A Spouse May Be Barred from Receiving Statutory Share from a Deceased Spouse’s Estate by the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

On May 29, 2019, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion in In the Matter of Robert H. Watkins, Jr. in which the Court denied to a widow a spousal share of the Estate under the common law doctrine of “unclean hands” because the marriage was procured by undue influence.  This was More

General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages

The Maryland General Assembly has passed a new statute that marks a dramatic departure from existing wage and hour requirements for general contractors.  The new statute, which took effect on October 1, 2018, makes general contractors responsible for the failure of their subcontractors to pay their employees the wages they are owed.  The statute is More

Submit to an Examination Under Oath or Lose Coverage

  On June 28th, 2018, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued an opinion in Dolan v. Kemper Independence Insurance Company, 218 WL 3199548 (Sept. Term, 2017) in which the appellate court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment in favor of the insurer against an insured who refused to submit to an examination under oath (EUO). More

Maryland Wiretapping Law vs. Workers’ Rights Under the NLRA

With the omnipresent smartphone making its way into the workplace, employers have tried to address some of the concerns that come along with such devices. Secretly recording the conversations of others with a cell phone can be very easy given today’s discrete technology. Predictably, many employers would (and do) take issue with such activity.  Moreover, More

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

On December 7, 2016, the Senate approved the 21st Century Cures Act (HB 34).   Included in this legislation is the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (the “Act”).  The Act now adds provisions to allow disabled individuals to establish their own self-settled special needs trusts.   In general, special needs trusts allow disabled beneficiaries to receive More

Care Required in Raising Affirmative Defenses

“Cardinal Law, in Lawsuit, Faults Child and Parents in Abuse Case.”  That was the headline of a Fox News Article on April 29, 2002.  The headline was driven by nothing more than a boilerplate affirmative defense in an answer filed on behalf of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law and the Archdiocese of Boston in a lawsuit More

The Maryland Prudent Investor Rule

The Prudent Investor Rule was codified in Maryland in 1994, by §15-114 of the Estates & Trusts Article. The statute allows a fiduciary to utilize Modern Portfolio Theory in making investment elections for a trust, an estate or other beneficiary investments. Modern Portfolio Theory frees a trustee from rigid and outdated trust investment practices, and More


Ms. Szymanowski was installed as Chair Elect for the Young Lawyers Division of the Bar Association of Baltimore City for the 2014 – 2015 bar year.  She was previously named a 2014 Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine and Baltimore Magazine. Ms. Szymanowski joined the firm in 2005, following a judicial clerkship to the Honorable More