Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : March 2013


The MSBA has published its much-anticipated Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland, Fifth Edition, the definitive reference for litigators across the state in drafting virtually all pleadings in Maryland. 

This latest edition of the best-selling title – which offers concise treatment of more than 130 causes of action, including citations to more than 1,700 cases, 380 sections of the Maryland Code Annotated, and 200 provisions of the Maryland Rules – is now available for purchase through the MSBA Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Department.

“The complaint is the foundation of all verdicts or judgments,” co-authors Paul Mark Sandler, a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler, P.A., and James K. Archibald, of counsel in the Baltimore and Washington offices of Venable LLP, write in their prologue. 

They further note that the complaints contained in Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland “are designed to serve as guides, not forms to be used blindly, without independent thought and individualized adaptations.”

The book’s 15 chapters categorically address areas ranging from contracts, torts, and real property to wills and estates, workers’ compensation, and state antitrust and securities violations.  Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland, Fifth Edition also includes meticulous tables of statutes and cases, as well as a bibliography and subject index.

With the new book, Sandler and Archibald bring the previous edition, published in 2008, and its April 2010 supplement up to date through December 31, 2012.  Both men have authored each subsequent update and supplement to Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland since they first published the book in 1991.

In his foreword to the previous edition, Melvin J. Sykes wrote, “The bar – and bench – of Maryland have every reason to be grateful to Messrs. Sandler and Archibald for maintaining and continually improving the ‘one-stop shop’ for lawyers contemplating litigation.”

According to the co-authors’ introduction, some of the most extensive revisions reflected in the Fifth Edition occur in Section 6.19, which addresses foreclosure proceedings.  However, while “the book speaks for itself,” Sandler admits that the process of updating it can, at times, become “a nightmare.”

“The law moves so quickly,” he says, noting that staying on top of the “latest nuances” can be challenging. To that end, he and Archibald hope to one day offer Pleading Causes in a digital format that would allow for more frequent updates.

Still, both men describe Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland as “a labor of love,” with Archibald qualifying their ongoing collaboration (which includes another popular MSBA CLE title, Pattern Examinations of Witnesses for the Maryland Lawyer, currently in its Fourth Edition) “one of the most enjoyable experiences of my legal career.”

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Publications : Bar Bulletin : March 2013

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