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The Maryland Court of Appeals recently considered a proposed amendment of the voluntary dismissal rule.

In rejecting the proposal, the State’s highest Court quoted my opposition to it and also quoted my suggested language for any needed clarification.  The Court’s discussion begins at 1:55:29 of the video recording.

Rule 2-506(a) currently permits a dismissal by stipulation.  As I stated in my RWL Letter to Rules Committee, the proposed amendment to subsection (b) would have created an ambiguity and possibly precluded a voluntary dismissal by agreement of the parties.

RWL Letter by Michael Berman to Rules Committee

During the proceeding on the proposed amendment, The Hon. Brynja M. Booth stated that “I think that Mr. Berman’s letter to us sets out similar concerns that I have….”  Judge Booth explained that the proposal would create an ambiguity.  Her Honor stated that the concerns brought to the Standing Committee on Rules of the Court of Appeals could be addressed by the language that I proposed.  Judge Booth stated:  “I actually like the language Mr. Berman put in his letter….”  The Judge then read that language and stated: “I would be comfortable with the language suggested by Mr. Berman….”

The Court then unanimously sent the proposal back to the Rules Committee. The full letter is available at RWL Letter to Rules Committee.

For a prior discussion of the then-proposed Rules amendments, see Notice of Proposed Changes to the Maryland Rules.

The Court’s order is at ro209.pdf (