Three More Grants of Certification by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced late yesterday that it has granted certification in three more cases.  In the first matter, Serico v. Rothberg, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Did plaintiff waive her right to pursue attorney’s fees, pursuant to the offer of judgment rule (R. 4:58-1 to -6), by entering into a high-low agreement without expressly reserving her right to recover fees?”  The opinion of the Appellate Division, which was discussed here, affirmed a ruling of the Law Division that the “high” was a cap and that plaintiff could not recover fees above that cap.

The second appeal is RSI Bank v. The Providence Mutual Fire Ins. Co.  The question presented there is “May the victim of an alleged crime pursue a civil action to enforce a criminal restitution order entered as a condition in a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) agreement?”  In an unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division affirmed the Law Division’s decision that such a lawsuit was permissible.

Finally, the Court will review State in the Interest of A.R.  The question presented on that appeal is “Was defendant denied his right to confrontation when the trial court allowed the prosecution to present the minor victim’s hearsay statements at trial, despite finding that the victim was not competent to testify under the criteria of N.J.R.E. 601?”  In an opinion reported at 447 N.J. Super. 485 (App. Div. 2016), the Appellate Division ruled that defendant’s right to confrontation had been violated.  Now the Supreme Court will weigh in.