Friday, March 30, 2007

Structure of State Courts

Legal practitioners often need to know the structure of other state's court structure. Where do you go for this information? The National Center for State Courts has a great page on this. Simply choose your state from the map and the site gives you a visual overview of that state's court system. These charts can be particularly useful given that some states use confusing names for their courts. One notorious example is NY State's reference to its trial court as the "Supreme Court." These charts are also useful for states with complex judicial structures--Pennsylvania is an example.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Maryland Residency

What establishes whether or not you're considered a Maryland resident? The answer seems to depend on what the issue is. The Maryland MVA requires you to obtain a MD drivers license 60 days after you become a resident of the State. So, when are you a resident of the State? COMAR defines a resident as someone who: (1) Owns, leases, or rents a primary place of residence in Maryland for more than 6 months; (2) Has no other residence in any other state or country (see COMAR section for further details). For income tax purposes, the definition is similar. There, a resident is defined as: 1. is domiciled in this State on the last day of the taxable year; or 2. for more than 6 months of the taxable year, maintained a place of abode in this State, whether domiciled in this State or not (Tax General Article of the MD Code 10-101). Finally, as far as voter registration, the Maryland Law Encyclopedia quotes Roberts v. Larkin, 340 MD 147, 1995 as defining residence as "the place of a person's fixed domicile."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Free Index To The MD Code & Rules

(UPDATE: Since this posting, the index seems to have disappeared from the site. If anyone knows why Lexis may have pulled this, please feel free to post comments). Lexis recently revamped their online version of the Maryland Code and Rules. As far as I can tell, most of the changes to the site are aesthetic. However, unless I missed this feature on the original edition, Lexis has added an online index for both the Code and the Rules. To access the index, click on either the Code or Rules and then click through until you reach the last folder in the sequence. Citations in the index link back to sections in the Code or Rules. The free West version of the MD Code and Rules does not offer an online index.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Uniform Laws

If you're interested in finding out which states (including Maryland) have adopted a particular uniform law, check out the following page from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. For example, to find out which states adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, select this Act from the drop-down menu, hit search, and then click on "Legislative Fact Sheet." This page then lists all states that have adopted the Act. In addition, for states which have not adopted the Act, the site also lists those states (under the "Bill Tracking" section) considering adopting the Act, along with links of where to locate the relevant bills. Apparently, you're also able to find all uniform laws adopted by a particular state by selecting your state from the drop-down menu and not selecting a particular act. I tried this, but it didn't seem to work for me. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Researching Maryland Regulations

The University of Baltimore Law Library recently posted this document, entitled "Research Guide For Maryland Regulations," on their site. This publication is also available from the MD State Law Library's "Sources of Maryland Laws" page. The Guide provides a history of MD regulations and an overview of how regulations are promulgated in Maryland. The Guide also contains a section on finding old (pre-1974) regulations and on finding out-of-date regulations from 1974 to the present.