Williams v. American Auto Logistics, 226 N.J. 117 (2016).  Parties who fail to follow procedural rules are a source of frustration to busy trial judges.  As Justice Fernandez-Vina noted in today’s opinion for a unanimous Supreme Court, courts have “a panoply of sanctions in [their] arsenal” to redress violations of procedural rules.  In this Special Civil Part case, which plaintiff originally filed pro se, the Court stated that striking a jury demand is n

Dietz v. Bouldin, ___ U.S. ___ (2016).  When a judge discharges a jury in a civil case, and only thereafter realizes that the jury verdict contains an error, is there anything that can be done?  That was the question in this case, decided today by the Supreme Court of the United States.  By a 6-2 vote, the Court held that a judge has inherent, but limited, power to recall the jury for further deliberations.  Justice Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and J

Torres v. Pabon, 225 N.J. 167 (2016).  As Justice Patterson explained in her decision today for a unanimous Supreme Court, “cumulative error” exists when “the aggregate effect of a series of errors” deprives a party of a fair trial.  In such a case, a court “need not consider whether each individual error was prejudicial.”  In today’s decision, which involved an automobile negligence case, the Court found cumulative error, based on five separate mista