Pisack v. B&C Towing, Inc., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  This decision by Judge Gilson today in three consolidated appeals implicates the Predatory Towing Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 56:13-7 et seq. (“Towing Act”), the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq. (“CFA”), the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 et seq. (“TCCWNA”), and even the Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq. (“TCA”).  Thus, there is a lot that can be learned from this opinion. read more

Bowser v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemens Retirement System, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018); Mattia v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemens Retirement System, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  These two opinions, issued today by the same panel (though written by two different judges on that panel) illustrate that factual distinctions matter.  On the surface, the cases were similar: in each one, a corrections officer slipped and fell on ice in or on the way to the parking lot of his or her employer.  Each applied for accidental disability retirement benefits.  One plaintiff succeeded while the other did not. read more

Today, the New  Jersey Judiciary website began to display a notice on its home page that states “As of June 14, the Judiciary will discontinue support for older browsers in order to comply with information security regulations.  Recommended browsers include Internet Explorer version 10 or higher, Edge, Chrome, or Safari.  If pages do not display properly, you may need to update your browser or try a different browser.”  So if you go to the Judiciary website beginning on Thursday, June 14, and things look odd, the problem may be that your browser is no longer supported for this use. read more

China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, ___ U.S. ___ (2018).  In American Pipe & Const. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), the Supreme Court of the United States announced a rule that the timely filing of a class action tolls the statute of limitations for all of those who are encompassed within the class definition of the filed case.  If class certification is later denied, the statute begins to run again at that point, and additional cases can then be brought.  American Pipe, and a subsequent case, Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v. Parker, 462 U.S. 345 (1983), contained language that referred to subsequent individual cases, not sequential class actions.  The question in today’s opinion of the Court, which involved a securities fraud case governed by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSLRA”), was whether American Pipe tolling permits successive class actions, as opposed to individual actions.  In an opinion by Justice Ginsburg, the Court answered “no.”  The result was unanimous, though Justice Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. read more

Yarborough v. State Operated School District of the City of Newark, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  Plaintiff, a third-grade teacher in the Newark public schools, faced a conduct-unbecoming tenure charge for inflicting corporal punishment on two students, in violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:6-1.  An arbitrator found against plaintiff and imposed a 120-day suspension without pay.  Plaintiff sought to vacate that ruling in the Law Division, but that court denied that relief, effectively confirming the arbitration award.  On plaintiff’s appeal, the Appellate Division today affirmed.  Judge Moynihan wrote panel’s opinion. read more

According to the solar calendar, summer formally begins on June 21.  But the Appellate Division begins its summer schedule on June 18, as reflected in the summer Part schedule published here.  The summer is divided into six two-week “Sessions.”  Sessions 1 and 2, which begin on June 18 and July 1, respectively, will feature three two-judge Parts each, while each of the remaining sessions, the last of which ends on September 9, will see two Parts each. read more

Governor Murphy announced yesterday that he is nominating Justice Patterson for tenure on the Supreme Court.  Justice Patterson has served with distinction on the Court for the past seven years.  She has written important and well-crafted opinions, and she has made herself available for frequent appearances on continuing legal education panels and other desirably activities beyond her duties on the Court.  Early indications are that this nomination should have smooth sailing.  In my view, that is exactly as it should be.  Justice Patterson well deserves confirmation for tenure. read more

Giarusso v. Giarusso, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2018).  This opinion by Judge Geiger today involved an application for attorneys’ fees in a matrimonial matter by a well-known North Jersey firm.  The firm had represented the plaintiff wife in connection with post-judgment proceedings.  The firm rendered services to collect alimony and child support arrears from the defendant husband, as well as equitable distribution owed to the wife.  The wife did not pay any amounts to the firm after an initial $5,000 retainer. read more