The dead man’s statute in Maryland follows the Common Law approach and states: A party to a proceeding by or against a personal representative, heir, devisee, distributee, or legatee as such, in which a judgment or decree may be rendered for or against them, or by or against an incompetent person, may not testify concerning any transaction with or statement made by the dead or incompetent person, personally or through an agent since dead, unless called to testify by the opposite party, or unless the testimony of the dead or incompetent person has been given already in evidence in the same proceeding concerning the same transaction or statement.[1] This statute purportedly seeks to “equalize the position of the parties by imposing silence on the survivors as to transactions with or statements by the decedent or at least by requiring those asserting claims against a decedent’s estate to produce testimony from disinterested persons.”[2]  The dead man’s statute has long been subject to criticism:  “[T]he dead man’s statute (is) an anachronism and an obstruction to truth.”[3]
[1] Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 9-116.
[2] Reddy v. Mody, 39 Md.App. 675, 679, 388 A.2d 555, 558-9 (1978).
[3] 1938 ABA Report on evidence as quoted in Ed Wallis, An Outdated Form of Evidentiary Law: A Survey of Dead Man’s Statutes and A Proposal for Change, 53 Clev. St. L. Rev. 75, 80 (2006).