of the false representations, as well as the identity of the person making the misrepresentation and what he obtained thereby." Thus, fraud had not been alleged with the required specificity. 

Spouse can be Responsible for Paying for Child Whom She is not Allowed to Visit With?

Conover v. Conover is a recently decided case by the Court of Special Appeals involving a lesbian couple. In that case, a spouse, who was neither the biological nor adoptive parent, of a child conceived (through artificial insemination), before the marriage, was determined to have no parental rights, including even visitation rights with the Child. This, despite the fact that the estranged couple were involved in a romantic relationship when the child was conceived and the child and the biological mother addressed the non-biological spouse as the father. The majority opinion stated "...a person seeking visitation who is not a biological or adoptive parent is a third party," and "marriage in and of itself alone does not confer parental status to contest child access opposed by a biological parent."

Changes in Maryland Law

Maryland Law recently changed to allow a divorce if the parties: a. mutually consent to divorce b. do not have any minor children in common c. execute, sign and submit to the court a written settlement agreement relating to alimony and the distribution of property d. do not file a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing e. appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.

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