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Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[06/14] Weil v. Elliott
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee's adversary proceeding seeking revocation under 11 U.S.C. section 727(d) of a debtor's discharge on the ground that the discharge was obtained by fraud, the bankruptcy court's judgment grant of summary judgment to the trustee, revoking the discharge and dismissing the action is reversed where the one-year filing deadline imposed by section 727(e)(1) is not a jurisdictional constraint, but rather is a statute of limitations.

[06/12] Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. AMH Roman Two NC, LLC
In a bank-creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court's order cancelling its deed of trust covering a piece of real property, two years after the court order and several months after the property was sold in foreclosure to a bona fide purchaser for value, the district court's denial of the creditor's motion to set aside the bankruptcy court's order is affirmed where, at every stage of this litigation, the creditor was in the best position to protect its interests, and failed to do so.

[06/06] In Re: Ross
In an appeal by Chapter 13 debtor appealing a broad filing injunction issued against him by the Bankruptcy Court after he and his wife used the bankruptcy process to stave off the sheriff's sale of their home, the filing injunction is affirmed where a bankruptcy court has the authority to issue a filing injunction even in the context of approving a debtor's 11 U.S.C. section 1307(b) voluntary dismissal because nothing in the Bankruptcy Code's express terms says otherwise.

[06/02] Quincy Medical Center v. Gupta
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving a hospital debtor, the district court's ruling that the bankruptcy court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over former-executive-plaintiffs' post-confirmation claims for severance payments against the purchaser of debtors' assets is affirmed where the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction.

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Family Law

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

[06/12] Sessions v. Morales-Santana
In a case challenging the Immigration and Nationality Act's framework for U.S. citizenship from birth by a child born abroad, when one parent is a U. S. citizen and the other a citizen of another nation, the Second Circuit's decision reversing the BIA and holding unconstitutional the differential treatment of unwed mothers and fathers in section 1409, is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the Fifth Amendment's requirement that the Government accord to all persons 'the equal protection of the laws'; and 2) because this Court is not equipped to convert section 1409(c)'s exception for unwed U.S.-citizen mothers into the main rule displacing sections 1401(a)(7) and 1409(a), it falls to Congress to select a uniform prescription that neither favors nor disadvantages any person on the basis of gender.

[06/07] In re Jesse S.
In an adoptee's request under section 388.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to return to juvenile court jurisdiction and the foster care system, because the couple who adopted him the day before his 18th birthday were no longer supporting him, even though they were receiving payments on his behalf from California's Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), section 16115 et seq, the trial court's denial of the request is reluctantly affirmed where, under the literal language of section 388.1 the very fact the couple were still receiving AAP payments on adoptee's behalf precluded him from reentry into the juvenile dependency system. The court advises the Legislature to either change the law or--by reconsidering it and leaving it unchanged--reassure us that the present system is what they intended.

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Contracts

[06/21] Monster, LLC v. Beats Electronics, LLC
In a petition for writ of mandate in an underlying tort action in which Monster alleged that Beats Electronics engaged in fraud to deprive them of interest in the company, and the headphone manufacturer filed cross-claims for breach of contract and argued that the court, rather than a jury, could determine the amount of damages, the petition is granted where defendant is entitled to a jury trial on the issue of attorney's fees.

[06/21] US v. Weaver
Conviction for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud are affirmed where over defendant's argument that disclaimers of extra-contract representations did not render salespeople's oral misrepresentations immaterial.

[06/20] Douglas Jordan--Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc.
In the appeal of a breach of contract and copyright infringement case involving the movie 'The Purge,' the district court's denial of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion to strike a state law claim for breach of implied-in-fact contract, is affirmed where the breach of contract claim did not arise from an act in furtherance of the right of free speech since the claim was based on defendants' failure to pay for the plaintiff's idea, not the creation, production, distribution, or content of the films.

[06/19] Nexlearn LLC v. Allen Interactions Inc.
In a suit alleging patent infringement and breach of contract the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, finding that a plaintiff must establish personal jurisdiction regardless of a choice-of-law provision in an allegedly breached contract, where the breach of contract claim was supplemental to to the patent infringement claim.

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Tax Law

[06/15] US v. Hernandez
Conviction for transportation of firearms into his state of residence in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 922(a)(3) is reversed where, although the prohibition on the transportation of guns in section 922(a)(3) is not subject to the heightened willfulness requirement used in some tax and structuring laws, there is a substantial likelihood that the defendant was convicted for the act of transporting guns with the intent to commit a later crime rather than the one with which he was charged.

[06/14] City of Big Bear Lake v. Cohen
In a dispute arising out of the Dissolution Law? (Assembly Bill 1X 26), which immediately froze redevelopment agencies and provided that only existing enforceable obligations of the former redevelopment agency could be paid from the funds held by the redevelopment agency and from future tax increment revenue, the trial court's judgment is affirmed and modified where: 1) the contested transactions did not create enforceable obligations of the former redevelopment agency; 2) the Dissolution Law's invalidation of sponsor agreements does not violate the California Constitution; 3) it is irrelevant that City of Big Bear Lake claims it no longer possesses the funds it received from the former redevelopment agency; and 4) consistent with the decision in City of Bellflower v. Cohen (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 438, the statutory remedy of offsetting City of Big Bear Lake's sales, use, and property taxes to capture the $2.6 million is unconstitutional.

[06/07] Casiopea Bovet, LLC v. Chiang
In an action challenging the California State Controller denying its claim seeking unclaimed property held as escheated funds, the trial court's judgment on the pleadings granted in favor of the Controller is affirmed where plaintiff could not claim escheated property under the Unclaimed Property Law, Code of Civ. Proc. section 1500 et seq., as an assignee of a title company because it was a suspended corporation, Rev. & Tax. Code section 23301, which lacked legal capacity to prosecute an action.

[06/07] Twenty-Two Strategic Investment Funds v. US
In an action raising a statute of limitations challenge to the Internal Revenue Service's determination of tax liabilities in a partnership level proceeding under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the district court's judgment in favor of the IRS is affirmed where the statute of limitations extensions signed by intervenor were valid, thereby allowing the IRS to issue a Final Partnership Administration Adjustments (FPAA) after the initial limitations period expired but within the extension granted by the consents

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