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Mark Oakley

Mark Oakley

  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Family Law ...
  • District of Columbia, Maryland
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

Mark W. Oakley is an established litigation attorney concentrating on civil litigation, personal injury, construction law, and criminal and traffic defense. He also advises business clients, negotiates and drafts contracts, and handles a variety of litigation matters at all levels of the state and federal court systems. Mr. Oakley is trained and certified in the collaborative practice of law. Mr. Oakley is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (J.D. 1987), and the University of Maryland, College Park (B.A. 1984). He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Bar Association of Montgomery County. He is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Authored the winning brief in the case of 1986 Mercedes v. State of Maryland, a precedent-setting decision limiting the State’s power to forfeit private property.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Construction Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Law
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard, Discover
  • Contingent Fees
    I handle personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis, meaning if there is no recovery, you do not owe me a legal fee.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Bar
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University of Maryland - Baltimore
J.D. (1987) | Law
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University of Maryland - College Park
B.A. (1984) | English
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Professional Associations
District of Columbia Bar
- Current
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Maryland State Bar Association
- Current
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Bar Association of Montgomery County
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
717 Questions Answered

Q. I was doused with hydraulic fluid and diesel fuel while at work. My manager didn't report the incident and I became Ill
A: Unless there is a third party liable for the accident that resulted in your being doused with hazardous chemicals, e.g., the negligence or product liability of some person or company who is not your employer, then you are limited to workers' compensation for your personal injuries and lost wages (unless you are also covered by disability insurance separate from workers' comp). You can file a complaint for safety violations in the workplace if there is some hazardous condition or safety violation at work, and you do that with OSHA for a federal complaint, and with MOSH for a Maryland complaint (within the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation). If your supervisor or employer retaliates against you by reassigning you to a lesser or less desirable position, cuts your pay or hours, terminates you, or otherwise takes punitive measures against you for filing either a WCC claim or a safety complaint, there are civil and regulatory administrative actions and penalties, including damages and an award of attorney's fees, you can can pursue which are spelled out in those statutes.
Q. In a "small estate" on MD Form 1124, do I need to list jointly owned securities and house owned by my wife and me.
A: No. As spouse of the decedent, you are not subject to the Maryland inheritance tax. You only list assets that the decedent jointly owned with a person or persons who would be subject to inheritance tax. The one exception on the form is for listing real property located outside the state of Maryland in which the decedent owned an interest with another, which you identify regardless of whether the other owner(s) would be exempt from inheritance tax.
Q. Is it typical or acceptable for a POA to have the future right to change beneficiaries? To make herself a beneficiary?
A: I agree with Ms. Whitehurst. The general rule is that an agent acting under a POA is a fiduciary, and owes a duty to the principal to act in their best interests and on their behalf, and not engage in self-dealing. However, when the POA is also a family member, the lines can get blurred when they are also one of the heirs to the principal's estate and would naturally be expected to be among the beneficiaries of the principal named on various accounts. So long as the agent acts in a manner that is consistent with what the principal would have done for all his/her natural heirs equally, without favoritism or bias to the agent's benefit, then the action would likely be appropriate. A POA cannot modify, rewrite or amend the principal's last will and testament, but they may be able to replace named beneficiaries under other assets, like financial accounts and brokerage accounts, for reasons that may arise from time to time. For instance, if currently named beneficiaries pass away, and the default beneficiary would be the principal's estate, then there may be good reason to want to name direct beneficiaries consisting of the same heirs under the estate rather than put those funds through probate. Retirement accounts in particular would be subject to significant tax penalties if distributed to an account holder's estate rather than transferred directly to an individual. For market or investment reasons, financial accounts may be liquidated or transferred into new accounts that require the naming of beneficiaries. It is very difficult to anticipate what future circumstances and needs may arise, and the purpose of most POAs is to grant to the agent the same authority and powers the principal has to manage their assets as need and situations arise. However, blatant self-dealing that is not consistent with the principal's best interests or natural estate plan would be a basis to challenge the actions taken.
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Contact & Map
1803 Research Blvd., Suite 401
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 424-8081
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