This Week's News

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC Charges NJ Lawyer With Creating, Selling Sham Companies

Charles Toutant | May 13, 2016

A New Jersey lawyer and a California stock promoter have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with creating a series of shell corporations in order to defraud investors.

Michael Kwasnik

NJ Attorney, Father Face Charges of Stealing Client Funds

By Michael Booth |

Attorney Michael Kwasnik and his father have been indicted over a $13 million Ponzi scheme.

Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield building, Newark, NJ

State's Largest Health Care Carrier Pays $1 Million to Settle Data Theft Claims

By Michael Booth |

New Jersey's largest health insurance carrier has agreed to pay more than $1 million over claims it failed to protect the private data of more than half a million policyholders.

Donald Trump.

Cleary Gottlieb Publishes Trump 'Social Media Attack' Survival Guide

By C. Ryan Barber |

Since his election, President Donald Trump has not let go of his personal Twitter account—or his penchant for lashing out against companies on social media. That practice, unprecedented for a president in the internet age, has put companies on edge. And law firms are being called on to help corporate executives prepare for the fallout from drawing Trump's ire on Twitter. Cleary Gottlieb employed an acronym to describe the president's conduct: "SMA," for "social media attack."

YLD seeks nominations for annual awards

Feb. 24 is deadline to nominate young attorneys for awards

May it please the court

A primer on the state bar's amicus program

Newsletter Roundup

Excerpts from recent NJSBA newsletters

New trustee sworn in

A look at recent action by the NJSBA Board of Trustees

CAPITOL REPORT

A report on recent action in Trenton of interest to NJSBA members

Silence on Fees in High-Low Forecloses Recovery, Court Rules

By David Gialanella |

A medical malpractice plaintiff, who took the apparently rare step of seeking an attorney fee award under the offer-of-judgment rule after entering a high-low settlement, has failed to recover those fees thanks to an appeals court's holding that the settlement's silence on the issue was fatal.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Christie Signs Drug Addiction Legislation

By Michael Booth |

Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that targets problems with opioid addiction in New Jersey.

Stanley Chesler

Emcure, Teva Generics Blocked as Appeal Looms

By Tom McParland |

A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday blocked Emcure Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals from proceeding with generic versions of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals' bipolar disorder drug Latuda after the parties agreed to enter a final judgment that allows the defendants to appeal a key claims construction ruling.

Joanna Horsnail

Familiar With Life's Hurdles, Big Law Partner Seeks Partnership Track Reform

By Roy Strom |

Growing up in suburban Denver, Joanna Horsnail lived what she called a charmed life in America's solid middle class. Then she joined Mayer Brown, and life started punching back. Hard.

Class Action Against Wyndham Hotels Over Cost Disclosure Survives

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has rejected efforts by international hotel chain Wyndham Hotels and Resorts to throw out a proposed class action lawsuit against it over claims that its website didn't tell customers the full cost of their reservations before booking.

Libel Suit Against Boss-Rating Blog Headed to High Court

By David Gialanella |

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that has a significant bearing on media law in the internet age.

In the Matter of Application of State of New Jersey for Commc'n Data Warrants to Obtain Contents of Stored Commc'n from Twitter, Inc.

Audio Portion of Stored Data Was Not "Oral Communication" Requiring Wiretap Order and Could Be Acquired by CDW

The New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey

NJ Mandates Council Dismisses Counties' Bail Reform Funding Complaint

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Council on Local Mandates has dismissed a complaint filed by New Jersey's county governments that they are being illegally forced to pay for part of the state's nascent bail-reform system.

Mary Jo White.

Mary Jo White Takes Leadership Role at Debevoise as SEC Enters New Era

By Christine Simmons |

Debevoise & Plimpton has created a new leadership position for Mary Jo White, who returned to the firm Wednesday after chairing the Securities and Exchange Commission for nearly four years under the Obama administration.

US Federal District Judge Kevin McNulty, Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ.

Employer's Use of Rejected Birth Name Doesn't Make Discrimination Claim

By Max Mitchell |

An employer's making out a paycheck to a worker under his birth name, rather than a new name he assumed to emphasize his national origin, is not a discriminatory act, a federal judge has ruled in dismissing a case where the plaintiff sought nearly $3 million in compensation.

Ethics Rule Has Lit Funders Treading Carefully in Class Actions

By Ben Hancock |

Some industry players are steering clear of class actions because of a ban on attorneys sharing fees with nonlawyers. Others are willing to invest but structure their deals to avoid the rule.

Feds Propose Rule to Stabilize Marketplaces During ACA Repeal

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Federal health officials released a proposed rule on Wednesday that would significantly shorten the amount of time individuals would have to enroll in health insurance plans in 2018. It is an attempt to incentivize insurers to stay in the marketplace while the Trump administration dismantles the Affordable Care Act.

Law Journal Seeking 'GC Impact Award' Nominees

By David Gialanella |

As part of its professional excellence recognitions, the Law Journal invites nominees for General Counsel Impact Awards.

2016 N.J. State of the State Address by Gov. Chris Christie.

NJ Enacts Legislation Regulating Ride-Share Industry

By Michael Booth |

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation regulating the ride-sharing industry in the state.

Lowenstein Revenue Grows 1.8 Percent; PPP Inches Up 1 Percent

By David Gialanella |

Lowenstein Sandler saw incremental increases in gross revenue and average equity partner compensation in 2016, even as attorney head count stayed essentially flat.

Tim Ryan, Eckert Seamans' Longtime CEO, Abruptly Announces Resignation

By Zack Needles |

Timothy P. Ryan, who has led Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott for 12 years, informed the firm Monday that he will step down as chief executive officer, effective March 1.

$5M Case Illustrates Woes of Fee-Sharing Agreement Gone Bad

By Charles Toutant |

A fee-sharing dispute in a $5 million personal injury case could serve as a template and cautionary tale about what can go wrong when lawyers fail to attend to the details when entering into fee-splitting agreements.

New Jersey State Bar Foundation solicits candidates for trustee board

State bar foundation seeks board nominations

Attorneys who volunteer to coach mock trial teams benefit as much as students

Mock trial first-time attorney coaches benefit as much as students

NJSBA president stands up for profession and public in testimony

NJSBA president testifies on proposed changes to ethics rules

CAPITOL REPORT

A report on recent legislative action in Trenton of interest to NJSBA members

Crisis illustration

Citi Report: Growth Slowed in 2016

By Gretta Rusanow |

Last year was a better one than 2015 for the Am Law 50, and especially for the most profitable firms. The same can't be said for the rest of the industry.

New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino

Civil Rights Division Brings Wage Equity Suit Against Hotel Operator

By Charles Toutant |

New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights has filed a suit accusing the operator of a Hilton-branded hotel in Bergen County of paying women employees less than men who have the same job duties.

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.

Teen Injured in Auto Accident Awarded $4.1 Million Verdict in Bergen County

By Staff Reports |

In Kim v. Kim, a Bergen County jury awarded $4.1 million on Dec. 19 to a teenager who brought a claim against her father over injuries she suffered in a motor vehicle crash.

Filing Deadlines Tolled After Snow Closure

With Thursday's snowstorm closing the courts and court offices, filing deadlines were ordered tolled by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Scalia's chair and the bench were draped in black after his death on Feb. 13.

5 Ways Scalia’s Death Changed the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

It's been a year since the larger-than-life justice died unexpectedly, and in many ways, according to lawyers, the court feels like a different place.

Marie Lihotz

Judges Order Emancipation Hearing for NJ Woman Seeking College Funds From Parents

By Michael Booth |

In a case that has received national attention, a New Jersey woman who is seeking to have her estranged and divorced parents pay for her college education will have to show that she remains unemancipated if she is to have her parents cover those costs, a state appeals court ruled on Friday.

McCarter Revenue Up 1.7 Percent, PPP Jumps 11.9 Percent

By David Gialanella |
Laura Posner, left, and Linda Singer

At Cohen Millstein, a Reshuffling of the Partnership Ranks

By Scott Flaherty |

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, one of the nation's top plaintiffs firms, made a rare lateral hire this week by bringing on New Jersey's former top securities enforcer, Laura Posner, as a partner in New York. But Cohen Milstein also lost partners Linda Singer and Mimi Liu to rival plaintiffs firm Motley Rice.

Stryker V40 femoral head

Lawyers Seek Multicounty Litigation in Medical Device Claims Against Stryker

By Charles Toutant |

Plaintiffs lawyers are seeking multicounty litigation status in New Jersey courts for the Stryker LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chromium V40 Femoral Head made by Styker Orthopedics. The application, which was made public on Wednesday, follows a bid concerning the V40 Jan. 13 for federal multidistrict litigation status at the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where a three-judge panel heard arguments on the halting of the immigration ban.

Ninth Circuit, Asserting Its Role, Keeps Nationwide Block on Travel Ban in Place

By Ross Todd |

If there's a way to respond to a president who has taken aim at the federal judiciary, it's to speak with one voice. That's just what the Ninth Circuit did on Thursday with its per curiam opinion that struck back at the notion that a president's actions are unreviewable.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Whistleblower Lawyers Fret Over Leaks After Akin Gump Partner’s Arrest

By Ben Hancock |

Whistleblower lawyers who worked with Jeffrey Wertkin while he was at the Department of Justice said his role was pivotal in their False Claims Act litigation.

NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg

NJ Lawmakers Move on Bills Opposing Trump Immigration Policies

By Michael Booth |

Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature are sponsoring measures condemning President Donald Trump's ban on immigration for persons from certain Middle Eastern countries, The proposed measures would also bar state and local law enforcement, along with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police, from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Third Circuit Finds Ex-Employees Bound by Web-Based Noncompete Clause

By Charles Toutant |

Employees of payroll processor ADP who clicked a box on a company website after reading terms of the company's stock award program are bound by those terms, which include a noncompete clause, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld offices in Washington, D.C. November 10, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Akin Gump Partner's Arrest Highlights Hiring Risks for Firms

By Scott Flaherty |

Federal prosecutors have accused an Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner—and a government lawyer himself until last year—of hawking a copy of a nonpublic whistleblower complaint to a company facing a False Claims Act lawsuit.

FILE - In this June 5, 2013 file photo rescue personnel search the scene of a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia. The first wrongful-death lawsuit over the building collapse has been filed Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 by the family of an art school graduate killed inside a Salvation Army store. The June collapse killed 24-year-old Mary Lea Simpson of Haverford and five others. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

Salvation Army Building Collapse Case Settles for $227M, a Record Sum, Attorneys Say

By Max Mitchell |

Parties in the Salvation Army building collapse civil case have settled the matter for $227 million, an amount plaintiffs attorneys say is the largest personal injury settlement out of a Pennsylvania state court.

Susan Reisner

Judges Say Broad Discovery Required Under New Bail Rules

By Michael Booth |

Prosecutors must provide defendants with extensive discovery if they are seeking to have those defendants held without bail before trial under New Jersey's new bail reform system, a state appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

In Travel Ban Appeal, Judges Don't Accept 'We’re in a Rush' Excuse

By Scott Graham |

Lawyers prepared for Tuesday's Ninth Circuit arguments under extreme time pressure. But the judges wouldn't cut them any breaks.

Hospital Report Privileged Even If Errors Withheld From Regulators

By Charles Toutant |

The ruling from the Appellate Division overturned the trial court's decision that directed the report to be turned over to the patient, and found that the incident should have been reported to the state.

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

What the Ninth Circuit Is Saying About Trump Travel Ban

By Ross Todd |

It was Judge Michelle Friedland, the most junior judge on the panel, who opened the hearing and had the first pointed question for the lawyer representing the Trump administration.

AG Alleges Scam of Victims of 9/11, NFL Concussions

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allege New Jersey-based RD Legal Funding and its founder Roni Dersovitz lured sick 9/11 responders and former NFL players with brain injuries into costly advances on their settlements, charging interest rates as high as 250 percent.

William Donio.

NJ Judges Affirm Dismissal of Defamation Claims Against Schools' Attorney

By Michael Booth |

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the father of two public school students cannot sue a board of education attorney who told a newspaper about a child-welfare investigation into the father, but failed to disclose that the investigation was resolved in the father's favor.

Woman Injured During Taping of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Sues ABC

By ROBERT STORACE |

The woman was seriously injured when she tripped over television cables while being escorted to her seat.

Vizio Settlement Highlights FTC Strategy for Consumer Internet of Things Privacy, Security

By Ricci Dipshan |

The action against the smart TV manufacturer's surreptitious data collection demonstrates legal challenges posed by internet of things devices.

Nicholas Scutari

NJ Senate Panel OKs 2 Controversial Superior Court Picks

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday recommended tenure for two controversial Superior Court judges, both of whom were under fire because of the way they treated litigants during their initial seven-year terms.

ABA Rejects Stricter Bar-Pass Rule for Law Schools

By Karen Sloan and Celia Ampel |

A coalition of law deans and diversity advocates mounted a fourth-quarter campaign against the proposal.

Judge Marianne Espinosa of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.

Court Remands $2M Fee Award, Tackles Jury Waiver Language

By David Gialanella |

In a decision that sheds some light on the specificity of language required for waivers contained in employment contracts, a New Jersey appeals court has reversed an award of $2.06 million in attorney fees to Heartland Payment Systems Inc., though it appears the company will recover fees in some form.

Amid Visa Uncertainty, NY and NJ Immigration Lawyers Say Clients Getting Jittery

By Michael Booth |

Lawyers representing corporations and their clients are fretting over possible changes to immigration rules under President Donald Trump.

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.

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.

Suits & Deals: Garbage Truck Crash Into Parked SUV Leads to $2.23M Deal in Monmouth

A Howell Township woman has received $2.23 million as compensation for injuries she received when her vehicle was struck by a garbage-collection truck.

IP Partners on the Move Seek Bigger Firms

By Katelyn Polantz |

Big Law snatches up talent as the market changes for boutiques.

Court: Plaintiff's Deep Pockets Aren't Cause to Deny Fee Application

By Charles Toutant |

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a plaintiff was wrongly denied counsel fees after winning a dispute with a municipality over an ordinance imposing regulations on landlords.

NJSBA offers guidance on immigration law issues related to travel ban

State bar offers guidance on immigration law issues related to travel ban

Board of Trustees nominates members to serve in leadership positions

NJSBA Board of Trustees nominates members to leadership roles

NJSBA Diversity Committee accepting nominations for Mel Narol Award

State bar Diversity Committee accepts Mel Narol Award nominees

New Jersey Lawyer magazine takes on immigration law

Latest NJ Lawyer magazine focuses on immigration law

Two new trustees to join NJSBA governing body after two receive judgeships

The New Jersey State Bar Association's Board of Trustees is about to have two new members

CAPITOL REPORT

U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

Trump Tells Labor Department to Halt Fiduciary Rule

By Melanie Waddell |

President Donald Trump on Friday signed a directive telling the U.S. Labor Department to halt implementation of rules targeting conflicts of interest in the retirement-saving industry. The fiduciary rule, facing challenges in several federal courts, is set to take effect April 10.

Law Firm General Counsel Roles Are Evolving—And Sometimes ‘Lonely’

By David Gialanella |

A dozen or more years since what one expert called the "great awakening among law firms" about the need to designate an in-house adviser, the role of firm general counsel continues to evolve.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Judge Set to Issue Second Ruling on Bridgegate Complaint Against Christie

By Charles Toutant |

A judge is moving ahead with a probable cause inquiry in the citizen complaint charging Gov. Chris Christie with official misconduct in the Bridgegate scandal, even as the governor's lawyer maintains the whole proceeding should be scrapped.

Judge Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, speaking at the Federalist Society’s 2016 National Lawyers Convention, at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

SCOTUS Nomination Came Just in Time for Hardiman’s Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

President Donald Trump, a practiced showman, built up suspense in the lead-up to the televised announcement of his nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

NJ Appeals Court Eases Access to Stored Twitter Data in Criminal Investigation

By Michael Booth |

In a ruling of first impression, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the social media platform Twitter can be forced to turn over to law enforcement audio data that it has stored on its servers.

Sills Cummis' Revenue Increases 1.9 Percent; PPP Inches Up 0.6 Percent

By David Gialanella |

Sill Cummis & Gross of Newark saw an incremental increase in revenue in fiscal 2016—attributable at least in part to a higher attorney head count, it appears—while profitability improved more noticeably.

Draft Executive Order Targeting Worker Visas Shakes Silicon Valley Tech Companies

By David Ruiz |

The torrent of drastic changes to U.S. immigration law—including a draft proposal of an executive order to restructure and possibly rescind entire worker visa programs—has sent Silicon Valley tech companies into a frenzy, seeking legal help for a multitude of questions.

Protesters at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.

Letters Protest Trump Actions on Immigration, Yates

By Mark Hamblett |

Former judges, prosecutors and defenders are protesting President Donald Trump's sweeping order restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries and his sacking of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend it.

Lowe's Installers' Job Classification Suit Settles for $2.85M

By Charles Toutant |

Lowe's Home Centers has agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle a New Jersey class action claiming it misclassified contract installers as independent contractors.

N.J. Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia

Swiss Company Wins in $500M NJ Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that Givaudan Fragrances Corp., the world's largest manufacturer of flavor and fragrances, can demand up to $500 million in insurance coverage for environmental damage it caused at its operations in Clifton, even though one of its units transferred its coverage to another unit.

Illustration by James O'Brien

What It Costs When Talent Walks Out the Door

By Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio |

Replacing top lawyers—especially top female lawyers—isn't cheap.

Judge Neil Gorsuch shakes hands with President Donald Trump as he is  announced as Trump's choice for Supreme Court Justice during a televised address from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Gorsuch, Drawing Scalia Comparisons, Comes Under Microscope

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch triggered a range of responses across the legal and political spectrum Tuesday as lawyers and advocacy groups touted—and criticized—his positions on regulatory matters and civil rights.

Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Trump Chooses Neil Gorsuch, Ivy League Conservative, for Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

In choosing Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump opted for a candidate with traditional credentials shared by most modern-day justices. A Colorado native with a degree from Harvard Law School, Gorsuch clerked for Justice Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. "In our legal order, it is for Congress and not the courts to write new laws. It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives," Gorsuch said at the White House.

Johnson & Johnson's baby powder.

Appeals in Dismissal of J&J Talc Suits Target Exclusion of Experts

By Charles Toutant |

Two plaintiffs who claim they developed cancer from using talcum powder are seeking to reinstate suits against Johnson & Johnson in a New Jersey state court after the cases were thrown out based on the trial judge's rejection of their expert testimony.

ABA Weighs Mandatory Substance Abuse CLE

By Karen Sloan |

The ABA is poised to endorse mandatory continuing legal education focused on substance abuse and mental health issues following a study last year that showed lawyers suffer from those problems at a high rate.

Brian M. Rader of Jardim, Meisner & Susser

Property Association, Homeowners Spar Over Added Lake Maintenance Fees

By Michael Booth |

A Morris County judge has blocked a local property owners association, which is responsible for maintaining a private lake, from collecting additional maintenance assessments after it opened up the lake for use by nonassociation residents and incurred greater costs.

Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo

NJ Assembly Committee Acts on Fantasy Sports Regulations

By Michael Booth |

New Jersey legislators are moving closer to regulating fantasy sports betting, the multimillion-dollar-a-year industry that until recently has gone unregulated nationwide.

Luis Felipe Restrepo, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. February 13, 2013. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Employer's 'Honest Belief' Thwarts FMLA Retaliation Claim

By Zack Needles |

An employer's "honest belief" that an employee misused the Family and Medical Leave Act can be enough to defeat an FMLA retaliation claim, the Third Circuit has ruled.

Hand on bible, swearing in

Missing Expert Report Leads to $850K Malpractice Verdict

By Charles Toutant |

A Passaic County jury has awarded $850,000 to the plaintiff in a legal malpractice case in which the defendant attorney's failure to obtain expert reports spelled defeat for his client.

Luis Felipe Restrepo, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. February 13, 2013. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Third Circuit Dismisses Wage Class Suit Against Robert Half

By David Gialanella |

In a case that previously yielded a precedential ruling on whether it's up to courts or arbitrators to decide the issue of class arbitrability, a federal appeals panel has declined to read an authorization to arbitrate on a class-wide basis into a contract presented to employees of placement firm Robert Half.

Feb. 3 is deadline to file for NJSBF Board of Trustees vacancy

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Nominating Committee is inviting NJSBA members and non-lawyers to submit resumes to be considered for a vacancy on the foundation's Board of Trustees

February Calendar of Events

Upcoming events of interest to NJSBA members

Capitol Report

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters.

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.

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.

Thousands of protestors decended on SFO in response to President Trumps executive order denying refugees and foreign citizens from predominantly Muslim countries entry into the U.S

Big Law Joins Opposition To Trump's Refugee Ban

By Katelyn Polantz |

Steven Schulman, the head of pro bono at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, described how the corporate defense bar pitched in to represent immigrants stuck at airports over the weekend, and the next steps for the legal community’s involvement.

J&J Foiled in Bid to Steer Talc Cases Away From Missouri

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson has lost a last-ditch attempt to delay the next talcum powder trial and get lawsuits brought by more than 1,000 women kicked out of Missouri's state courts.

Sergey Aleynikov.

Pair of NY Rulings Create Fresh Uncertainty for Ex-Goldman Sachs Programmer

By Tom McParland |

In the span of just four days, Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs programmer accused of stealing the investment bank's valuable source code, was hit with a pair of rulings that once again call into question the 46-year-old's legal fate and threaten to further complicate his already protracted fight to secure defense fees from his former employer.

Renee Bumb

Jury Awards $51.5M in Lockheed Martin Age Discrimination Suit

By Charles Toutant |

A federal jury in Camden has issued a verdict that would require Lockheed Martin Corp. to pay $51.5 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, in an age discrimination suit by an engineer.

N.J. Federal District Court in Superstorm Sandy Coverage Case Rejects Insureds' Challenges to 'Unequivocal' Denial of Benefits Letter

By Steven A. Meyerowitz |

A federal district court in New Jersey, in a Superstorm Sandy coverage case, has ruled that a homeowner’s insurance company’s letter to its insureds amounted to an unequivocal denial of benefits for purposes of the policy’s suit limitations period, even though it also referenced benefits that would be paid, did not use the word “denial,” did not reference the policy’s suit limitations period, and noted that the insureds could appeal.

Judge Glenn Grant

With Bench Near Full Strength, Eyes Turn to Reform Shakeout

By David Gialanella |

New Jersey's Superior Court is as close to full strength as it has been in numerous years, though it's unclear at this point how the judiciary will portion out 20 new judgeships created to deal with the state's new criminal justice reforms.

Jose Fuentes

Doctor's Rape Conviction Tossed Over Faulty Rulings on Evidence

By Charles Toutant |

An appeals court has ordered a new trial for a physician who was convicted of the sexual assault of a patient who was sedated based on findings of evidentiaty errors at trial.

Kevin Walsh

Affordable Housing Fight in NJ Moves to the Local Level

By Michael Booth |

After the state Supreme Court's Jan. 18 ruling on the last big remaining disputes over low- and middle-income housing, towns and affordable housing advocates are moving to the trial courts to determine individual towns' obligations.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.

Legal Services Worried That Trump Will Take Ax to Agency

By Charles Toutant |

A report that President Donald Trump could take an ax to the Legal Services Corp. has been greeted with concern, but advocates for equal access to the courts say it's too soon to write the agency's obituary.

Michael Tanenbaum.

Drinker Enters Dallas as Sedgwick Sheds 40 Lawyers in Texas, New Jersey

By Lizzy McLellan |

Fifteen partners are splitting from Sedgwick in the New York region and Texas, forming a boutique in the Northeast and launching a new office for Drinker Biddle & Reath in Dallas.

Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, seat of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Secret Advice to Judge, Forgery Get NJ Attorney Censured

By David Gialanella |

An attorney who offered legal advice to a family court judge before whom he had active cases—an arrangement that led to the judge's suspension in 2014—has been disciplined by the New Jersey Supreme Court for his conduct, which included forging another lawyer's signature to conceal the arrangement.

Bankruptcies Might Be Down, But Far From Out

By Meghan Tribe |

A report issued Wednesday said that U.S. bankruptcy filings fell 5.9 percent in 2016 to their lowest number in a decade. Nonetheless, despite a drop-off in business-related cases, troubles in some industries like the energy sector have helped restructuring lawyers pick up some of the slack in demand for their services.

In PACER Suit, a Class Action Even Defense Lawyers Can Love

By Amanda Bronstad |

Paying too much for PACER? You could get an email notice later this spring to join a class action that seeks refunds for several hundred thousand people who allege the electronic court service has charged excessive fees.

Law Journal Seeking Submissions for All 2017 Recognitions

By David Gialanella |

Traditionally, the Law Journal has taken stock of professional excellence in New Jersey at various points throughout the year. We look forward in 2017 to delving into those recognitions once again, and have decided this year to roll all the recognitions into a single award cycle.

The Appellate Division, First Department, at 27 Madison Ave.

Goldman Sachs Programmer's Conviction Reinstated on Appeal

By Jason Grant |

Sergey Aleynikov was originally convicted in Manhattan Supreme Court of stealing Goldman Sachs' source code for high-frequency trading, a conviction that was later overturned.

US Federal District Judge Kevin McNulty, Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ.

Michaels Class Action Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction Under 'Spokeo'

By Charles Toutant |

A federal judge in Newark has dismissed a proposed class action in multidistrict litigation against Michaels Stores Inc. for failure to plead subject matter jurisdiction under the Supreme Court's recent decision in "Spokeo v. Robins."

When Attorney Fees Can Be Awarded in Legal Mal Actions Brought By Non-Clients

By John L. Slimm and Jeremy J. Zacharias |

The circumstances in which an award of attorney fees in favor of a non-client in legal malpractice cases are exceedingly rare.

Daniel B. Rodriguez, Dean of Northwestern Law.

Showdown Over Law Schools' Bar Pass Standard Set for Feb. 6

By Karen Sloan |

The American Bar Association is pushing forward with a bid to strengthen its bar passage requirement for law schools over fresh objections from nearly half the nation's law deans.

$25 Million Accutane Verdict Reinstated by NJ High Court

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reinstated a $25.16 million judgment in favor of an Alabama man who claims he contracted Crohn's disease after taking Accutane, an acne drug that has been the subject of mass tort litigation in the state for more than a decade.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Sandy Hook Plaintiffs' Path to Trial Seen as Uphill

By Robert Storace |

As the Connecticut Supreme Court is expected to begin later this year to hear an appeal from several families whose loved ones were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and who are seeking to hold manufacturers of the gun used responsible, legal experts, attorneys and law professors say the plaintiffs have a long, uphill battle.

NJ Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D)

NJ Legislators Move to Bar Out-of-State Arbitration in Consumer Contracts

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Assembly has passed legislation that prohibits companies from inserting language in consumer contracts that requires arbitration of disputes in forums outside of the state.

Richest Firms Pulled Ahead in 2016 as Some Regions Struggled

By Nell Gluckman |

The top performing law firms continued to pull away from the rest of the Am Law 200 last year, according to a report released Monday by Wells Fargo Private Bank's Legal Specialty Group. Meanwhile certain regions, including the mid-Atlantic states, struggled to achieve even modest revenue growth.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

Shareholder Suit Claims Drugmaker Lacked Candor in Reports on Key Product

By Charles Toutant |

A shareholder class action filed in federal court in Trenton claims that a New Jersey drug company made false or misleading statements about prospects for regulatory approval of its lead product.

Jack Cohen.

NJ Personal Injury Lawyer Disbarred for $350K Theft

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Supreme Court has disbarred a Haddonfield attorney for knowingly misappropriating more than $350,000 in client funds and money that should have gone to clients, according to the court.

Foundation debuts workshop to help educators teach the Holocaust

NJSBA Foundation presents workshop addressing how to teach children about the Holocaust

Sergey Aleynikov, left, exits Manhattan federal court with his attorney, Kevin Marino, in February 2012.

Delaware Justices Refuse Advancement to Ex-Goldman Sachs Coder

By Tom McParland |

The Delaware Supreme Court on Jan. 20 rejected the appeal of a former Goldman Sachs programmer, who had asked the justices to disregard a federal appeals court ruling in order to approve a bid to recover about $2 million in fees and costs from his former employer.

At start of a new presidency, a look back at Grover Cleveland, the only U.S. president born in New Jersey

A look back at Grover Cleveland, the only U.S. President born in New Jersey

Foundation debuts workshop to help educators teach the Holocaust

Bar Foundation presents workshop on teaching children about the Holocaust

NJSBA Board of Trustees votes on measures addressing trends in legal profession

Recent activity of the State Bar Association

CAPITOL REPORT

A look at legislative action of interest to NJSBA members

DV in NJ: Re-thinking Permanency of Restraints and Examining Newer Causes of Action

By Robert B. Kornitzer, Valerie Jules McCarthy and Linda Torosian |

It may be time to follow the lead of other progressive jurisdictions and contemplate whether the permanent duration of an FRO should be reconsidered.

The Joint Legal Custody Myth

By Brian P. McCann |

The concept of joint legal custody continues to evolve, and parents, attorneys, mental health professionals and judges are compelled to think creatively to develop plans that minimize parental conflict and promote and protect a child's best interests.

Tips on Handling Domestic Violence Economic Mediations

By Kelsey Mulholland |

Now that the pilot DVEM program has been in existence for one year, here are some helpful tips addressing issues that have been raised.

Changes to Child Support and Emancipation in New Jersey

By Mia V. Stollen and Kelley M. Rutkowski |

A new statute goes into effect Feb. 1, regarding termination of child support obligations. It will impact all current child support awards in New Jersey, making it an important change for practitioners to be aware of.

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.