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Severna Park, Maryland, United States
Contact us 410-541-6DUI (384) Email us info@gklinelaw.com For nearly two decades, I have been representing individuals and businesses in courts throughout Maryland. I have helped my clients with a wide variety of legal matters.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In the News: Judge orders commissioners to release reimbursement documents

This is an important Maryland Public Information Act case our office is handling and we were successful in court last week.  From the article in the Maryland Independent:

The Charles County Circuit Court on Thursday ordered the Charles County Board of Commissioners to release documents related to its authorization to reimburse former Commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly and former County Administrator Rebecca Bridgett for legal fees. The ruling came four months after an article in the Maryland Independent revealed that the paper had obtained confidential documents indicating that the commissioners had issued checks to Kelly and Bridgett in December 2015 and February 2016, respectively.
The reimbursements had been requested following a criminal investigation into Kelly’s attempts to obtain the W-2 tax forms of former Commissioners’ Vice President Reuben B. Collins II in December 2011. According to grand jury testimony, Bridgett had attempted to enforce Kelly’s request to obtain the information from the county payroll office. Under federal law, tax information is considered private and may not be disclosed without consent. Kelly was not charged with any wrongdoing in the matter.
Following the article’s publication, Colin A. Byrd of Greenbelt and Paula L. Martino of Towson filed separate requests for records related to the payments under the Maryland Public Information Act. On April 21, the Office of the County Attorney petitioned the court to deny the requests and require Byrd and Martino to turn over all copies of the confidential document. Elizabeth D. Theobalds, acting county attorney, asserted that the release of the records would “substantially injure the public interest” and argued that they were protected from disclosure under the Maryland Open Meetings Act.
“The propriety of these payments is the subject of great public controversy and the rationale behind this decision [to reimburse Kelly and Bridgett] is critical to the public debate over these expenditures of public funds by the commissioners,” argued Gregory M. Kline, Martino’s attorney, in a petition to the court. Kline further argued that withholding the documents prevents accountability and serves only to “shield the commissioners from the proper public scrutiny required of elected officials vested with a public trust over taxpayer funds.”
“There exist various political issues surrounding this case, and various elected officials and governmental institutions have political and financial interests in preventing the disclosure of the information,” Kline wrote.
On Thursday, Judge James P. Salmon, a retired Maryland Court of Special Appeals judge, ruled that the county commissioners should release four sets of documents to Byrd and Martino: the contracts to pay legal fees on behalf of Kelly and Bridgett, the legal bills submitted on behalf of Kelly and Bridgett, the minutes of the commissioners’ meeting in which the payments were approved, and copies of the recorded vote that was taken to approve the payments.
“This is not about Commissioner Kelly,” Martino said in an interview following the ruling. “This is about the public’s right to know how their commissioners are spending taxpayer money.”
“What I certainly didn’t expect was that the county would decide to take the unusual action of suing me,” added Martino. Although Martino and Byrd were co-defendants in the suit, Martino said that she and Byrd had filed their requests independently of each other and have never met. “It was just a pure coincidence,” she said.
Martino is a former Charles County Government employee and resided in Charles County for many years, she said, but moved away a couple of years ago. She has performed work as a consultant with local governments, including Charles County, and others around the state and country.
“I have an interest in the way county governments work and serve the citizens, and again I do feel very, very strongly that they need to publicly account for how they spend taxpayer money,” Martino said. “And it appeared that [this] looked like an issue that should have been disclosed. I filed the PIA, the county responded by refusing my request and by suing me. But as it turns out, the judge agreed the arguments my lawyer made on my behalf. They do seem to have a legal obligation to disclose this information under the law.”
In discussing the ruling, Gregory M. Kline, Martino’s attorney, explained that by filing the petition against Martino and Byrd, “the county waived the right to withhold the documents under the MPIA exceptions. All the court had to decide then was whether the release of the documents would be harmful to the public interest.”
When reached for comment, Commissioners’ President Peter F. Murphy (D) said, “We are going to look at all of our options, but until then it would be premature to make a comment.”
The offices of the county attorney did not return a call for comment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Be Prepared Before You Find Yourself In An Accident



It seems inevitable that we find ourselves in an accident.  As careful as we are, sometimes we are the victims of the carelessness of others.

It is helpful to be prepared before finding yourself in an accident.  Have your insurance information handy and keep something in your car that will allow you to record critical facts including the other driver's information and the names of witnesses or officers at the scene.  If you have a smart phone, there are apps available, often provided by your insurance company, that allow you to take pictures and submit your claim from the scene.

You should also keep our firm's phone number 410-541-6384 handy. We handle many personal injury cases, especially those arising from motor vehicle accidents, and we are standing by to help you. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All Your DUI/DWI questions answered

If you have questions about DUI, we have your answers.  Just visit our Anne Arundel DUI blog and read our comprehensive legal guide.

Still have questions? Just give us a call at 410-541-6DUI (384) or email us at info@severnaparklawyer.com 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Are You a Landlord or Thinking of Becoming a Landlord



For many years, individuals have turned to renting property as a way to increase their income and invest for their future.  While the real estate market has been turbulent, the demand for rental properties has continued to increase.

If you are a landlord you know, and if you are thinking about becoming a landlord you should know, Maryland has complex and often frustrating laws dealing with landlord tenant issues.  Navigating landlord/tenant disputes can often be difficult and costly.

Every landlord or prospective landlord should consult with an attorney to assure that they understand the laws regarding rental property.  Moreover, an attorney should be involved in drafting a lease agreement that protects your interests if problems arise in the future. Having good legal counsel on your side is an important step to protect your investment.

Our office has represented landlords in every aspect of their business and we are standing by to help you.  Please contact our office for a free consultation at 410-541-6384 or send an email to info@gklinelaw.com .

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Check Out Our Firm's Complete Estate Planning Package

It is vital that you plan for what will happen to your family if you are no longer around.  If you don’t have an estate plan for your family, our firm can help.  We make the process as simple and client-friendly as possible.

Our firm offers an estate planning package which includes:

  • An initial consultation in which an attorney:
    • Reviews your assets, property and insurance;
    • Explains the state and federal estate/inheritance tax and analyzes your potential estate tax liability;
    • An evaluation of your health care planning needs; and
    • Answer all of your estate planning questions.

  • After reviewing your needs an attorney will prepare
    • Wills and necessary trust Documents;
    • An Advanced Health Care Directive and any appropriate Power(s) of Attorney; and
    • Any other required documents.

  • A final meeting to review and execute documents.


All these services are provided for a single affordable package price.

Evening and Weekend appointments are available for attorney consultations and can be scheduled to take place in your home.

Don’t put it off any longer.  Complete this important planning today by calling Gregory M. Kline, Esq. at 410-541-6384 or send an email to info@severnaparklawyer.com.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Every Business Needs to Have a Good Litigator on Their Side

As a small business owner, I know how important it is for every business to have associations with reliable professionals.  An accountant, insurance representative and a computer expert are just some of the contacts that business people need.

An experienced litigation attorney needs to be added to that list.

In nearly two decades of practice, I have represented many businesses big and small in a wide variety of litigation. From disputes with vendors, collections, employee issues, tax and compliance issues and the protection of intellectual property, businesses often find themselves in need of legal representation to protect their interests. Having a top notch litigator standing by who knows your business and its needs can give you a competitive advantage.

The Law Firm of Gregory M. Kline, LLC offers top notch legal representation for all of the disputes that arise in the course of your business.  We also offer reasonable rates and in many cases flat fee arrangements which can help your business control costs.

If you own a business contact our office for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you. Call 410-541-6384 or email us at info@gklinelaw.com

Check out our firm's DUI Blog

A large part of the firm's practice is defending people accused of drunk driving offenses.  These charges are extremely serious and require experienced counsel to handle correctly.

The Anne Arundel Dui blog discusses some of the issues that arise when someone is arrested and charged with drunk driving.  It is chocked full of advice about how to handle a traffic stop and arrest when the police suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Please check out our blog and check back often for updates.  Recommend it to your friends who have questions.

As always, call us anytime 410-541-6DUI (384) if you have questions or need representation for DUI charges.

We are standing by to help.