Editorials

01/17/2017- NJ Supreme Court-

Court's Mind Made Up on the Statute of Limitations—For Now

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

Over the past half-century, the issue of which state's statute of limitation should be applied in a multi-state tort action has repeatedly been changed by our Supreme Court. What the court has now done is restore, in a large measure, the original test.

Racial Bias Serious Enough to 'Crack' Jury Room Door

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

The U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado unlocks the jury room door only a well-circumscribed crack—a crack justified by the unique place that our jury system plays in our democracy, and the pernicious history of racial bias that we are still struggling to overcome.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

Defense Bar: Heed 'Mauti' Ruling

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

A recent Appellate Division ruling does not undercut plea-bargaining, but defense counsel must be careful about what they say and the context in which it is said.

Internet Evidence Has Limits

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

A recent Tax Court decision holds that professional standards require an appraiser to "verify information with a party to the transaction to ensure its accuracy and gain insight into the motivation behind each transaction." We agree, and we think that the principle has broader application when the internet has allowed anyone to be his or her own publisher.

Clarify Frivolous Litigation Rule's Applicability to Appeals

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

The Supreme Court has not explicitly made the frivolous litigation rule applicable to appeals that would be considered frivolous under the same criteria. We ask the Civil Practice Committee to recommend this beneficial and overdue procedural clarification to the court.

Preserve the Johnson Amendment

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

Clergy can say whatever they want about political candidates, but taxpayers shouldn't be forced to subsidize this speech by providing tax exemptions.

Open-ended Questions Ensure Open-minded Jury Panel

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

The open-ended question mandate has too often been ignored by trial courts.

New Jersey State Police.

Court Tiptoed Past Waiver Issue in State Trooper's Disability Case

By Editorial Board |

Although the Supreme Court made an end run around its own decision to achieve justice, we think it should have exercised its authority over the common law and expressly recognized that litigation conduct may constitute a waiver of immunity and that the conduct in this case constituted such a waiver.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch meets with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) at the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Give Gorsuch a Fair Hearing

By Editorial Board |

Without in any way excusing or condoning the prior obstruction of Senate Republicans, we believe Judge Neil Gorsuch is entitled to a full and fair Senate hearing as early as practicable.

Left to right, immigration lawyer Junaid Sulahry stands in the international arrivals hall of San Francisco International Airport with fellow attorney volunteers Julie Hiatt and Marianna, who declined to give her last name.

In Honor of Intervening Lawyers

By Editorial Board |

The intervention of lawyers and others brought the glare of the legal process to the immediate flaws of the executive action.

Court Rightly Sent Clear Message in Latest Mt. Laurel Ruling

By Editorial Board |

The court stood by precedent, and stated loudly and clearly that the new justices would not go back on solid, established state constitutional obligations. We applaud the court's steady adherence to our state constitution.

U.S. District Judge James Robart of the Western District of Washington

Stop Disparaging Judges

By Editorial Board |

Coming from the president, such statements are reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest terms by all who subscribe to the principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary—two of the most important bedrocks of our system of government. We do so here.

Media outside the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit.

Plenary Power Must Not Sanction Religious Exclusion

By Editorial Board |

We hope and trust that when put to the test, the plenary power of the United States to control immigration will not be extended to the exclusion or special scrutiny of individuals on the ground of religious belief.

Address Family Court Delays

By Editorial Board |

It cannot be that cases that mediators or arbitrators find resolvable in a short time should be dragging on in the courts as the seasons change.

Allow Citation to Unpublished Opinions

By Editorial Board |

It is time for the court rules to catch up with the practice and technology concerning the use of unpublished appellate opinions.

Clarity Needed on 'Spokeo' Class Action Standing

By Editorial Board |

Efforts to draw a line, and ensure that Fair Credit Report Act class actions focus on harm to the plaintiffs, are playing out in two cases pending in New Jersey.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

To Thwart Forum Shopping, Make Clear Ruling on Jurisdiction

By Editorial Board |

We predict BNSF will fall and so hope. The decision below encourages rampant forum shopping, which already has affected Montana—where, according to the certiorari petition, there are 32 pending FELA actions brought by plaintiffs who are not Montana residents, were not injured there, and do not allege any Montana-related transgressions.

Richard Posner.

Posner's Barbs Emphasize Need for Commentary Restraints

By Editorial Board |

We believe there should be ethical limits on comments about the judiciary from within in terms of their impact on the public's perception of the fairness and competence of its decision-making—and, in turn, on the public's confidence in the judiciary.

Bernards Township, NJ. Wikimedia

Township: Give Up the Fight Against Mosque Construction

By Editorial Board |

The Township of Bernards faces a decision: if they appeal and continue the fight, they will exacerbate conflicts in the community, and will incur further counsel fees in an already burdensome effort to prevent construction of a house of worship.

N.J. Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner

Legislature Must Heed Court's Call on Juvenile Sentencing

By Editorial Board |

Our Supreme Court has now written another compassionate chapter in our sentencing jurisprudence, affording a meaningful opportunity to youthful offenders serving the effective equivalent of a life sentence to demonstrate that they have in fact changed and should be free. We urge our Legislature to quickly act.

Practice Restrictions on Retired State Judges Go Too Far

By Editorial Board |

We believe that rule goes too far, and that our retired judges should be permitted to write briefs and argue cases pro bono, for legal services organizations and the Public Defender's Office.

Hughes Justice Complex, Trenton, New Jersey.

In Reversing Disbarment, Court Recognizes Second Chances

By Editorial Board |

The Luciano case is important because it makes clear that the court understands the consequences of disbarment to an attorney, and gave one the chance to present additional proofs to vindicate himself, even though his disbarment proceedings complied with due process and had achieved finality. For this, the court warrants our respect, and the system has greatly benefited.

Law Doesn't Define Patriotism

By Editorial Board |

We suggest that faux patriotism is not always patriotism at all.

Revamped Remediation Rule Yields Absurd Result

By Editorial Board |

A recent decision by the Appellate Division highlights unintended consequences in the Department of Environmental Protection's site remediation program and the need to tweak the system to avoid unnecessary costs and delays to the regulated community.

2016 NJ State of the State Address by Gov. Chris Christie (right), Sen. Stephen Sweeney.

Adoptees' Right to Birth Records

By Editorial Board |

For many years, adoptees in New Jersey have been unable to have access to their birth records and to the names of their birth parents. We commend the Legislature and the governor for bringing New Jersey into line with many other states with respect to this subject.

Chief judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Welcoming Garland Back to D.C. Circuit

By Editorial Board |

Perhaps not so quietly, Judge Merrick Garland has resumed hearing cases on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Council on Local Mandates Faces Stiff Test on Bail Reform Query

By Editorial Board |

The New Jersey Association of Counties, representing at least nine counties, has filed a complaint with the Council on Local Mandates. Many of the new criminal justice reform requirements are said to be unfunded mandates. If the council were to so rule, it would undo the entire statutory criminal justice reform initiative.

Legislative Veto Ruling Was Right

By Editorial Board |

A recent Appellate Division decision sheds new light on legislative-executive relations. We commend the Appellate Division's reasoning to our Supreme Court if it reviews the case. Otherwise, the decision provides important guidance for the Legislature and the courts.

New York's Physical Office Rule Needs Supreme Court Review

By Editorial Board |

In 2008 Princeton solo Ekaterina Schoenefeld persuaded a New York federal judge that the requirement of New York Judiciary Law section 470, requiring out-of-state lawyers to maintain a physical office in New York, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In 2015, a divided panel of the Second Circuit reversed. The U.S. Supreme Court is our last best hope. It should grant Schoenefeld's petition for certiorari.

Preserve Newspaper Legal Notices

By Editorial Board |

At a time when we appreciate freedom of the press more than ever and worry about its survival, it would be bad policy for the Legislature to take the business of publishing legal notices from newspapers and allow municipalities to post notices on their own websites instead. But that is exactly what a bill—fast-tracked with Gov. Christie's support—would have done. Fortunately, after being met with a public outcry, the measure was withdrawn. It should not come back.