Renner v. AT&T, ___ N.J. ___ (2014).  This opiniion by a unanimous Supreme Court today, written by Judge Rodriguez, addresses the effect of a 1979 amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Law, N.J.S.A. 34:15-7.2.  “In that amendment, the Legislature set higher standards of proof and causation for cardiovascular claims.”  read more

The Supreme Court today published Court Rule amendments that (except for certain changes that will take effect on January 1, 2015) that will become effective on September 1, 2014.  Those amendments that address appellate practice, all of which are effective on September 1, 2014, parallel the recommendations of the Civil Practice Committee, which were discussed here. read more

State v. Savoy, ___ N.J. ___ (2014).  Under Article VI, section 2, paragraph 3 of the New Jersey Constitution, the Supreme Court has plenary power to “make rules governing the administration of all courts in the State and, subject to the law, the practice and procedure in all such courts.”  That includes the power to make and amend Court Rules.  The Court has the ability to deal with Court Rules either through rulemaking or in the context of a particular litigation, as discussed, for example, in Busik v. Levine, 63 N.J. 351 (1973).  read more

The Supreme Court announced late yesterday that it has granted review of the Appellate Division’s decision in Department of Children and Families v. E.D.-O., 434 N.J. Super. 154 (App. Div. 2014).  The Appellate Division’s ruling is discussed here.  The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Did a parent fail to exercise the minimum degree of care required by N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b) when she left her nineteen-month-old child unattended in a motor vehicle while she entered a nearby store?” read more

O’Boyle v. Borough of Longport, ___ N.J. ___ (2014).  The “common interest” doctrine permits multiple parties, who are represented by different counsel, to share information without destroying attorney-client privilege.  The question in this case was whether the common interest rule protects otherwise privileged documents in the context of the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. (“OPRA”), and the common law right to obtain access to governmental records.   read more

My firm, Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC, was successful in two Appellate Division cases within the last few days.  Last week, in Villaquiran v. All-State International, Inc.,  2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1633 (App.  Div. July 8, 2014), one of my cases, the Appellate Division reversed a ruling of the Law Division that an employee (LDG’s client on appeal, but represented by different counsel below) who had sued his former employer, All-State, for employment discrimination, had agreed to settle his case.  All-State had contended that plaintiff agreed to a settlement, but plaintiff’s sworn evidence was that he had not agreed to the settlement terms.   read more

Chief Justice Rabner announced today that Judges Higbee, Manahan, and Sumners will move to the Appellate Division effective on August 1.  All three had been temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division earlier this year, so today’s announcement does not come as a surprise.  Judge Higbee authored her first  published appellate opinion fifteen days ago, and it likely will not be long until the other two judges achieve that milestone.  Congratulations, and welcome! read more

In re Opinion No. 17-2012 of the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, ___ N.J. ___ (2014).  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common resource of indigent individuals who must file for bankruptcy.  Many Chapter 7 cases are “no-asset cases,” in which the debtor has nothing to distribute to creditors.  As a result, those cases are effectively non-adversarial, since there is literally nothing to fight over.  read more