Two New Supreme Court Cases: A Direct Certification and an Appeal as of Right

The Supreme Court announced today that two more cases have been added to its docket. In one of them, the Court granted direct certification and ordered an accelerated schedule. The other is an appeal as of right due to a dissent in the Appellate Division.

The direct certification case is State v. Dangcil. The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Is the hybrid-virtual jury selection procedure adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under which certain aspects of the jury selection process are conducted remotely, constitutionally sound?” Other issues in the case, the Court said, “are severed and shall proceed in the Superior Court, Appellate Division in the ordinary course.”

The briefing and argument schedule is as follows. Defendant is to file a brief by 4:30 PM on May 17. The State, and anyone who already is or wishes to act as an amicus are to file their papers by 4:30 PM on May 27. Defendant and the State have until June 7 at 4:30 PM to file responses to amicus submissions or requests to participate as amici. The Court has scheduled oral argument for June 29, at a time to be determined.

The other new appeal is Sullivan v. Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. The 2-1 Appellate Division decision that led to this appeal as of right was discussed here, The Clerk’s office phrased the question presented as “Do real estate auction sales contracts prepared by attorneys, licensed real estate brokers, or salespersons need to contain the three-day attorney review clause mandated by N.J. State Bar Ass’n v. N.J. Ass’n of Realtor Boards, 93 N.J. 470 (1983), when a blank, pre-printed contract is sent to the bidder prior to the auction of a single family home and recommends that an attorney review the contract?” Affirming the Law Division, the Appellate Division majority held that the attorney review clause need not be included. The dissent disagreed, so that issue is now before the Supreme Court.