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Joseph D. Allen

Joseph D. Allen

  • Employment Law, Business Law, Landlord Tenant...
  • Arizona, Maryland
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Practice Areas
  • Employment Law
  • Business Law
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Personal Injury
  • White Collar Crime
  • Free Consultation
    Free 30 minute phone consultation.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
J.D. (2006)
Honors: Pedrick Scholar
Activities: Arizona State Law Journal
Professional Associations
Maryland State Bar
- Current
State Bar of Arizona # 026528
- Current
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
61 Questions Answered

Q. I am landlord in maryland. could I evict the tenants and their furnitures if they don't move out at termination date?
A: "Self-help" evictions are frowned upon in Maryland, and risky for landlords. You do not say whether you have a reasonable belief that the tenants will not move out at termination, but if you do have good reasons to think that (such as because the tenants said as much), you might be able to preemptively file a tenant holding over action. You should send written notice asap to the tenants of the termination date and your expectation that they move out, and possibly offer to facilitate the move. There are also notice requirements as to the final inspection/walkthrough and return of security deposit. You might want to hire an attorney to advise you as to your rights and responsibilities- in addition to potential liability vis a vis the incoming tenant.
Q. What does a business have to prove for a defamation case in an online review?
A: This is the general rule: Four elements must be present for a plaintiff to establish a prima facie case of defamation, including that: “(1) . . . the defendant made a defamatory statement to a third person, (2) . . . the statement was false, (3) . . . the defendant was legally at fault in making the statement, and (4) . . . the plaintiff suffered harm.” Hosmane v. Seley-Radtke, 227 Md. App. 11, 20–21 (2016) (citing Offen v. Brenner, 402 Md. 191, 198 (2007)), aff'd, 450 Md. 468 (2016). One issue that might be difficult to overcome in an online review situation is that statements of opinion can not be proven false. The review must include a provably false statement of fact. If that burden (among others) is overcome, the business also must prove what their damages are. Depending on what was said, and with what level of malice, damages might be presumed.
Q. This is regarding a federal agency being hacked.
A: Criminal liability in a situation like this might result from defrauding one of the parties- e.g. obtaining something of value (your fees) from them under false pretenses (perhaps that you are not using the confidential info obtained from them in one matter against them in the other matter). Particularly if by agency, you mean a government agency. Civil liability is a possibility as well- breach of various agreements and duties owed to clients. If you were an attorney, being directly adverse to your client in a separate matter would not be kosher under the ethical rules. It also just seems like a generally risky idea to be both for and against a "suspect foreign cybersecurity company." You might want to pay an attorney to review your situation for you.
Q. Company losing contract but new company wants me to come work for them. Non solicitation for employees and customers
A: You'd need an attorney to review the non-solicitation clause in the context of the entire agreement, to see if it is enforceable or applies to your planned new job. Your question sounds like it could possibly implicate a non-compete clause rather than non-solicitation.
Q. My landlord is terminating my lease 2 months early because she is getting new flooring in the apartment. Is this legal?
A: Typically, unless you have language in your lease that specifically allows for early termination under these circumstances, the landlord is required to lease the premises for the term that you agreed on.
Q. I have been pursued by a crazy lady that lost 6 cases against me and now filed at Circuit Court.
A: It is unclear from your question what the basis for the "abuse of process" claim is, but it is clear that this is a dispute with many complications, which may entail a lot of time spent by an attorney. You should contact civil litigation attorneys until you find one who is willing to listen to your situation, and discuss whether a contingency fee arrangement would make sense in the circumstances.
Q. I need to sign a contract with an IT staffing Company and I don't understand a clause in it?
A: You'd need to ask an attorney to tell you what the clause means. It might be a good idea to have the entire contract reviewed also.
Q. Is it ethical for an employer to have 1 person who does Human Resources for the entire office inccluding the hiring,
A: There is nothing illegal about only having one HR staff person. If an employer complies with the laws and regulations applicable to it, that's all that matters. It's just difficult to do without professional help, as the workers comp incident illustrates. Employers can't retaliate against employees for filing claims, nor can they provide false information about the circumstances of an injury in an attempt to have the claim denied.
Q. Does my landlord have the right to tell me what I am allowed to store in my carport?
A: The first place to look is the lease language regarding the tenant's responsibilities to maintain the premises (and the carport in particular). Sometimes it is vague and ambiguous, so might turn on the reasonableness of the landlord's request vs. the reasonableness of your conduct. Tenants can be found in breach of their lease for junking up a yard and refusing to clean it up, but based on the facts in your question that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Simms Showers LLP
201 International Circle
Suite 250
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Telephone: (443) 290-8710