Benjoray, Inc. v. Academy House Child Development Center, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2014).  In general, landlord-tenant cases are intended to proceed in the Special Civil Part.  The presumption is that such cases are suitable for disposition without the full panoply of discovery and other procedures that the Law or Chancery Divisions afford.  The goal of the summary dispossess statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:18-51 to -61 is, as Judge O’Connor stated in this opinion, “to provide landlords with a swift and simple method of obtaining possession.”  N.J.S.A. 2A:18-60, however, allows transfer to the Law Division of a landlord-tenant case that is of “sufficient importance.”  Defendant, a child development center, sought to transfer this commerical tenancy matter to the Law Division.  That application was denied in the Special Civil Part.  On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed and ordered transfer. read more

Some people have complaints about the Justices of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, though our Court in fact remains at or near the top of all state Supreme Courts in the United States.  But to see a state Supreme Court that is truly an embarrassment, one need look no further than across the Delaware River, to Pennsylvania.  Last year, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Justice Joan Orie Melvin resigned her seat after being convicted of multiple counts of theft of services, conspiracy, and misappropriating state property.  Justice Orie Melvin had wrongly used state employees in her campaigns for election to the Supreme Court.  Her conviction was affirmed on appeal on August 21, 2014. read more

Saturday, October 18 is the fourth anniversary of this New Jersey Appellate Law blog.  Last year’s anniversary post noted that plaintiffs in Carrera v. Bayer Corp., 727 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. 2013), had cited the blog in their petition to the Third Circuit seeking en banc review.  Thereafter, defendants in that case too cited the blog.  An article earlier this year by Peter B. Rutledge and Christopher R. Drahozal, “Sticky” Arbitration Clauses?  The Use of Arbitration Clauses After Concepcion and Amex,”  67 Vand. L. Rev. 955 (2014), cited this blog’s critical comments about AT&T Mobiliity v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011). read more

Flintkote Company v. Aviva PLC, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2014).  Efforts to force arbitration on parties who did not agree to it continue.  In this case, however, the Third Circuit, speaking through Judge Vanaskie, refused to allow that.  read more

In re Petition of BofI Federal Bank to Assign Lottery Prize Payment Rights, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2014).  These consolidated cases called on the Appellate Division to decide whether N.J.A.C. 17:20-7.9(j), which states that “no one shall have the right to assign [New Jersey Lottery] prize payments due during the last two years of the annuity term,” conflicts with its enabling statute, N.J.S.A. 5:19-13(h), which says that “[a] winner shall not be permitted to assign the last two annual prize payments.”  In each case, the Law Divsion found no conflict and rejected petitions by BofI Federal Bank to obtain assignments of the last two years of guaranteed quarterly payments.  BoI had filed those petitions because the relevant statute makes court approval a prerequisite to any assignment of lottery payments.  According deference to the administrative agency that promulgated the regulation, and viewing the statute in light of its intended purpose, the Appellate Division affirmed in an opinion by Judge Higbee. read more

This week’s New Jersey Law Journal contains the result of a Law Journal survey of practitioners who were asked to rate the judges of the Appellate Division in nine separate categories on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest ranking.  [Disclosure:  I was one of the practitioners who received the survey and who voted].  The Law Journal also produced an “overall score” for each of the 26 Appellate Division judges listed.  The full survey results appear at 217 N.J.L.J. 989 (Sept. 29, 2014).  read more

Valley Nat’l Bank v. Meier, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2014).  In this case, defendant sought to foist a wholly unjust result on plaintiff in connection with a foreclosure action.  Judge Fisher, writing for the Appellate Division, would have none of that, going so far as to state that it would be hard to characterize defendant’s conduct as “anything short of a fraud” on plaintiff. read more

Today’s post is another guest post by Jeffrey A. Shooman, my colleague at Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC. read more