Supreme Court Will Decide on Retroactivity of W.J.A. v. D.A. Defamation Decision

In W.J.A. v. D.A., 210 N.J. 229 (2012), discussed here, the Supreme Court issued an important decision about presumed damages in defamation cases.  Now, the Supreme Cout has granted review of the Appellate Division’s decision in Nuwave Investment Corp. v. Hyman Beck & Co., 432 N.J. Super. 539 (App. Div. 2013).  There, among other rulings, the Appellate Division relied on W.J.A. to vacate a damage award in its entirety, including a component of over $1 million in presumed damages for defamation.  The questions presented to the Supreme Court, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, are “Following the Court’s decision in W.J.A. v. D.A., 210 N.J. 229 (2012), may presumed damages be awarded in a defamation action where actual damages are proven, and, if so, may presumed damages be awareded in more than a nominal amount?  Does the holding of W.J.A. v. D.A. apply retroactively?”