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Marcus Rayner
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Each day seems to bring additional news confirming what we already know: New Jersey needs to restart its economic engine. The state took a tremendous hit during the recession, and has yet to fully recover. The state’s unemployment rate remains high, and the budget gaps continues to widen as revenue collections miss their targets. While the government does not and cannot create the jobs needed to buoy the economy in and of itself, it does... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Expedited Civil Actions has released its recommendations for speeding the resolution of civil actions in state courts without sacrificing due process. The report recommends the court approve a mandatory pilot program for all Track 1 and Track 2 cases (which include property and contract disputes and insurance suits) that focuses on streamlining pre-trial procedures and limiting some in-court proceedings. The court’s notice to the bar summarizes the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lawsuit Reform Watch
On April 15th, the New Jersey Civil Justice Council hosted the first in a new series of policy teleforums designed to give NJCJI supporters an inside look at some of the most pressing policy issues and court cases in New Jersey. David Kott, a partner at McCarter & English LLP and member of the NJCJI Board, was the featured speaker at the first teleforum. Kott gave call participants some background information on business litigation in... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lawsuit Reform Watch
On April 10, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Business Litigation released its report analyzing the needs of the state’s business community and proposed actions by the court system that could address those needs. The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute will be holding a teleforum on the report with working group member David Kott, a partner at McCarter & English LLP and member of the NJCJI Board, on Tuesday, April 15th from 1:30-2:00... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Business Litigation has released its report analyzing the needs of the state’s business community and proposed actions by the court system that could address those needs. As Chief Justice Rabner mentioned at our Spring Luncheon, he opposes the creation of a separate business court within the judiciary. Bearing that in mind, the committee’s report recommends that an existing pilot program in the Bergen and Essex vicinages targeting... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lawsuit Reform Watch
New Jersey was one of the first jurisdictions to recognize the increasing importance of expert testimony in modern litigation, one of the first to stress the importance of judicial gate keeping, and one of the first to adopt a more structured multi-factor test for examining the validity of expert testimony. Unfortunately, New Jersey can no longer claim it is on the cutting edge when it comes to ensuring bad science is barred from the courtroom.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lawsuit Reform Watch
A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of March 29-April 4, 2014. Credit Card Receipt Spawns Class Action “There was no foul. No one had a problem until a lawyer saw this and he filed a suit against us,” Friedman said. “But if we fight it, we’re not going to win.” This is becoming a common refrain from small business owners in New Jersey thanks to an increasing number of state... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute is currently accepting applications for a paid summer internship at our Trenton office. The ideal candidate will be a current law student that is supportive of NJCJI's legal reform efforts, comfortable with legal research, and able to write for both a legal audience and the general public. Applicants should send a cover letter, writing sample, list of references, and resume to info@civiljusticenj.org by April 30. NJCJI is a 501(c)(6),... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Task Force on Judicial Independence held the first of its four public hearings on April 1, 2014, at the New Jersey Law Center. Though over 20 people testified at the three-hour hearing, few offered concrete suggestions for how the court system could be improved. The majority of the testimony focused on perceived problems with the system. The majority of the complaints centered on the interaction between the judicial branch... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
“There was no foul. No one had a problem until a lawyer saw this and he filed a suit against us,” Friedman said. “But if we fight it, we’re not going to win.” This is becoming a common refrain from small business owners in New Jersey thanks to an increasing number of state laws that encourage regulation by litigation. While the judicial system is well suited for settling disputes between parties; it is not well... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The Star-Ledger editorial, "Bullying: If schools are liable, parents can be, too" (March 31), appropriately raised warnings about using courts to hold parents of child bullies liable, but I disagree with the conclusion that some good can come from the threat of litigation. The judicial system is well-suited for settling clearly defined disputes where a legal remedy is an adequate end to the situation. It is ill-prepared to establish and enforce standards of moral behavior... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
NJCJI played host to the New Jersey contingent of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association this week when ASCA came to the New Jersey State House to lobby legislators on the need for liability reform that protects their businesses from frivolous slip and fall lawsuits. ASCA members provide snow and ice management services to business and homeowners, often in conditions many would deem the worst winter has to offer. They are our heroes during the worst... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
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On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, NJCJI hosted a training session on civil justice reform for legislative staff, government affairs professionals, and other interested parties. The event featured remarks from NJCJI staff, practicing attorneys, and the business community, all focusing on what civil justice reform actually is and why it is important. Seth Lamont, CNA Insurance, Inc. and Chairman of NJCJI kicked off the training with a discussion of the real world implications of having a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Fee-shifting provisions are showing up in proposed legislation in New Jersey with increasing frequency. These provisions, which allow prevailing plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees and court costs, encourage frivolous litigation, discourage settlement, and drive up the cost of lawsuits. Proponents argue that fee-shifting provisions enhance access to the courts for plaintiffs who might lack the resources to hire an attorney. However, for bills with largely regulatory objectives, consumers can obtain redress far more efficiently, via... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute has filed a motion to participate as amicus curiae in DeMarco v. Stoddard. The issue in the case is whether the rule for third party recovery that applies in the automobile context should be extended to medical malpractice absent statutory foundation, thereby requiring a malpractice insurer to underwrite a claim against a doctor who lied in order to get insurance coverage. Thomas DeMarco was a patient of the defendant,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner was the featured speaker at NJCJI’s Spring Luncheon on March 19. During his remarks, Rabner stressed the administrative role of the courts and discussed ways in which the business community can get more involved with the justice system. Rabner began his speech with an overview of the New Jersey court system, and a reminder for attendees that the supreme court not only hears cases, but also is responsible for administering the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of March 8-14, 2014. Flushability of Wipes Spawns Class-Action Lawsuit U-Jin Lee | ABC News A New York doctor has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the makers of "flushable" wipes after experiencing what he claims were major plumbing and clogging issues in his home. “The defendants should have known that their representations regarding flushable wipes were false and misleading,” the complaint states. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
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This week we moved into our new office building at 112 W. State Street in Trenton. Stop by and say hello the next time you are in the area! Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Amending New Jersey’s law governing the appeal-ability of class certifications has long been a priority of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute because the current practice of allowing appeals only by permission of the court emphasizes economics over justice, and invites plaintiffs to file weak claims. A rule change permitting interlocutory appeal of class certification decisions would enhance the predictability and fairness of the judicial process, and increase the likelihood that courts reach decisions based... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Jessica Beym | South Jersey Times A former attorney in the Haddonfield office of a firm specializing in toxic tort litigation today admitted that he falsified defendants’ names in more than 100 asbestos suits filed in New York State courts in order to increase business and his standing in the firm, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. Full Story. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund. The issue in the case is the ongoing viability of fraud-on-the market theory as an underlying assumption in shareholder class actions. Court Weighs Securities Fraud Case Changes Sam Hananel | Associated Press The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed open to the possibility of making it harder for investors to join together to sue corporations for securities fraud -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Lee Moran | New York Daily News McDonald's has been hit with a supersized lawsuit. Unhappy eater Webster Lucas reportedly wants $1.5 million from the fast-food company after he claimed the staff only gave him one napkin. Full Story. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
The New Jersey State Bar Association has created a Task Force to examine the issue of judicial independence. The members of the Task Force are retired judges, law professors, practicing attorneys and members of the lay public. The goal of the Task Force is to produce a report that will contain recommendations with respect to preserving the independence of the judges of this State. The Task Force is wholly independent of the Bar Association, which... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
Acting Attorney General Hoffman has released a summary of the civil judgments obtained by the state during 2013. The $304 million collected is a $104 million increase over 2012 judgments. Litigation-related payouts by the State in 2013 totaled approximately $77.7 million. Noteworthy outcomes obtained by the Division of Law in 2013 included: Passaic River Litigation Settlements: Division of Law attorneys, working hand in hand with outside counsel, finalized two settlements in 2013 totaling $165.4 million... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch
A New Jersey teen is making headlines across the country for the lawsuit she has filed against her parents seeking monetary support. However, this is just the tip of the juvenile lawsuits iceberg. Morris Catholic High School Student Sues Parents for Financial Support; Court Hearing Today Peggy Wright | Daily Record A Morris Catholic High School honor student and athlete who claims her parents threw her out of their Lincoln Park home when she turned... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at Lawsuit Reform Watch