The mutual fund industry is rallying to support a Maryland law that says mutual fund directors do not lose their independence because they get paid for serving on several fund boards in the same mutual fund complex.

The Investment Company Institute, Alliance Capital Management of New York, T. Rowe Price Associates and Legg Mason Wood Walker, both of Baltimore, Md. and other Maryland securities and money management firms, are asking that state's highest court to uphold the constitutionality of a Maryland law that the fund industry helped pass. The Appeals Court, in a decision Jan. 27, permitted the ICI and the fund and securities firms to jointly file a friend of the court brief supporting the law.

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