Pursuant to section (c) of Rule 19-206, the subject matter of the Board's essay test is defined as follows:


The law of agency shall be included on the examination only to the extent provided in the definitions of Business Associations, Contracts and Torts.


The legal principles pertaining to forming, organizing, operating and dissolving business entities in Maryland and related principles of agency. The business entities include: (a) corporations, (b) close corporations, (c) limited liability companies, (d) professional service corporations, (e) general, limited, and limited liability partnerships, (f) joint ventures, (g) unincorporated associations, and (h) sole proprietorships. The subject also includes: (a) the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of owners, partners, member, shareholders, managers, directors, officers, (b) the issuance of shares or other ownership interests in business entities, (c) the distribution of dividends and assets, and (d) the allocation of profits and losses from business entities.


The law governing commercial transactions derived from the following titles of the Maryland Code, Commercial Law Article: Sales (Title 2); Leases (Title 2A); Negotiable Instruments (Title 3); Bank Deposits and Collections (Title 4); Bulk Transfers (Title 6); and Secured Transactions (Title 9).


The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States and its amendments, division of powers between the states and national government, powers of the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court, limitations on the powers of the state and national government.


The consideration of agreements enforceable at law. The subject includes: (a) formation of contracts--offer and acceptance, mistake, fraud, misrepresentation or duress, contractual capacity, effect of illegality, consideration; informal contracts; (b) third-party beneficiary contracts; (c) assignment of contracts; (d) statute of frauds; (e) parol evidence rule, interpretation of contracts; (f) performance-conditions, failure of consideration, aleatory promises, rights of defaulting plaintiff, substantial performance, specific performance, (g) breach of contract and remedies therefor, including measure of damages; (h) impossibility of performance, frustration of purpose; and (i) discharge of contracts. This subject may also include law dealing with an agent's ability to bind a principal to a contract, and the agent's personal liability on a contract made for a principal.


The law of crimes against the person; crimes against public peace and morals; property crimes; crimes involving the breach of public trust or civic duty, obstruction of justice; criminal responsibility, causation, justification and other defenses; constitutional limitations and protections. The law of criminal procedure includes the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Maryland Rules, Title 4, Criminal Causes, and to prosecutions for violations of criminal law.


The law governing the proof of issues of fact in civil and criminal trials including functions of the court and jury; competence of witnesses; examination, cross-examination and impeachment of witnesses; presumptions, burden of producing evidence and burden of persuasion; privileges against disclosure of information; relevancy; demonstrative, experimental and scientific evidence; opinion evidence; admissibility of writings; parol evidence rule; hearsay rule; judicial notice. The Board's Test shall cover only the Maryland substantive Law of Evidence, common law and statute, including the Maryland Rules of Evidence.


The principles of Maryland law regarding creation of (or the existence of) the marriage relationship; termination of the marriage; alimony and support of the marriage partner; support and custody of children; marital property issues; and prenuptial agreements. Includes both statutory and common law principles of Maryland law and procedure except for matters of adoption, paternity, and juvenile law.


The various procedural steps and matters involved in an action at law or in equity, from commencement of the action to final disposition on appeal. The subject includes: (a) jurisdiction of courts; (b) venue; (c) parties and process; (d) forms of pleading; (e) motions and other means of raising procedural objections or defenses, including affirmative defenses and counter-claims; (f) discovery and other pre-trial procedures; (g) trial practice; (h) entry, effect and enforcement of judgments; (i) methods of taking appeal or otherwise securing appellate review; and (j) appellate practice and procedure. The subject embraces civil procedure and practice in the State courts. Federal Rules of practice and procedure are not covered on the examination.


The Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Title 19, Chapter 300 of the Maryland Rules.


The fundamentals of real property law including concepts of possession; concurrent and consecutive future estates in land (and their counterparts in testamentary and inter vivos trusts); leaseholds and landlord-tenant relationships; fixtures and the distinction between real and personal property; covenants enforceable in equity; easements, profits and licenses; rights of user and exploitation in land (including rights to lateral and subjacent support); contracts of sale of real estate; the statute of limitations on real actions (adverse possession) and prescription; conveyancing priorities and recording (including marketable title); remedies. Problems of rules against perpetuities shall appear only on the MBE test.


The law of civil wrongs. The subject includes, but is not limited to: (a) negligent torts including causation, standard of care, primary negligence, comparative and contributory negligence, assumption of risk, limitations on liability, contribution and indemnity; impact of insurance; (b) intentional torts; (c) strict liability, products liability; (d) nuisance; (e) invasion of privacy; (f) defamation; (g) vicarious liability; and (h) defenses, immunity and privilege, and damages in connection with any of these areas.

When the Board of Law Examiners or a Character Committee questions your character and fitness for bar admission, bar applicants should retain an attorney to assist in disclosing information relevant to character and fitness, to guide them through the bar admissions process, and to represent applicants in hearings before the Character Committee, Board of Law Examiners and Court of Appeals of Maryland to determine whether they are fit to practice law. Character and fitness concerns may arise in connection with prior criminal convictions, academic dishonesty and honor code violations, addictions, drunk driving, neglected debts, and a failure to disclose material information on law school applications or on bar applications. If you have a history of misconduct, traffic citations, crimes, arrests and other facts to disclose in response to the character portion of the Maryland Bar Application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and be granted a license to practice law. This is even true for applicants for admission to law schools as these applications ask similar questions about character. A failure to disclose facts material to your admission could result in a denial of bar admission.

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