Two More Criminal Cases, and Another Arbitration Case, for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted certification to review three cases.  Two of them are criminal appeals.  The third is another case involving an arbitration agreement.

The first of the two criminal cases is State v. Jones.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “In this trial for attempted murder, did recorded phone conversations in which defendant discussed the victim’s death satisfy the State’s burden to show that he took a substantial step toward causing the victim’s death?”  The Appellate Division upheld defendant’s convictions on most of the counts of the indictment against him, but reversed the conviction on this particular charge of attempted murder.  The three-judge panel’s opinion was unpublished.

The question presented in the other criminal appeal, State v. Trinidad, is “Was the defendant denied a fair trial by the alleged victim’s comments referencing high profile cases of police brutality?”  In an unpublished opinion, a three-judge Appellate Division panel rejected defendant’s arguments and affirmed his convictions of defendant, a former police officer, for official misconduct, tampering with public records, simple and aggravated assault, and other crimes.

The arbitration case is Flanzman v. Jenny Craig, Inc.  The opinion of the Appellate Division, which was reported at 456 N.J. Super. 613 (App. Div. 2018), was discussed here.  The question presented is “Is this arbitration agreement invalid because it failed to identify any arbitration forum and any process for conducting the arbitration?”

The Supreme Court has decided a number of arbitration cases in recent years, including this one earlier this year.  The Court has pending before it another arbitration appeal, Goffe v. Foulke Management Corp., which was discussed here.  That case was argued on February 25.