There are times when a non-party to a case would like to have his, her, or its views heard by an appellate court.  A way to do that is to become an amicus curiae (in English, a friend of the court).  But when is one able to do that? read more

State v. Buckner, ___ N.J. ___ (2015).  In one of the biggest cases of the current the Supreme Court term, the Court today upheld the practice of permitting retired judges to serve temporarily on recall.  The vote was 5-1.  Chief Justice Rabner wrote the majority opinion.  Justice Albin filed a dissent.  The decision affirms the ruling of the Appellate Division, 437 N.J. .Super. 8 (App. Div. 2014), which split 2-1 n the issue, as discussed here. read more

Fernandes v. DAR Development Corp., ___ N.J. ___ (2015).  Kane v. Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., 278 N.J. Super. 129 (App. Div.1994), aff’d o.b., 143 N.J. 141 (1996), ruled that the comparative negligence of an employee who is injured in a workplace accident may be submitted to the jury in appropriate circumstances.  The plaintiff there, who had been sitting on a steel beam of a partially completed structure, was injured when a strap attached to a column snapped, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground. read more

Twenty seven years ago today, the Supreme Court decided Waterson v.  General Motors Corp., 111 N.J. 238 (1988).  Until then, the Court had not spoken about the effect of seat belt usage on principles of contributory or comparative negligence. read more

Gonzalez v. Hugelmeyer, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  This auto accident case went to trial and produced a verdict for plaintiffs.  The defendant driver appealed, and the Appellate Division, perceiving multiple errors in the trial, reversed and remanded for a new trial.  Judge Sabatino wrote the panel’s opinion. read more

In re One2One Communications, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  This post about In re Semicrude, L.P., 728 F.3d 314 (3d Cir. 2013), which discussed the bankruptcy doctrine of equitable mootness noted that “the Third Circuit is not wild about equitable mootness,” but that “the panel could not, of course, overrule the en banc decision in [In re] Continental [Airlines, 91 F.3d 553 (3d Cir. 1996) (en banc)].”  Continental had adopted the doctrine by a 7-6 vote. read more

Allstate New Jersey Ins. Co. v. Lajara, ___ N.J. ___ (2015).  The Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 17:33A-1 to-30 (“IFPA”), permits insurance companies to sue those who engage in insurance fraud, and to recover compensatory and treble damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and other forms of relief.  Plaintiff Allstate and its affiliated companies sued 63 defendants under the IFPA.  Plaintiffs’ complaint demanded a jury trial, but plaintiffs later were allowed to withdraw that demand over the objection of defendants, who sought a jury trial.  The Law Division denied defendants’ request, and the Appellate Division, on leave to appeal, affirmed in an opinion reported at 433 N.J. Super. 20 (App. Div. 2013) and discussed here.  The Supreme Court granted defendants’ motion for leave to appeal, and today the Court reversed the decisions below by a 6-0 vote.  Justice Albin wrote the Court’s opinion. read more

Evankavitch v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  “[A]bsent compelling reasons to the contrary, a party seeking shelter in an exception to the statute has the burden of proving it.”  So stated Judge Krause in the third-from-last sentence of this opinion involving the jury charge in a case under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”).  The panel upheld the jury charge and affirmed a verdict in favor of the FDCPA plaintiff. read more