New Law Trends 2022: Everything You Need To Know In The DMV Area
Every year we see new laws and bills being approved by Congress and different states. As residents of Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., it is strictly important to be aware of the New Law Trends 2022, in order to start the year off right. It is not only a law firm and a lawyer’s duty to be familiar with new laws, but it should also be each citizen’s commitment to investigate and understand those new legislations that will affect your community in 2022. That is why we will highlight those main changes that will go into effect by 2022.
Before jumping into the new changes for 2022, let’s rewind a little bit so we can have a better picture of what happened during 2021 in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Is Marijuana Legal In Virginia?
As of July 1 2021, marijuana became legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On April 7th 2021, majority of the Virginia legislature voted to approve amendments to Senate Bill 1406 | House Bill 2312, which legalizes the personal use and possession of marijuana. After former Governor Ralph Northam’s signature, Virginia became the first Southern state to legalize marijuana. But, the new law only applies to adults in Virginia, 21 years and older, and has different parameters and penalties. In addition, further revisions to the law will be revisited regarding selling and consuming.
- Having a maximum of an ounce of marijuana for personal use
- Using marijuana while in a private residence. However, Virginia law states that there is nothing prohibiting the owner of a private residence from restricting marijuana use. This means, if you live in an apartment owned by someone else, they could restrict you from using it in your apartment.
- Growing up to four marijuana plants per household as long as the plant isn’t visible to the public, people younger than 21 years of age do not have access to them, and each plant must have a legible tag attached that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or ID number
- “Adult sharing,” which means you can transfer an ounce or less of marijuana between people who are 21-year-old or older as long as it is given as a gift and is not being sold to another person
- If you are under the age of 21, you are not allowed to consume, purchase or possess marijuana, or attempt to consume, purchase or possess marijuana.
- Distributing or selling marijuana
- Possessing any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute or sell it
- Using marijuana while operating or riding in a motor vehicle
- Using marijuana while operating a school bus, a motor vehicle transporting passengers for hire (i.e. Uber, Lyft or a taxi) or a commercial vehicle
- Possessing marijuana on school grounds
Learn more about Virginia Laws and Penalties.
New Laws In Maryland
Dozens of new laws were passed during the 2021 Maryland legislative session. Those bills covered a large variety of topics and fields, from police reform, up to racial equity and gun sales. Overall, 771 bills were passed this year in the Maryland General Assembly. A list provided by the Maryland Department of Legislative Services shows some of the most “popular” topics this legislative calendar. These are the main laws that went into effect in Maryland during 2021.
Employment Laws In Maryland
- House Bill 290: This bill extends from 6 months to 300 days the time periods within which a person claiming to be aggrieved by certain discriminatory acts is required to file a complaint with the Commission on Civil Rights; and providing that a complaint filed with a local human relations commission within certain time periods is deemed to have complied with certain provisions of the Act.
- House Bill 581: This bill requires essential employers during a declared state of emergency to provide essential employees safe working conditions, including available safety equipment and free disease testing, a right to refuse to perform an assigned task; to provide federal or state-funded public health emergency leave and to report test results to the Maryland Department of Health.
- Senate Bill 473: This bill expands Maryland’s Flexible Leave Act by authorizing employees of certain employers (those with at least 15 employees) to use earned paid leave for bereavement leave. An employee is allowed to use bereavement leave for the death of the employee’s immediate family member, including an adult child of the employee, as defined by the bill.
Gun Control In Maryland
- House Bill 4: Requires people to complete sales, rentals or transfers of rifles and shotguns through a licensed dealer. A person who is not a certain licensee may not complete the sale, rental, or transfer of a certain rifle or shotgun as a purchaser, lessee, or transferee, except under certain circumstances; requiring, before a certain sale, rental, or transfer is conducted, the seller, lessor, or transferor and purchaser, lessee, or transferee to request that a certain licensee facilitate the sale, rental, or transfer; authorizing a seller, lessor, or transferor to deliver a rifle or shotgun in a certain manner; etc. The dealer must also conduct background checks through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems.
Learn more about laws that went into effect in Maryland during 2021.
Scooter Laws In Washington, D.C.
Electric Scooters, also known as E-Scooters have gained a lot of popularity among D.C. residents and tourists. However, e-scooters have provoked multiple vehicle and pedestrian accidents in the District of Columbia year after year. That is why since 2020, there have been several laws that went into effect in order to control and reduce the amount of accident on a monthly basis. Anyone who rides an electric scooter in D.C. must lock up the device starting Oct. 1. Scooters must be locked to a pole or bike rack, leaving at least 3 feet of open sidewalk, the law says. And, anyone riding a scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be subject to a $150 fine.
Learn more about E-Scooters in Washington, D.C..
New Law Trends 2022 in the DMV Area
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a host of challenges for employers. As more employees return to the office in 2022, employers will face tricky compliance questions—and, most likely, increased litigation—under one body of law in particular: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its state and local counterparts. The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to abruptly transition to remote work. However, for most employers the return to the office is turning out to be a slower, more complicated process. Moreover, that process will not get any easier in 2022, as lawmakers, regulators, employers, and workers go to battle over vaccine requirements.
New Law Trends 2022: Litigation and Charge Trends
As employers call employees back to the office, either full-time or on a hybrid schedule, three issues will likely drive an uptick in ADA litigation:
- requests for telework as a reasonable accommodation
- long-haul Covid-19; and
- vaccine mandates and exemption policies
This anticipated rise in ADA litigation follows a period of fluctuations in the number of ADA cases filed in federal court, according to an analysis of Bloomberg Law Dockets. While the number of cases rose from 2016–2018, they declined in 2019 and 2020. But they are already on the rise in 2021, with cases filed over the first three quarters of this year exceeding the number filed in the same time period of the prior year. For more information about new law trends 2022, click here.
New Law Trends 2022: Maryland Juvenile Justice
According to WTOP News, “advocates and two state (Maryland) lawmakers plan to prioritize bills during the 2022 legislative session that would bar police from questioning kids without their parents’ knowledge and reform the juvenile court system”. This is what Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) said: “We’ve passed a lot of legislation to protect children. We’ve passed anti-bullying legislation, we’ve gotten legislators pushing for ending child marriage, but the same children they ostensibly want to protect from bullies and from marriage are the same children they allow to be automatically prosecuted as adults and sent to prison for life.”.
New Law Trends 2022: The Legal Market
Over the past years and decades, the legal industry (law firms and solo practitioners), has faced substantial changes and adaptations in order to reshape its own market model. These changes have been a consequence of several factors, such as technological advances, new software systems, new legal procedures and protocols, the coronavirus pandemic, among others. With technology forever growing smarter, and client expectations higher than average, these are the major and new law trends 2022.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): Data volumes expand year after year among law firms, up to the point of the necessity for firms to use technology to supplement manpower to speed up and streamline data management, filing, and storage.
- Cybersecurity: Since the 2010s, cybercrime has increased dramatically in the legal sector. That is why 2022 will undoubtedly see improved cybersecurity become a key goal to maintain and provide a safe environment not only for staff members and lawyers, but for clients and their legal and individual privacy.
- Attorney-Client Relationship: According to the latest Clio legal trends report, before the Covid-19 pandemic, only 23% of consumers were open to working with a lawyer remotely. However, Clio’s report reveals that after the pandemic, 79% of consumers now see the ability to meet with a lawyer remotely as a key factor in deciding who to work with.
In addition to pushing firms to more widely adopt technology, clients are also now much more focused on areas such as sustainability and diversity and inclusion than they were in years past. Clients want law firms to be able to demonstrate their own future-focused approach as well as being able to provide learning and development on how they can manage these factors in their own businesses.
Malloy Law Offices, LLC Knowledge about New Law Trends 2022
Here at Malloy Law Offices, LLC, our dedicated team of attorneys and legal staff are devoted to every need that you might have. We primarily handle car accident cases, workers’ compensation cases, premises liability cases, among others. Nonetheless, we truly believe that our legal knowledge should not be something that we need to sell. We cover several areas of law and we answer every single legal concern that any person might have, whether that person is a client or not. Click here to learn more about us, or call (202) 933-1918 and get your questions answered.