Sunday, September 05, 2010

Maryland High Court Hears Arguments On Refusal To Reschedule Trial To Accommodate Religious Holiday

Last week, Maryland's Court of Appeals-- the state's highest court-- heard oral arguments in Neustadter v. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, Inc., posing the question of whether the religious freedom rights of a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case were infringed when the trial court refused to reschedule the trial in the case.  (Video of full oral argument). According to Saturday's Baltimore Sun, plaintiff, an Orthodox Jew, was denied a postponement or a two-day suspension of the trial for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Plaintiff did not attend those two days of trial and ordered his attorney not to work on his behalf on those days either. This led to crucial testimony by defendants' witnesses going unchallenged.