State v. Pratt
Court of Appeals of Maryland
398 A.2d 421 (1979)
The State of Maryland (plaintiff) prosecuted Margaret Melton Pratt (defendant) for murdering her husband. Pratt claimed she was legally insane at the time. At trial, two of the five or more psychiatrists who examined Pratt after the killing accepted Pratt's claim. Over Pratt's objection, the State called Dr. Brian Crowley, another psychiatrist who examined Pratt. Crowley testified that originally, Pratt's own counsel retained him to conduct the examination, but that nevertheless the examination persuaded Crowley that Pratt was not legally insane at the time of the killing. In closing arguments, the State emphasized how Crowley would not give defense counsel the testimony counsel expected, and suggested counsel may have retained many experts before finding two who would say Pratt was insane. The jury found Pratt guilty. Pratt appealed to the Court of Special Appeals on the grounds that Crowley's testimony violated the attorney-client privilege. The court agreed and ordered a new trial. The State appealed to the Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Digges, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.