On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two employer-friendly decisions that will make it more difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in discrimination suits based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. These decisions will significantly and seriously effect an employee’s right to a discrimination-free workplace.
In its recent decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, the United States Supreme Court affirmed its commitment to upholding the rulings of arbitrators “however good, bad, or ugly.” This decision is set to have grave effects on the rights of consumers in disputes with merchants or other large corporations because it further distances their decisions from review by a judge in all but the most egregious cases.
Gowen Group partner Chris Gowen won the 2013 Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment Award from American University. An adjunct professor for the University’s Washington College of Law for the past few years, Chris was recognized for his accomplishment at the school-wide Faculty Recognition Dinner on April 21, 2013. He teaches legal ethics and law practice management at the law school.
Small D.C. area law firm seeking an attorney for an associate position to assist with it’s increasing case load. Attorney must have a Maryland bar license or be sitting for the Maryland bar exam in July 2013. Applicants must have litigation or litigation support experience. Ideal candidate will have experience drafting and filling pleadings, have a solid command of the rules of civil and criminal procedure in Maryland and have strong researching, writing and editing skills. The attorney will take on a small case load of their own and support the partners with larger more involved cases. The attorney will be responsible for administrative matters.
Salary in $24-30K range, commensurate with experience, with several financial incentives and bonus plans. Office is located at 1325 G Street, N.W., one block from Metro Center. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (no calls preferred). EEO employer.
While most people associate lawyers with being inside courtrooms, there are many ways for lawyers to advocate for people outside of the traditional legal setting. The Gowen Group assisted a group of concerned citizens from Brentwood, MD to look into possible ethical improprieties among the members of the Town Council. Gowen Group Partner, Chris Gowen, himself a resident of Brentwood, recently submitted a memorandum on behalf of the concerned citizens to the Maryland State Ethics Commission, with positive results.
When you are purchasing your dream car, a new stereo sound system, or a diamond ring, you need to make sure you are protected with your significant acquisition if something goes awry. This need is especially important if your purchase does not include a warranty on the item, as you may need to be aware of how soon you need to act to protect your rights.
Yet waiting for too long could be outweighed by the Statue of Limitations for sale contracts. Continue reading
Prenups. It is fair to say that a certain stigma is attached to that word. After all, when planning a wedding, the last thing a couple wants to think about is the potential end of their marriage. The same is true for business partnerships: dissolution of a newly-minted business is the furthest thing from the mind of small business owners. However, in both cases, planning ahead—whether through a prenuptial agreement or through a dissolution plan in a partnership agreement—can have both legal and financial benefits in the long term.
A recent article from a local Maryland newspaper, The Gazette, highlighted a lawsuit brought by The Gowen Group against the Town of Brentwood, Maryland and a former Brentwood councilwoman. The lawsuit was brought by citizens of the town who noticed that elected officials awarded $27,000 through a grant from Prince George’s County to a former council member, a clear violation of the town’s charter and ethics rules.
Special thanks to Gowen Group Law Clerk John Langlois for producing this post.
On November 9th, 2012 the United States Supreme Court granted review of the case of Maryland v. King to determine if collecting and analyzing the DNA of people arrested and charged with serious crimes is allowed under the Fourth Amendment. The case will be reviewed next year.
The review is in response to a ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals. That state court held that collection of DNA samples from arrestees prior to conviction violated the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable, warrantless searches. Maryland first enacted legislation establishing a DNA database in 1994. Collection of DNA samples was originally limited to individuals convicted of violent crimes or attempts at those crimes. In 2008 the law was expanded to allow collection upon arrest rather than after conviction.
A common metaphor used in describing judges is that they are like umpires: they need to be impartial, are required to apply a body of rules to a situation, and they make decisions that are typically not of a black and white nature and will probably end up upsetting one of the two parties. Gowen Group partners Bill Phelan and Peter Silva can appreciate this metaphor more than most attorneys considering their litigation experience and the fact that they enjoy the unique opportunity of working together on the baseball diamond as umpires.