Roach v. BM Motoring, LLC, ___ N.J. ___ (2017).  Plaintiffs bought used cars from defendants.  In connection with those purchases, plaintiffs signed Dispute Resolution Agreements (“DRA’s”) that required any disputes to be arbitrated “in accordance with the rules” of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”).  Several months later, plaintiffs filed for arbitration with the AAA, asserting claims under consumer protection statutes.  The DRA’s required defendants to pay filing fees for the arbitration, but defendants neither paid the fees nor otherwise responded.  No arbitration proceeded. read more

Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  On February 6, 2017, the Appellate Division issued a published opinion in this case, which was discussed here.  In that opinion, the panel dismissed defendant’s cross-appeal from the denial of its motion for summary judgment because defendant had not included in the appellate appendix all items submitted to the Law Division, in violation of Rule 2:6-1(a)(1). read more

Today, the Supreme Court announced an amendment to Rule 1:21-3(b).  That rule has, until now, permitted third-year law students at ABA-approved law schools to appear before trial courts or agencies in conjunction with a legal services or public interest organization or law school clinic certified under Rule 1:21-11(b)(1), or an agency of municipal, county, or state government certified under Rule 1:21-11(b)(3).  The amended rule announced today inserts “the Appellate Division” as another venue before which third-year law students may appear in conjunction with such organizations or agencies. read more

Matejek v. Watson, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  Sometimes, judicial opinions do not require the citation of many cases in order to reach their result.  That can be most true in cases involving Chancery issues, where inventive solutions sometimes go beyond what precedent may offer.  Today’s opinion by Judge Fisher in an environmental case is an example. read more

State v. Jones, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  In the “old days,” when judicial opinions appeared only in books, there was a procedure for withdrawing an Appellate Division opinion that had been approved for publication.  At that time, paper volumes of opinions approved for publication were released every week.  When there were enough pages in those soft-covered issues to fill a volume of New Jersey Superior Court Reports, the weekly paper versions were replaced by the bound volume.  If, for any reason, circumstances arose that required the withdrawal of an opinion that had been approved for publication and disseminated in the weekly issues, a notation would appear in the bound volume to the effect that the opinion that had begun on that page of the paper version had been withdrawn. read more

Wolens v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  In the opening paragraph of his opinion for the Appellate Division today, Judge Sabatino encapsulated virtually this entire case: read more

Serico v. Rothberg, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  In this medical malpractice case, plaintiff and defendant entered into a “high-low” agreement while awaiting a jury verdict.  As Judge Rothstadt noted in his opinion in this case today, such an agreement “guarantees a plaintiff a minimum recovery and limits a defendant’s exposure to an agreed upon amount, regardless of the jury’s award, if any.”  The low was $300,000 and the high was $1 million.  Before trial, plaintiff had offered to accept judgment for $750,000, inclusive of costs and prejudgment interest.  Defendant did not respond that offer. read more

Ricci v. Ricci, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  As Judge Lihotz observed in the opening sentence of her opinion for the Appellate Division in this case, Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529 (1982), established the principle that “the privilege of parenthood carries with it the duty to assure a necessary education for children.”  That duty applies, however, only to children who are not emancipated.  “A determination of emancipation is a legal issue, imposed when the fundamental dependent relationship between parent and child ends.”  That determination is fact-sensitive, and requires findings and conclusions. read more