A “Miranda Warnings” Case and a “New Business Rule” Case for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in two new cases. One of them implicates the warnings required under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The other addresses the continued validity of the so-called “new business rule” of Weiss v. Revenue Bldg. & Loan Ass’n, 116 N.J.L. 208 (E & A 1936). [Disclosure: I represent that petitioners in that case.]

The Miranda case is State v. Sims, an attempted murder case. The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Were the officers required to advise defendant, who was not charged with any offenses at the time, why he was arrested before proceeding with the custodial interrogation, and was the victim’s out-of-court identification of defendant admissible where the victim did not testify at trial?” The Court granted the State’s petition for certification, and the case is also before the Court as of right, since there was a partial dissent in the Appellate Division. The majority reversed the Law Division’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress a statement that he gave, on the grounds that he was not properly advised of the charges against him prior to giving the statement under interrogation.

The Supreme Court accelerated this matter and imposed a peremptory briefing schedule. Any motions to participate as an amicus are due by June 7, 2021 and are required to include the proposed amicus curiae brief.

The “new business rule” case is Schwartz v. Menas. The question presented is “Does the new business rule, which bars damages for the prospective profits of a new business, bar plaintiff’s experts’ reports estimating lost-profit damages from development projects that plaintiffs alleged were thwarted by defendants?” In the two consolidated cases at issue, the Appellate Division affirmed the decisions of the same Law Division judge that the new business rule barred plaintiffs’ damages expert, which led to summary judgment for defendants in both cases.