The Supreme Court announced that it will review two new cases.  One is at the Court as of right, due to a dissent in the Appellate Division.  The Court granted certification in the other. read more

Spade v. Select Comfort Corp., ___ N.J. ___ (2018).  [Disclosure:  My partner Susana Cruz Hodge and I submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the plaintiffs in this case, on behalf of the Consumers League of New Jersey].  This closely-watched case (actually, two consolidated cases) was before the Supreme Court on two certified questions relating to the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 to -18 (“TCCWNA”) that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals posed.  Those questions were: (1) Does a violation of the Furniture Delivery Regulations alone constitute a violation of a clearly established right or responsibility of the seller under the TCCWNA and thus provide a basis for relief under the TCCWNA? and (2) Is a consumer who receives a contract that does not comply with the Furniture Delivery Regulations, but has not suffered any adverse consequences from the noncompliance, an “aggrieved consumer” under the TCCWNA? read more

The White House announced two nominees to fill seats on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  They are Paul Matey of New Jersey and David Porter of Pennsylvania. read more

Chief Justice Rabner has announced that Judges Lisa A. Firko and Arnold L. Nitali, Jr., have been temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division.  Both judges will serve in the Appellate Division, on Parts to be designated by the Appellate Division’s Presiding Judge for Administration, beginning on April 16 and continuing through June 24. read more

Morris v. T.D. Bank, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  This case arose out of a robbery at a T.D. Bank in Union, New Jersey.  Plaintiff, an African-American man, was waiting before a teller to make a withdrawal.  Another African-American man approached the teller before plaintiff and, unbeknownst to plaintiff, gave the teller a note that said “[b]ig bills please this is a hold up.”  The teller gave him a stack of bills, and the robber left the bank.  Plaintiff then moved up to the teller’s window. read more

Unsuccessful litigants sometimes try to persuade appellate courts to reconsider and amend or reverse their decisions.  Rarely does that succeed.  On this day in 1972, however, the Supreme Court, acting on new information provided not by a losing party, but by intervenors who joined the case after the Court’s initial decision, amended its original judgment in favor of the intervenors. read more

Gonzalez v. Owens Corning, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2018).  This putative class action case, brought by consumers in four states, asserted that “Oakridge” roof shingles sold by defendants (“Owens Corning”) were defective, and that defendants misrepresented the shingles’ useful life.  The District Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.  Plaintiffs sought interlocutory review of that ruling under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), which the Third Circuit granted.   With Judge Hardiman writing for the panel, the Third Circuit affirmed the denial of class certification, applying the abuse of discretion standard of review that applies to decisions regarding class certification. read more

In re Trust of Violet Nelson, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  As Judge Ostrer stated in his opinion in this case today, the issue was “whether a trial court may look beyond the apparently plain language of a trust that benefitted the settlor’s ‘grandchildren’ to determine whether the settlor intended to benefit only some of her grandchildren.”  The answer, the panel stated, was “yes,” with the result that a contrary partial summary judgment entered by the Chancery Division was reversed. read more