The Supreme Court denied certification in In re Grant of Charters to Merit Preparatory School and Newark Preparatory Charter School, 435 N.J. Super. 273 (App. Div. 2014).  The Appellate Division’s decision is discussed here.  The case involved the grant of charters to two blended online/bricks-and-mortar charter schools, and the Appellate Division rejected challenges to the issuance of those charters.  [Disclosure:  My partner at Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLCMichael Patunas, and our colleague Jeffrey A. Shooman, were co-counsel for Newark Preparatory Charter School].  The New Jersey Education Association filed a petition for certification that sought review of the Appellate Division’s decision, but the Supreme Court denied that petition, bringing the matter to a close. read more

Irwin I. Kimmelman, who served as an Assemblyman in the 1960′s, as Attorney General of the State of New Jersey in the Kean administration from 1982-86, and as a judge of the Superior Court, died last Friday.  He actually had two separate stints as a judge.  The first, from 1970-76, ended when he returned to private practice.  Reappointed to the bench again in 1989, Judge Kimmelman was promoted to the Appellate Division in 1994.  He remained there until he retired in 2000, though he later served on the Appellate Division as a recall judge as well. read more

Washington v. Perez, ___ N.J. ___ (2014).  Under certain circumstances, a party is entitled to a charge that permits a jury to draw an adverse inference from an opposing party’s failure to call a witness whose testimony would naturally have been expected to be presented were it favorable to the party who might have called that witness.  The two leading cases in this area are State v. Clawans, 38 N.J. 162 (1962), and State v. Hill, 199 N.J. 545 (1999).  Neither of those cases, however, nor any other Supreme Court case, had addressed the question whether an adverse inference charge is proper in a personal injury action where “a party declines to present the testimony of expert witnesses whose opinions have been disclosed in accordance with the discovery rules.”  Defendant had elected not to call two experts who would have testified about the causation of plaintiff’s injuries.  In a unanimous opinion by Justice Patterson, the Court concluded that such an inference was not appropriate. read more

Grandalski v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2014).  Plaintiffs filed a putative class action in which they alleged that defendant, a company that performs medical lab tests, had overbilled patients in violation of state consumer protection laws.  The District Court denied class certification and also granted a motion for summary judgment against one plaintiff on her claim under a New York consumer protection statute, New York General Business Law §349.  Plaintiffs appealed, but the Third Circuit affirmed on all issues in an opinion by Judge Rendell. read more

Last night, the Morris County Bar Association presented “New Jersey Appellate Practice:  Tips from the Bench and Bar.”  The program and participants were discussed here.  Roughly 125 people attended, and everyone learned some new things and heard again some familiar things.  A sampling follows. read more

New Century Financial Services, Inc. v. Oughla, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2014).  This case encompassed two consolidated collection cases.  Opposing counsel in these matters regularly face off against each other in high-volume collection cases and each is familiar with many of the tactics employed by the other.  [Disclosure:  I have represented the law firm that acted as counsel for plaintiffs in these cases].  Cases like these rarely reach the appellate courts, and when they do they rarely produce comprehensive opinions that serve as guideposts for an entire bar.  The opinion in these cases, however, by Judge Accurso, is one that any collection lawyer, whether representing plaintiffs or defendants, will have to know and follow. read more

Bloomfield 206 Corp. v. City of Hoboken, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2175 (App. Div. Sept. 4, 2014).  It is not the goal of this blog to publicize the successes of my firm, Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC.  Nonetheless, we have recently had a run of successes in the Appellate Division, especially in the area of municipal law, as discussed here, here, and here.  Today, the Appellate Division affirmed rulings by four different Law Division judges in this rent control case, another victory for my partner Victor Afanador. read more

The 18th Annual American Bar Association Class Actions Institute will take place on October 23 and 24 at theWit Hotel in Chicago.  The full brochure for the Institute can be found hereread more