Friday, July 28, 2006

Court of Appeals Resolves Procedural Issue in Employment Law Case

In St. Mary's County v. Lacer, the former CEO of the County government sued for breach of an employment contract and violations of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law. After cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court granted Lacer's motion in part and also permitted him to depose the County Commissioners regarding closed deliberations about Lacer's employment. The Circuit Court certified the decision as final, despite the fact that none of Lacer's claims were resolved. The County appealed.

The Court of Appeals quickly determined that the Circuit Court's order was not final and did not fall within any of the exceptions to the final judgment rule. Because the order was not final, the County's appeal was not ripe. The Court of Appeals remanded the matter to the Circuit Court for a trial.

The Court of Appeals also reserved judgment on Lacer's right to offer the Commissioners testimony into evidence, finding appellate review of their privilege claims would be appropriate after trial.

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