Frequently Asked Questions To Guide You To The Right Maryland Family Lawyer
The most significant developments in collaborative law have been in the family law arena. In fact, many people talking about “collaborative law” are actually referring to collaborative divorce.
Collaborative Law – An Overview
- Lawsuits can be time-consuming and expensive, and can take an emotional toll on all of those involved. While the formalities of the traditional adversarial process may be necessary to protect the parties’ interests in some cases, the parties can save themselves time, money and stress if they are willing to work together in the collaborative law process. If you believe your legal situation can best be resolved through collaborative law, contact The Collaborative Law Group in Columbia, Maryland to discuss your matter. An attorney experienced in the collaborative method can review your case and help you determine if collaborative law is the best way to seek resolution.
Collaborative Law Practice Areas
- While collaborative law is most commonly used to resolve family law issues, the use of the method is expanding into more practice areas – most notably in the areas of employment law, business disputes and probate.
The Development of Collaborative Law
- Processes similar to collaborative law have been around a long time. In fact, the processes lawyers use in criminal law, juvenile law and child protective services have their roots in practices that incorporate many of the principles now enshrined in collaborative law.
The Comprehensive Law Movement
- Collaborative law is often considered to be one component of the comprehensive law movement. The comprehensive law movement views law from an all-inclusive, holistic perspective. Rather than simply looking at what is going on in this particular case, the comprehensive law view attempts to see beyond the short-term outcome to the long-term effects the case may have on the parties involved.
We can assist you in two different ways: as mediators for both you and your spouse or partner or as lawyers just for you. The roles and ethical duties arising from acting as a lawyer or mediator are quite different. As mediators we act as a neutral and do not represent or give legal advice to either party even though we are trained as a lawyers and have knowledge of legal issues. As lawyers we can only act as lawyers for one of you and our duty of loyalty and confidentiality is only to the client that we represent. It is always best to have an attorney assist in the mediation process and to review any documents before they are signed. We offer a free one half hour consultation to prospective clients. If you want to explore the use of us as mediators we prefer to have a brief consultation on the phone so that our knowledge of the facts is minimal before any mediation is scheduled. This helps to insure neutrality. Please us know how you wish to proceed. Oftentimes, a brief, no charge phone call to us is a good way to start if you are uncertain as to how to proceed. We would also appreciate learning the name of your spouse or partner to make sure there is no conflict in me scheduling a consultation with you should you choose to do so.
Collaborative law originated in Minnesota as a way to remove a matter from the adversarial court process to allow the parties to reach a settlement cooperatively. The parties commit to work toward a resolution and each retains their own attorney. If the matter cannot be resolved through the collaborative law process and the case must go to court, the attorneys must withdraw from representation and each party must hire new counsel.
Yes, in many areas of the country collaborative groups are developing processes to be used in other areas of the law such as business disputes, probate, environmental, personal injury, employment and corporate law.
Many people who find themselves at the brink of a legal problem think twice before entering the fray because they realize how lengthy, expensive and damaging a lawsuit can become. If you are one of those who would rather “switch than fight,” consulting with an attorney experienced in Collaborative Law can help you decide how to proceed.
Under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3‑802, a person may not engage in “a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear: (1) (i) of serious bodily injury; (ii) of an assault in any degree; (iii) of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3‑303 through 3‑308 of this title or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree; (iv) of false imprisonment; or (v) of death; or (2) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (1) of this subsection.
Under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3‑803, “a person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other; (1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other; (2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and (3) without a legal purpose.
Under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3‑804, “a person may not use telephone facilities or equipment to make: (1) an anonymous call that is reasonably expected to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; (2) repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; or (3) a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene.
In Maryland, the crime of assault, known as assault in the second degree, is a misdemeanor and occurs when a person makes offensive physical contact with another, attempts to make offensive physical contact with another, or intentionally frightens another. Maryland also has special laws regarding assaults against law enforcement officers, assaults that occur in correctional facilities, and reckless endangerment. (Md. Code Ann. Crim. Law § 3‑203.) Assaults that cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury, and assaults committed with firearms, are felonies.
- (a) Prohibited. — A person may not enter or trespass on property that is posted conspicuously against trespass by:
- (1) signs placed where they reasonably may be seen; or
- (2) paint marks that:
- (i) conform with regulations that the Department of Natural Resources adopts under § 5-209 of the Natural Resources Article; and
- (ii) are made on trees or posts that are located:
1. at each road entrance to the property; and
- 2. adjacent to public roadways, public waterways, and other land adjoining the property.
- (b) Penalty. — A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:
- (1) for a first violation, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $ 500 or both;
- (2) for a second violation occurring within 2 years after the first violation, imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both; and
(3) for each subsequent violation occurring within 2 years after the preceding violation, imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 2,500 or both.
(a) A person may not willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, or deface the real or personal property of another.
(b) A person who, in violation of this section, causes damage of at least $1,000 to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
(c) A person who, in violation of this section, causes damage of less than $1,000 to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 60 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.
(d)(1) For purposes of this subsection, an act of “graffiti” means a permanent drawing, permanent painting, or a permanent mark or inscription on the property of another without the permission of the owner of the property.
(2) In addition to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the court shall order a person convicted of causing malicious destruction by an act of graffiti to pay restitution or perform community service or both.
(3) Title 11, Subtitle 6 of the Criminal Procedure Article applies to an order of restitution under this subsection.
(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, to determine a penalty, the court may consider as one crime the aggregate value of damage to each property resulting from one scheme or continuing course of conduct.
(2) If separate acts resulting in damage to the properties of one or more owners are set forth by separate counts in one or more charging documents, the separate counts may not be merged for sentencing.
(f)(1) The value of damage is not a substantive element of a crime under this section and need not be stated in the charging document.
(2) The value of damage shall be based on the evidence and that value shall be applied for the purpose of imposing the penalties established in this section. (3) If it cannot be determined from the evidence whether the value of the damage to the property is more or less than $1,000, the value is deemed to be less than $1,000.
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) (i) “Public conveyance” means a conveyance to which the public or a portion of the public has access to and a right to use for transportation.
(ii) “Public conveyance” includes an airplane, vessel, bus, railway car, school vehicle, and subway car.
(3) (i) “Public place” means a place to which the public or a portion of the public has access and a right to resort for business, dwelling, entertainment, or other lawful purpose.
(ii) “Public place” includes:
1. a restaurant, shop, shopping center, store, tavern, or other place of business;
2. a public building;
3. a public parking lot;
4. a public street, sidewalk, or right-of-way;
5. a public park or other public grounds;
6. the common areas of a building containing four or more separate dwelling units, including a corridor, elevator, lobby, and stairwell;
7. a hotel or motel;
8. a place used for public resort or amusement, including an amusement park, golf course, race track, sports arena, swimming pool, and theater;
9. an institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education;
10. a place of public worship;
11. a place or building used for entering or exiting a public conveyance, including an airport terminal, bus station, dock, railway station, subway station, and wharf; and
12. the parking areas, sidewalks, and other grounds and structures that are part of a public place.
(b) Construction of section.- For purposes of a prosecution under this section, a public conveyance or a public place need not be devoted solely to public use.
(1) A person may not willfully and without lawful purpose obstruct or hinder the free passage of another in a public place or on a public conveyance.
(2) A person may not willfully act in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace.
(3) A person may not willfully fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes to prevent a disturbance to the public peace.
(4) A person who enters the land or premises of another, whether an owner or lessee, or a beach adjacent to residential riparian property, may not willfully:
(i) disturb the peace of persons on the land, premises, or beach by making an unreasonably loud noise; or
(ii) act in a disorderly manner.
(5) A person from any location may not, by making an unreasonably loud noise, willfully disturb the peace of another:
(i) on the other’s land or premises;
(ii) in a public place; or
(iii) on a public conveyance.
(6) In Worcester County, a person may not build a bonfire or allow a bonfire to burn on a beach or other property between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. (d) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 60 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.
(a) Who Can Obtain a Peace Order?
A person can petition the Court for a peace order under Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 3‑1503 if any of the following acts are committed against the petitioner by the respondent: (1) An act that causes serious bodily harm; (2) An act that places the petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; (3) Assault in any degree; (4) Rape or sexual offense under §§ 3‑303 through 3‑308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree; (5) False imprisonment; (6) Harassment under § 3‑803 of the Criminal Law Article; (7) Stalking under § 3‑802 of the Criminal Law Article; (8) Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article; or (9) Malicious destruction of property under § 6‑301 of the Criminal Law Article.
(b) Who Can Obtain a Protective Order?
A person eligible for relief can petition the Court for a protective order under Md. Family Law Code Ann. § 4‑501 if any of the following acts are committed against the petitioner by the respondent: (1) an act that causes serious bodily harm; (ii) an act that places a person eligible for relief in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; (iii) assault in any degree; (iv) rape or sexual offense under §§ 3‑303 through 3‑308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree; (v) false imprisonment; or (vi) stalking under § 3‑802 of the Criminal Law Article.