Rosenberg v. DVI Receivables XVII, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2016).  As Judge Ambro noted in his opinion in this case today, an involuntary bankruptcy is one that is commenced by creditors, essentially forcing a debtor into bankruptcy proceedings.  Section 303(i) of the Bankruptcy Code provides, however, that if an involuntary bankruptcy petition is dismissed, the debtor can recover damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs from the creditors.  Though “[i]t is an understatement to say that the factual background and procedural history lurking behind this case are complex,” the bottom line is that, here, non-debtors alleged that they were damaged by the filing of an involuntary bankruptcy that was later dismissed.  Because section 303(i) limits its remedies to debtors, the non-debtors brought state law claims of tortious interference. read more

Raab v. City of Ocean City, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2016).  In this case under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1983, both plaintiff and the defendant municipality claimed to be the “prevailing party” and therefore sought an award of attorneys’ fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988.  The case arose out of a physical confrontation between plaintiff and a municipal police officer, Ruch.  Plaintiff sued Ruch and the City.  Both defendants sought summary judgment.  The District Court granted the City’s motion, but denied in part the motion that Ruch filed.  Thereafter, plaintiff and Ruch reached a settlement, under which plaintiff would be paid $150,000, with the issue of attorneys’ fees being reserved for later disposition.  Plaintiff and the City each filed motions for attorneys’ fees, each claiming to have been the prevailing party. read more

In re Reglan Litigation, ___ N.J. ___ (2016).  Plaintiffs in this mass tort matter claimed that defendants, who are generic manufacturers of metoclopramide, the generic version of the drug Reglan, were liable under New Jersey’s Product Liability Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:58C-1 to -11 (“PLA”), for failure to warn about the health effects of taking metoclopramide for too long.  The warning on the generics’ labels differed from the warning that the Food and Drug Administration had approved for Reglan itself.  The FDA-approved warning said that “[t]herapy should not exceed 12 weeks in duration,” while the generics’ labels said only that “[t]herapy longer than 12 weeks has not been evaluated and cannot be recommended.” read more

In the last ten days, the Supreme Court, nearing the end of its term, has issued a number of opinions.  It has been hard to keep up with them all.  To catch up, here are brief summaries of the Court’s recent rulings: read more

Catena v. Raytheon Company, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2016).  The time when a cause of action accrues, for purposes of triggering the statute of limitations, is a recurring and often thorny one.  Most of the cases arise in the context of negligence cases.  Today’s decision, however, by Judge Ostrer, involved common law fraud and a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-2 (“CFA”), both in connection with environmental issues. read more

Today, the Appellate Division published a notice to the bar that was dated August 17, 2016.  That notice can be found here.  The notice advises of several procedural refinements that the Appellate Division is implementing. read more

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. New Kensington Arnold School District, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2016).  Federal standing law sometimes involves nuances inquiries comparable to the famous question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  This opinion by Judge Shwartz involved a Civil Rights Act claim by plaintiffs (a mother and daughter, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation) who asserted that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was violated by the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of a public high school.  They sought nominal damages and injunctive relief only. read more

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in three civil cases (not to mention several more criminal cases, which will not in fact be mentioned here).  The first grant is from a published opinion of the Appellate Division, In re County of Atlantic, 445 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2016).  That ruling, which involved two consolidated cases, was discussed here.  The question presented to the Supreme Court there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Did the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) properly decline application of the dynamic status quo doctrine, which would have required the automatic payment of incremental salary increases?” read more