Smith v. Datla, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  This opinion by Judge Geiger was his first published opinion since his elevation to the Appellate Division.  It involved the applicable statute of limitations for each of three distinct claims that all arose out of a statement by defendant, plaintiff’s doctor, about plaintiff’s HIV-positive status in the presence of a third party.  Plaintiff (John Smith is a fictitious name) alleged that that disclosure constituted invasion of his privacy based on public disclosure of private facts, constituted medical malpractice, and represented a violation of the AIDS Assistance Act, N.J.S.A. 26:5C-1 to -14 (“the AIDS Act”). read more

Grande v. Saint Clare’s Health System, ___ N.J. ___ (2017).  Today’s unanimous, scholarly opinion by Justice Solomon, with an equally scholarly concurring opinion by Jsutice LaVecchia, arose from an appeal as of right in this Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) case.  The Appellate Division split 2-1 as to whether there were genuine issues of material fact for trial, with the majority concluding that there were such issues.  The defendant, Saint Clare’s, appealed, and the Supreme Court found that there were disputed material issues for trial.  The Court affirmed the decision below as modified, and remanded the matter to the Law Division for further proceedings. read more

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted review in McDaid v. Aztec West Condominium Association.  The question presented in that appeal, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Does the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (a Latin phrase meaning ‘the thing speaks for itself’) apply to plaintiff’s claims for injuries resulting from her being struck by a closing elevator door in her condominium complex?” read more

Ocwen Loan Services, LLC v. Quinn, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  The doctrine of equitable subrogation provides that “a refinancing lender whose security turns out to be defective is subrogated by equitable assignment to the position of the lender whose lien discharged by the proceeds of [a] later loan, there being no prejudice to or justified reliance by a party in adverse interest.”  In today’s decision by Judge Carroll, the Appellate Division faced a situation in which a lender agreed in 2007 to refinance a 2005 mortgage.  The title search for the 2007 mortgage did not reveal recorded life estates in the property in favor of defendants. read more

Fisher v. City of Millville, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  Article VIII, section 1, paragraph 3 of the New Jersey Constitution allows the Legislature to enact legislation that grants tax exemptions to veterans.  The Legislature has done that, providing (as one available option) a property tax exemption to honorably discharged veterans who have been declared disabled as a result of injury in “active service in time of war.”  Plaintiff in this case sought that exemption.  She had been injured in 2002 in a training exercise at Fort Wood in Missouri.  Later, she was transferred to Fort Stewart, Georgia, as part of a unit that was to deploy to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Due to her injuries, however, plaintiff did not deploy.  Instead, she remained behind, performing support duties.  She eventually got an honorable discharge and was declared 100% disabled. read more

Today, the 2017-18 General Assignment Order issued by Chief Justice Rabner was published.  It is available here. read more

Those of us who have handled pro bono appeals in the Appellate Division received notice from that court today that its Civil Pro Bono Program is being suspended.  The notice stated that “[d]ue to changes to the judiciary website the link to the pro bono cases is no longer active.  In addition, changes to security protocols make the prior system no longer secure.  Therefore, the Appellate Civil Pro Bono Program is now suspended.” read more

Dutch Run-Mays Draft, LLC v. Wolf Block, LLP, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  Issues of personal jurisdiction crop up fairly frequently, despite New Jersey’s settled principle of applying personal jurisdiction to the outer limits of what due process allows.  Today’s opinion by Judge Lihotz contains an exhaustive discussion of specific vs. general jurisdiction, in the context of a professional negligence action against a once-proud Philadelphia-based law firm that has since dissolved. read more