As the role of administrative agencies has grown, it has happened that more than one agency has, or arguably has, jurisdiction over the same matter.  How is it determined which agency should act?  On this date in 1978, the Supreme Court decided Hinfey v. Matawan Regional Bd. of Educ., 77 N.J. 514 (1978), which addressed that very issue. read more

In a Notice to the Bar issued today, which is available here, Judge Messano announced new guidelines for emergent applications in the Appellate Division.  Those guidelines will take effect on September 14, 2015.  There will also be a revised Application for Permission to File Emergent Motion, which is the document that is used to initiate the emergent motion process. read more

National Ass’n for the Advancement of Multijurisdiction Practice (NAAMP) v. Castille, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  For many years, New Jersey has not offered “reciprocity” to allow attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions to become members of the New Jersey Bar without taking the Bar examination.  As a result, other jurisdictions will not provide reciprocity to attorneys licensed in New Jersey.  Pennsylvania is one of those jurisdictions, as provided in Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 204, read more

National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Governor of the State of New Jersey, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  In 2012, in an effort to aid Atlantic City, New Jersey passed the Sports Wagering Act, N.J.S.A. 5:12A-1 et seq.  That law permitted gambling on sports, which previously had been banned by statute and by the New Jersey Constitution.  The NCAA and professional sports leagues sued to enjoin the law, contending that it violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. §3701 et seq. (“PASPA”).  New Jersey conceded that the Sports Wagering Act violated PASPA, but argued that PASPA was unconstitutional.  The District Court found PASPA constitutional, and the Third Circuit affirmed that ruling.  The bottom line was that New Jersey could repeal its ban on sports betting, but PASPA forbade New Jersey to authorize sports betting by law. read more

Qian v. Toll Brothers, Inc.., ___ N.J. ___ (2015).  In Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, 207 N.J. 191 (2011), discussed here, the Supreme Court ruled that a condominium association was not liable to a person who was injured after falling on a public sidewalk that adjoined the residential condominium community.  The issue in this case was whether a homeowners association was liable for a fall on a sidewalk that was owned and controlled by that association.  In an opinion by Justice Albin, the Court unanimously found that the association could be liable.  The Court reversed the decisions of the two courts below, which had granted summary judgment dismissing the complaint. read more

Opderbeck v. Midland Park Bd. of Educ., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  The Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 to -21 (“OPMA”), adopted in 1975, requires advance notice to the public of the “agenda, to the extent known” for a meeting of a public body covered by the OPMA.  In this case, the Law Division ruled that if the defendant Board of Education posts a meeting agenda on its website, the Board must also post “copies of any appendices, attachments, reports, and other documents referred to in the agenda,” unless some privilege or exemption applied.  The Board appealed, and the Appellate Division, applying the de novo standard of review to the purely legal issue presented, reversed in an opinion by Judge Fuentes.  The definition of “agenda,” the panel ruled, “does not impose a legal obligation on public bodies to provide copies of any appendices, attachments, reports, or other documents referred to in their agendas.” read more

Department of Children & Families v. E.D.-O., ___ N.J. ___ (2015).  Child abuse and neglect cases are often heartbreaking.  Branding a parent as abusive and neglectful is a hard step to take, but is sometimes necessary to protect the child.  Such cases make their way to the Supreme Court only in relatively unusual circumstances, as was true in Division of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.L., 213 N.J. 1 (2013), discussed here. read more

In re Tribune Media Company, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  Roughly one month ago, Judge Krause authored a powerful concurring opinion in In re One2One Communications, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. July 21, 2015), that criticized the bankruptcy doctrine of equitable mootness and advocated that it be reevaluated or even discarded.  That opinion is discussed here.  Today, the Third Circuit issued an opinion involving Tribune Media Company that found that an appeal was equitably moot.  None of the same judges who comprised the panel in One2One (Chief Judge McKee and Judges Greenaway and Krause) were on the panel in today’s case.  That panel consisted of Judges Ambro, Vanaskie,and Shwartz, with Judge Ambro writing the panel’s opinion. read more