Reported Cases of Vape-Related Severe Lung Illness to be Investigated by Maryland Department of Health

In a press release issued Wednesday, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced that at least five (5) people in Maryland have suffered “severe” lung illness linked to e-cigarettes (also known as “vaping”).  “These cases are part of the nearly 200 reported incidents of vaping-related illness in 22 states, resulting in at least one death,” the press release stated. On Aug. 23, an Illinois resident died after being hospitalized with…

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Dundalk Woman Charged With DUI In Fatal Baltimore County Motorcycle Crash

Baltimore County police have charged a Dundalk woman with DUI in connection with a fatal crash in the early morning of Wednesday, August 21.  According to Police, Jessica Leigh Doran, 33, is being held without bail. Officers responded to a crash at Wise Avenue and Park Drive just after 2AM on Wednesday.  The investigation revealed that a motorcycle, driven by John Wolf Foster, 25, was traveling west on Wise Avenue…

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Dangerous Algae Linked to Multiple Dogs’ Deaths Found in Maryland

A North Carolina resident is warning pet owners after her three dogs died hours following a swim in a pond filled with toxic algae last week. Since then, another family has made headlines for the loss of its border collie who died after swimming in a Georgia lake from what their vet suspected was blue-algae poisoning. Additionally, in Austin, in early August, three dogs died because of the same neurotoxins…

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Two Deadly Motorcycle Crashes in Maryland on Sunday

On Sunday, August 4, at around 6:10 PM, officers responded to the ramp from Harry S. Truman Drive to Central Avenue in Upper Marlboro, Maryland on a report of a crash involving three motorcycles.  According to the Maryland State Police, two motorcycles were stopped on the right shoulder of the ramp from Central Avenue to Largo Road when another motorcycle, traveling on the ramp from Harry S. Truman Drive to…

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Ongoing Investigation in Somerset County Plane Crash

Maryland State police are investigating a small plane crash that injured the pilot and killed his pet dog. Officials say the pilot, Dennis Edward Shaw, was able to escape after he crashed his plane near the Crisfield Regional Airport. Mr. Shaw told Police that he crashed about 600 yards off the runway around 4:00 AM on the morning of June 15.  The pilot told investigators that mechanical problems were the…

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Elective Share Reform: What You Need to Know about Recent Legislation

This spring, the Maryland General Assembly passed nine bills affecting estate and tax planning, probate, and trust administration.  The most impactful and important of these laws was House Bill 99 (Senate Bill 192): Elective Share of Surviving Spouse.  After years of effort, the new law aims to better protect surviving spouses from attempted disinheritance by their partner. For hundreds of years England and most states in the United States have…

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Professional Handling of Referrals

By: Paul J. Schwab This article was originally published in the June 2019 edition of the Baltimore County Bar Association Newsletter, “The Advocate.” Maryland attorneys are required to “provide competent representation to a client.”  Md. Rule 19-301.1.  The Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct state that competency “requires the legal knowledge, skill thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for representation.”  Id.  With this requirement in mind, most attorneys limit their practices to…

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Maryland Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Report Released

The Maryland Comptroller’s Office holds unclaimed property records from hundreds of thousands of accounts, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.  The Comptroller’s Office attempts to locate owners through newspaper ads, media campaigns, mass mailings and outreach programs. Many do not realize there is money owed to them from unclaimed property. Current or former residents can search their names on the Comptroller of Maryland’s website to find out if the…

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Local Pediatrician Indicted for Sex Offenses

Dr. Ernesto Torres was indicted on Monday, May 20, 2019, on an additional 65 charges, including sex abuse of a minor and sexual assault.  These indictments followed an arrest on May 3, 2019, for the  rape of an 18-year-old patient.  Since his initial arrest, more than 10 more victims have come forward, including an 11-year-old girl. The 68-year-old doctor has been a licensed physician since 1979, specializing in pediatrics.  He…

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Two Lives Lost in Edgewood Group Home Fire

The attorneys at Azrael Franz are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured in disastrous fires. On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Ernest Milton Lee, 57, and Kimberly Ann Shupe, 47, lost their lives when the group home they lived in caught fire in Edgewood, Maryland.  A third victim’s identification is still pending.  The lone survivor was a man who jumped from a top floor window to safety. The fire…

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